Hiring an agency is often a difficult task as many companies claim to bring you all the conversions you want despite providing a clear plan to do so. I say that hypocritically as we have that phrase prominently featured on our homepage. It is difficult for many companies or marketing teams to stay on top of the digital trends, so naturally they seek out agencies to help them. It’s a win-win situation, agencies get a client where as clients get the assistance they need. It is all about transparency though, which is something we ensure every client receives Here are some things to consider on both sides of the fence when entering into a new relationship and how to make your expectations very clear from the start.
Both parties should agree on the goals and success metrics up front. Sometimes it’s even beneficial to have these metrics as an addendum to the initial contract. There will be metrics that are quantifiable and those that are not, but both parties need to understand what defines success of the agreement they are engaging in. Here are some quantifiable metrics to consider:
- X% Increase in organic search traffic & conversion
- X% Increase in overall website conversion
- X% Decrease in overall website bounce rate
The Honeymoon is Over
Clients, please give the agencies enough time to implement their strategies. Agencies, please understand that clients need to see results. Never the less, after the initial excitement of starting a new campaign or strategy there will be things that work, some that don’t, and new ideas presented. You must work together as a team to overcome these issues and make tweaks to the initial strategies. Short leashes don’t work for college football coaches and they sure don’t work for digital marketing partnerships.
Black, White & Grey
Web analytics will tell both parties a lot about the effectiveness of campaigns. While the numbers are pretty black and white there will always be grey areas where a conversation regarding the strategy must take place. For instance, Social Media traffic may have an abysmal bounce rate and terrible conversion rate. However, this could be due to the targeting, the creative, the landing page, and a myriad of other issues. It should be the responsibility of the agency to point these things out, but again, this is a team effort and we must work together for our common goals.
A Few Reminders
- It’s not your client’s fault that they don’t know the proper calls to action or creatives to show
- Your client needs direction in what content to write and what keywords to target, not just a big list of terms
- It is your responsibility to be your client’s eyes and ears, so continue to bring new ideas & strategies to the table
- Agencies are an extension of your team, so please keep them in the loop (eg: Product launches, organizational changes, etc)
- Are you unhappy with the current strategy direction? Work together to change it by discussing your concerns with the agency
- Do you need help implementing those recommendations? Just ask, because not implementing those recommendations hurts everyone’s chance at success
There are so many things to consider, but at the end of the day it is transparency. Agencies should not be hiding keywords, costs, nor strategies behind some curtain. It is important that you both consider this a partnership and that everyone is on the same team with the same goals in mind!