I know what you’re thinking. What makes me, the Director of Sales & Marketing for an agency, qualified to write such a post and expect any of you to think it’s unbiased?
Before you draw your gun from the holster determined to blow holes, know this, I wasn’t always on the agency side. Not only did I work on in-house marketing teams in previous positions helping to vet, manage and orchestrate agency partners—I actually started my career at Oneupweb having nothing to do with the billable side of the business. I was solely responsible for orchestrating the marketing strategy and coordinating any and all vendors and partners needed to execute that strategy, solely for the purpose of driving qualified leads to the Oneupweb sales team and growing Oneupweb’s brand share in the competitive online marketing space.
I understand, first hand, how difficult it can be to select the right partners. I have experienced how hard it is to build trust in an agency partner or vendor. I know how long it takes to feel like they really, finally “get it”. It can suck, a lot. I get it.
And now here I am, representing the agency side of the equation. I spend my days trying to build relationships that you (prospective & current clients) trust enough to bet your very livelihood on.
I don’t take it lightly. I try to keep it fun, but I don’t take your responsibilities as a client, nor mine as your agency partner, lightly. And I really do work hard to fully understand your perspective at every step. That’s my job, after all.
This post is meant to help you get more from your agency partnerships. It’s not a gripe.
This is me trying to give you some perspective from the agency side that will help your campaigns and the relationship as a whole, perform better. And I hope you’ll give me and the rest of the Oneupweb account teams any insight that you think we might be missing.
Send it to me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you don’t feel like sharing it with the world here in the comments section.
Let’s get to it.
- Make the Logo Bigger.
Don’t confuse this with an unhealthy respect for the power and value of a brand. Brand share is important, brand awareness is hard to achieve and damn it, people better know whose website, landing page, advertisement (etc.) they just interacted with.
The logo needs to be readable and located in the right place, but it shouldn’t overshadow the content or the work. After all, you hired the partner(s) to create the most compelling messaging for your brand, driving prospective consumers to action.
When was the last time you bought something because the logo was just so damn big?
There seems to be just one instance where big ass logos matter.
Ok, maybe two.
2. Just Optimize/SEO It.
Those days are gone. You missed that bus, or maybe you’re still trying to ride it—but either way—that’s not how it works anymore. If you want your brand to position well on the search engine results pages it takes more than on-page content optimization to get there.
3. We Know Our Customer, We Don’t Need Research.
If you can’t prove it with recent market research, you don’t know your customer. If you don’t know your customer, your agency partners won’t be able to refine things beyond educated assumption and past experience. You didn’t hire that agency to do for you what they did for your competitor, you hired them to blow the competition out of the water. In order to do that, you both have to know your customer better than anyone else.
Market research isn’t free. It’s priceless.
4. We Need More (insert desired vanity metric here).
Followers, Fans, Shares, Connections, Retweets, Klout, Clicks. No you don’t. At the end of the day, you’re going to be looking at sales when you’re pointing to your agency. And they better be up.
Boss: “What has our partnership with Agency XYZ done for our business?”
You: “Well, our click through rate is through the roof and more people like us on Facebook than ever before! We should keep them forever!”
Said no boss or marketing executive ever.
5. Let’s Test it First.
Sure, I get it, let’s see how it performs before we bet the farm. But let’s not consider a microscopic budget on a 3 day run with no real creative an adequate test.
Give it a real chance, or don’t waste your money. Honest.
What do you think your agency partners are missing? What 5 things do we say that crush your soul? (So maybe that’s extreme, but I still want to hear your side of the story!)