An agency should be an extension of the client’s team. Sharing the same goals, talking to the same people, and sometimes even getting drinks together. To start the journey towards that solid agency-client partnership, here are three areas to work on together and some questions agencies can start asking to get there.
Do you do your best work when you have all the information you need? Often times strategies that fall short or get shot down stem from expectations and biases that could have been managed with more knowledge sharing from the beginning.
Whether it’s getting little hints about the company’s direction or exact monthly goals they are trying to hit, the more information an agency has the better aligned they will be and therefore all the more valuable to the client. Transparency should come from the agency as well. A client should never feel in the dark about a strategy or the performance of a project.
To improve transparency, agencies should be asking these questions of clients:
- What specific KPIs are your team being held to?
- Who are the stakeholders that will need to buy into our strategic direction?
- When is your budgeting season?
- What metrics do you report to those stakeholders? What is the format of that report?
- How often are you reporting internally? (So we can align with that schedule.)
Everyone these days is trying to break down internal silos. It’s not the new hot thing, it’s the way efficient teams are run. If as a client you find yourself spending your days directing traffic between teams, consider if you could improve efficiency and save yourself time by connecting those teams with each other directly.
An agency should be involved in this integration as well. We do our best work when we get to speak directly to the folks whom our recommendations are going to impact or when we can collaborate in real-time with other marketing channels.
To improve integration, agencies should be asking these questions of clients:
- How is your marketing team organized?
- What teams other teams for you work with or (better yet) wish you worked with?
- Do you have a good rapport with the teams necessary to get your work done?
- Would you like us to join any of your other vendor calls to consolidate communication?
- Are you analyzing your paid and organic data together?
Simply put, show and tell. Clients can get the most out of their agencies when they share what challenges they are facing or what initiatives they are trying to get over the finish line that quarter. Crack open a Google doc, work on a presentation, pitch a new idea to the CMO together. It helps the client get the work done and also makes for a better-finished product when all parties have a hand in the direction.
The same goes for the agency. Some of our best work has come from half-baked ideas we floated by the client to get early feedback. Share early and share often.
To improve collaboration, agencies should be asking these questions of clients:
- What initiatives are you working on this quarter?
- What challenges are you currently facing?
- What are your other marketing departments working on?
- What is your process for ideating and taking ideas into fruition?
- How do you prioritize projects?
- In what format do you prefer to receive recommendations/ideas?
Why not join us…
If you find yourself wanting to work with clients that value these same characteristics in a partner agency, consider joining us at Seer. Check out our careers page!