You have a vision that needs to be realized. A story that needs to be told. Or maybe just an idea, an inkling, you think has potential for your marketing strategy. It’s your advertising agency’s job to translate that vision, story, or idea into reality.
In a perfect world, this process would be as seamless as a dance between two all-star partners. But in the real world, how do you stay in sync and make sure you’re getting what you need from your agency without tripping over each other’s feet?
We’ve worked with enough happy clients to feel pretty qualified to share some of our wisdom about maintaining a great client-agency relationship. Scroll down for our next installment of advertising tips – how to get the results you deserve by improving your relationship with your agency.
Advertising tip #1: Prioritize communication and transparency.
Sometimes, more is more.
Advertising agencies specialize in translating dreams into reality – but they can’t always read minds. You can help your agency do their part by giving them as much information as possible, both at the beginning of your relationship and throughout your work together.
First, define success and share it with your agency. To help you accomplish your advertising goals, your agency needs to know exactly what success looks like for you. Is it a certain number of impressions per month? 1,000 new leads by a certain date? A certain percentage increase in sales over the next year? Share your goal posts with your agency so that they can both create a strategy for hitting them and take initiative when it comes to monitoring and reporting.
Make sure your agency understands your product, service, or technology. Let’s say you’re introducing a new housing management software to the market. You hire an advertising agency to create display ads targeting potential customers in the university housing industry.
To create ad copy that highlights the unique benefits of your software and presents a clear call to action, the agency needs to understand exactly how your software works. Provide them with this information through briefs, product demos, or webinars before the project begins so you’re all on the same page (and so you can reduce time spent rejecting or revising subpar work).
Exchange feedback regularly. First, ask honest questions often. This helps your agency do its job to demystify their processes and strategies, which in turn empowers you to make better informed and more effective requests for future work. If you’re not exactly sure why your agency has chosen a particular keyword to bid for in your paid search campaign, just ask! Seriously – we’d be happy to bring you into our decision-making process with our best advertising tips because it makes both our lives easier.
It’s also important to give and receive feedback as work progresses. Confront us (nicely, please!) if something isn’t meeting your expectations. In turn, your agency may illuminate a limitation you may not have been aware of, or your feedback may make them aware of something they didn’t foresee – either way, it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. Take note of what your agency says about their rationale and processes so you can better understand their limitations, strengths, and workflow.
On the flipside, tell us when you’re happy with our work! That helps us know what’s working and, of course, gives us a rush of satisfaction. Pro tip: If you’re really happy with your agency, they’ll always appreciate you sending them referrals.
Advertising tip #2: Trust your agency to do what it does best.
Let us do the hard work we were meant to do.
Understand what your agency specializes in. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget how complex the world of advertising has become. While some agencies, like Bloom Ads, have vast experience with all major types of advertising, others may specialize in digital marketing only, or even subsets such as SEO or content marketing. Still, others may write, produce, and place advertisements all in-house, while some may outsource certain parts of the process. Know what your agency specializes in and make sure your goals align with what they do best.
If you ask them to do something outside of their specialty, on the other hand, you’ll probably end up with subpar work and the relationship won’t be any better for it. (That said, they may be able to help find someone who can do it – doesn’t hurt to ask!)
Be open to our feedback. Advertising agencies should serve as subject-area experts. They want to do the best job they can by letting you in on their insider knowledge. By being open to their feedback, you can gain a better understanding of how the marketing landscape works for your industry or product, including what your competitors are doing.
Trust us (and your instincts). An advertising agency worth its salt will do the very best job it can to deliver results within its strengths and limitations. If you feel you can’t trust your agency, either because the results aren’t matching your expectations and communication isn’t fixing the problem, or because you just feel that they aren’t able to make you understand what they’re doing, it may not be a great fit.
Advertising tip #3: Strive for a true partnership.
Your agency should be an extension of your team.
Treat your agency as though they were your own employees. Seeing your agency as a part of your team helps you empathize with their strengths and limitations. This helps you craft requests they will understand and be able to fully deliver on while conveying to them your understanding and appreciation of what they do.
All roads lead here – in other words, all the tips in the list are really focused on this objective. Prioritizing communication and transparency is the foundation of creating a true partnership. Whether you use face-to-face meetings, regular video calls, or a sophisticated project management platform, staying in touch with your agency and keeping your communication honest and solutions-oriented will empower them to act in your best interest.Bloom Ads does its best work when clients treat us as extensions of their team. In return, we’ll treat your campaigns as though they were our own, putting our media obsession and expertise to use for your unique message. Learn more about our media buying and planning services today.