Once you’ve decided to work with an advertising agency, you might wonder what to expect. What would a successful partnership look like? After over 35 years of working with all types of businesses, allow us to break it down for you. When partnering with an agency, you should not only expect but settle for no less than the following:
An ad agency should act as an extension of your team
While there is certainly a learning curve at the beginning of any agency-client partnership, after a reasonable amount of time, the agency should feel like an extension of your own team, working independently on your behalf to meet your marketing goals and objectives. Ultimately, an agency should care about your business, and treat it like it’s their own.
An ad agency should be responsive
If you send an email to your marketing partner, you should expect a reasonable response time. An agency should be responsive (and intuitive) to your needs, replying in a timely manner to requests or questions.
An ad agency should be creative
A big part of an advertising agency’s job is to be creative. In fact, creativity is probably one of the main things you looked for when hiring them in the first place. Whether it’s a tagline for your next big campaign or a helpful new reporting format, your marketing team should be extremely proactive in coming to you with new and creative ideas and suggestions.
An ad agency should work within your budget
An agency should be able to work within your given budget and find creative ways to maximize your spend. However, it’s up to you to be honest and upfront about what that spend is. If you are coy about money, or don’t reveal to your agency what you want to spend, you are prohibiting them from spending your money wisely and creatively; this could be compared to building a home but refusing to tell your builder how may bedrooms and bathrooms you want. Just that you want a “nice” home and to get the “most” out of it you can. That can mean very different things to different people! Be honest about your goals, expectations and how much you are willing to spend to achieve those goals, and then let the advertising agency take it from there. An agency worth its salt will be able to design a successful program with even the most modest of budgets.
An ad agency should be a cultural fit
Don’t underestimate the importance of a cultural match with your agency of record. Oftentimes the pace at which a company works, decision-making style and overall approach to problem-solving can be identified by looking at the company’s ethos. Do they care about a portfolio, or do they care about achieving your goals? If an agency does great work but you can’t stand working with them, is it really worth it? First and foremost, find a team that you enjoy being with and genuinely like. Then, ensure that they can get the job done right.
An ad agency should get results
What’s the reason you partnered with an agency in the first place? Results! And you should see them after a reasonable amount of time. Do remember, though, that marketing takes time and strategies often need to be adjusted as time goes on and data starts flowing, for the ultimate results to be achieved. Set expectations at the beginning of your partnership so that you and your marketing team are on the same page. Similarly, the agency should be honest and up front about those results, even when they aren’t positive. You should feel comfortable asking about performance at any time, and confident that you’ll receive a truthful answer.