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Going for the Gold: Building a Winning Relationship with Your Marketing Agency

Baby, it’s cold outside, and that means one thing for 2018 – the Winter Olympics are almost here. All eyes will be on PyeongChang as the world’s elite athletes compete for the gold. And we are more than ready to watch in awe as these competitors show us what competition, training, teamwork, and determination look like on the world stage.

Just like these Olympic athletes, you’re competing every day. Competing for mindshare, customers, channel relationships, and IT dollars. While others in the industry continue to make significant investments in marketing, it may seem like your limited resources, be it budget or personnel, just won’t allow you to get into the rink with the “big guys.”

I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

Savvy VARs, MSPs, and service providers are looking to marketing agencies to fill the gaps in both strategic and tactical marketing initiatives. Whether you’re looking to outsource all of your marketing initiatives to an agency, or need to supplement your existing in-house marketing team, there are a few things to keep in mind when building your Gold Medal Marketing team.

Set Expectations – Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was your website, sales, funnel, or brand messaging. Similarly, blog content and social posts aren’t going to impact your bottom line immediately, but like other marketing strategies, they will build a foundation for driving results over time. As you begin working with an agency, it’s essential that you and your agency partner set clear expectations not only for anticipated results but also the process, deliverables, and cadence of the project. It’s easy to get frustrated when expectations are unrealistic, so be sure to define those from the very beginning. It will save you and your agency team a lot of headaches down the road.

Be Transparent – You Don’t Need to Impress Them

I can’t tell you how many times we get started on a project, only to realize that things may not be what they seem. For example, if you’re looking to launch prospecting email campaigns, don’t wait until the campaign is fully developed and designed to tell the agency that you don’t have a good list. That information is critical to the success of the project and holding back that information on causes delays down the road. That said, transparency is a two-way street. We often hear clients tell us that they fired an agency because things weren’t always what they’d seemed. The reality is – this is a business relationship – keyword here is RELATIONSHIP! Honesty and transparency will only help that relationship grow and increase the likelihood of successful project along the way.

Be Responsive – Time Equals Money and Silence is Costly

We get it. You’re busy. Otherwise, you would have all the time in the world to devote to marketing tactics. Instead, you spent good money to bring a team of experts to the table to do the work for you. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not needed in the process. A marketing agency can only be productive with a client that is timely with responding. Whether being tasked with reviewing and approving a blog post or attending a design presentation meeting for your new website, be sure to make time available for your agency. If it makes sense, set a standing call to make sure that projects are on track and answer any questions that may have about designs and deliverables. Trust me – the more you make yourself available, the more value you will get out of the relationship.

Conclusion

Most of us will never know what it feels like to take to the podium and receive a gold medal alongside our fellow skiers. But achieving greatness within our business is a real accomplishment. The fact is, marketing is a worthy investment that yields big dividends when executed like a superstar. If you’re working with an agency partner, like Carve Digital, the tips in the article will help ensure that the relationship is gold-medal worthy.