Well, you did it! You committed to partner with a marketing agency. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time working with an agency or if you just switched from one agency to another, you deserve to be congratulated. After all, this is a big step and a significant commitment. Sure, some people will tell you that it’s no big deal, but you know better. If you’re someone who has been burned by an agency in the past then deciding to try again takes a lot of courage, so be proud. However, for the partnership to be a success, you are going to need to have a certain amount of trust in the marketing process.
Too often we hear about bad relationships between small businesses and marketing agencies. Of course, sometimes this is because the agency is not a good fit for that particular company. However, there are also times when the company just was never able to let go and trust in the marketing process.
Before we can figure out why some agency partnerships don’t work out, we need to look at what it means to partner with an agency. So, what does it mean? When you partner with a marketing agency, you are announcing a few things to the world. First, you recognize that your business would benefit from increased marketing that you cannot fully support in-house. Secondly, you understand that a marketing agency will have the tools and knowledge needed to help you achieve your goals. Finally, you have a reached a point where your revenue stream can support the cost of marketing services.
Everyone understands that working with an agency is not cheap, but when it works out in all the ways you hoped it would, it’s worth every dime. So, when you work with an agency, you are committing to trusting someone else whom you are paying to help your business. This means that there are going to be times when the agency does things that you might not think to do, or you might not want to do. In these times it can be important to remind yourself why you decided to hire them and be prepared to place trust in things that may seem uncomfortable.
Are we saying that you need to let someone represent your company publicly without you having any say? Absolutely not! Just because you need to trust the agency doesn’t mean that you need to agree to everything they want to do. I once worked for an agency that I will not name, that insisted that they ALWAYS knew what was best and that any clients that didn’t like what they were doing for them were wrong. This was a toxic way to do business and one of the reasons that I am grateful that I’m no longer working there. Sure, there are going to be many times when an agency will want to do something that you might feel unsure about. If the agency is worth anything, a majority of those times you will need to trust them; but that does not mean every time. Do not be bullied or forced into doing something that you perceive to be harmful but do be open to a discussion about it.
An agency might do the wrong thing because they simply don’t know you yet. Yes, you’ve gone through an onboarding process and yes they have a good feel for what you do, but that doesn’t mean they KNOW you how they would like to. A lot of the disagreements agencies and businesses have are solved over time by the simple process of working together. We encourage you to embrace the process of forming a real working relationship. It’s almost always worth the time it takes.
Let me leave you with some words of wisdom. Because even the best marketing campaign, even if done perfectly, can take a little time to pay off we encourage you to remain patient. Beware of marketing agencies that try to produce rapid results and flashy numbers by burning cash to start a campaign. They may be using their profits to purchase additional ads to enhance their results but this practice won’t last and the numbers you fell in love with will evaporate. These types of marketing tricks are never sustainable and can usually lead to less than desired results in the long run. It’s entirely acceptable to ask an agency for a realistic timeline.
Here is another great read you may also be interested in: How to be an Awesome Inbound Marketing Agency Client
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