Working Together: The Agency/Client Relationship
Sometimes the agency/client relationship is enough to drive anyone crazy. Financials, compromises, sales, creative decisions, and really long meetings are enough to make everyone involved frustrated. But, beyond long hours and obsessing over the slight turn on that custom font that just isn’t the right color, there is one thing that absolutely drives your marketing team batty, and that is a lack of trust.
We get it. It is hard, almost impossible really, to fully trust an agency with your marketing. You are handing them the reigns and saying, “Make me a success.” Marketing gives people the creeps. How do you prove it is working? How do you know you are making the right decisions?
Most importantly, how do clients and agencies start to build trust together?
First, do your research. Before you even hire an agency, go to their website and look at their portfolio. From there, it should be pretty obvious how well they have worked with other clients and what kind of work they excel in.
Second, see if you have chemistry. If you do, then explaining your needs and wants should be easy, and help you become comfortable with where their ideas can take your business. Meetings will be more productive, ideas will be more cohesive, and the overall working environment more enjoyable for everyone.
Last, keep the communication open. Communication only increases transparency and collaboration. If you are set on a certain typeface for your logo, tell us. If you hate the color red, call us up and let us know before we spent eight hours on your burgundy logo. Tell your agency all of your hopes, dreams, expectations, and deadlines, and I promise, we will work to make you happy.
As a marketer, our job is to help your customers feel a powerful connection to your brand. The only way to do this is to evaluate your brand and determine if your image is matching up with your target markets’ needs and ideas, then align your brand with what you want to achieve. A good marketing firm will know how to uphold your company’s image and values while making you stand out. Just like you, we want to see your organization grow and succeed, and then we want you to hire us again for new projects when you expand your business.
A marketing firm can create the best campaign in the history of the world, but if the company doesn’t back it up with trust, it won’t work. The truth is, you are asking your customers to trust you to do your job, and in turn, you need to trust your marketing firm to do theirs. Agencies know and respect the fact that for an owner to pass along the responsibility of growing their business is a lofty decision. But, we also know that right advertising, branding, and messaging can set you apart from your competition. You just need to let your agency do what they do best. Work for you and be creative.