By Valerie Zlotsky
Let’s face it, as an online marketing firm, we exist and can stay in business because busy CMO’s, marketing managers and marketing departments just do not have the time, knowledge or resources to devote solely toward online marketing. Much of online marketing is time consuming (setting up search campaigns, negotiating CPM’s with vendors). In addition, online marketing is all we do; we live and breathe this stuff, so it’s pretty safe to say that we know a thing or two about leveraging your brand and achieving campaign goals. So, clearly we’ve established that outsourcing your marketing to an agency is a great way to achieve efficiency; you give us your online marketing budget and goals, we’ll take care of the rest. While that statement is the basic premise around what we do, it’s also the leading philosophy behind some of the worst marketing partnerships we’ve seen. If the marketing dollars you give us, or any agency, mean anything at all to you, the statement would look more like “you give us your online marketing budget and goals, we’ll work towards creating a great campaign together”. In this article, we’ve put together some tips and suggestions as to how to get the most out of your agency and how you can “help me, help you”.
BE COMMUNICATIVE – This one is key. We are a team and you are essentially our manager. Think about how you want your managers to treat you; you want to know how you are doing, how the work that you did impacted the overall company, what things are going on in the company that could potentially affect you. A marketing firm functions much in the same way. We need to know your concerns, your goals and your overall strategy. We realize that we are a just a part of your marketing mix and that there are many other marketing strategies in place throughout the company. Share these with us. If anything changes or any new initiatives come out, share that with us as well so that we can optimize your online campaign to stay consistent with the rest of the brand.
GET WHAT YOU NEED – We spend much of our time and resources digging and wading through a sea of data. We then pull out all of the information that we deem important and share it with you. If you are seeing data and information that you never find useful or conversely, if you are looking for data that is not included in reporting, let us know. Be sure that reports and information is formatted to your needs and that you are seeing the trends that you deem valuable. This saves time and resources for both parties and we can then know that the information we provide is helpful to you. That knowledge helps us motivate our data elves who mine through this data because after all, they really do want to help.
TRUST US – It may be a little cliché, but this is imperative. The days of agencies swimming in piles of their commission are long gone. The most profitable scenario for agencies now is a long-running relationship with a client; so we truly are looking out for your campaign’s best interests. This does not mean that all agencies function this way, but we assume that in hiring us, you’ve no doubt done your research and were impressed with our work and integrity. So, trust us if we suggest something out of the box or something outside of what the company normally has done. We are here to come up with fresh, innovative and creative ways to market your brand and often times that calls for ideas that are outside the realm of ordinary because ordinary rarely stands out. If we want to keep you as a client, we will take calculated risks with our ideas. Some may fail, but it’s our job to be prepared and nimble in case of such situations. Trust us to know the space and do our jobs well.
DO NOT TRUST US BLINDLY – No one knows your business like you do and although we implore you to share as much as possible with us (see be communicative above), we understand that sometimes you will have to say no to our ideas because you know something that we do not. Trust us in that the ideas are calculated risks, but do not be blind to glaring inside knowledge you may have to which we are not privy.
DO NOT BE A BLACK HOLE – The internet moves at the speed of tweets. It’s a new measurement, you may not have heard about it yet, (we’re working with NASA scientists right now to gauge its scientific merit) but trust us when we say that it is FAST. We have the responsibility of being the online face of your company and we take that job very seriously. Success in that job requires that we are able to move fast, make decisions in a timely manner and execute them. We do our best never to waste your time or ours, so when we do send you e-mails, updates or phone calls, it is usually for something important. Be prepared to give us your time when you form this relationship. We cannot succeed if you expect us to function in a silo and if our correspondences go into a black hole, never to be addressed.
Bottom-line: Our goal is to do great things and do them well. By following the above tips, you’ll help us accomplish that, which in turn, will make you look like a rock star.