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How to Get the Best Out of Your Marketing Agency

15 August 2019
Shirley Mansfield
Building a Business

Why do some companies launch brilliant marketing campaigns and have spectacular success, but other companies spend lots of money and generate very little?

When hiring any expert you need to be prepared; preparation is everything.

Imagine hiring a builder and saying you want an extension. That’s all. No dimensions, no details about windows and doors or what it should be built from.

I can guarantee that you’ll be disappointed when it’s finished.

Perhaps you think it’s the builders job to ask the questions not just build what he thinks and, of course, you’re right. But, you have to be prepared to answer all of his questions, if you’re going to get something that you want and something that works.

Business owners know that marketing is fickle. A finance director once asked me as a marketing director to explain which half of my budget was going to reap rewards and which half was wasted. That was before online marketing came along!. Then you could only measure success with coupon and promo codes! But his question made me think. I was troubled that I may be wasting money and that in turn taught me the importance of a good brief.

Over the years I have worked with many agencies: web, PR, design, events and online. Every time I work with an agency, I always make sure that I have a written brief to give them. It doesn’t take much time to write it down and it saves you more time because there is no confusion about what is required from them.

Where I’m using several agencies to deliver a complex campaign, each agency sees the entire project brief. Best of all I get a person from each agency in a room together so when we plan the campaign everyone knows who is doing what, when and why.

Here are my top tips

  • Working with a new agency means they need to get to know you and your business and they’ll only do this if you tell them.
  1. What is your Why? Why do you do what you do is a great place to start.
  2. What is the story – how did the business start and why
  3. What’s different about your business? I like to try to explain 3 ways in which the business is unique. That might be exceptional customer service, top notch products, free next day delivery in eco-friendly (no plastic) packaging, etc.
  • Who are your competitors?
  1. How do you measure up to them. Include their websites for the agency to research.
  2. Encourage the agency to mystery shop your business and some competitors, that’s how they get a real feel for your company.
  3. How do you fair against your competitors
  • Know exactly what you’re trying to achieve; your objective, goal or target. What result do you want the campaign to deliver and by when? Put numbers to your objectives – they’re easier to measure and everyone knows what they are aiming at
  • What is your timeline? A good agency needs time to work its magic – don’t leave your campaign to the last minute, give them time. It’s no good planning a Christmas campaign in November and expecting it to be super successful that’s why all the big retailers have their campaign plans in place 6 to 9 months in advance.
  • What is your budget? Set your budget before you see the agency. Be clear about what you want to spend, but be realistic too. Great marketing costs money, but don’t throw money at it. Consider your current cost of acquisition and look at your objectives, this should help you define your budget.

Above all be open and honest with your agency. If you only have a small budget, tell them just that at the beginning. Don’t let them develop a fabulous campaign and then have to cut most of it to fit your budget!

The content in this blog is correct as at 15/08/2019. See terms and conditions.

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