How do you keep the flame alive beyond the agency-client honeymoon period?

 
 

Keeping the love alive with your agency

Faster than we could inhale the last chocolate in the box, Valentine’s Day has been and gone. But has the love gone with it?

As many businesses head to the end of their financial year, one of the things on the list to evaluate can be their agency partnership. One of the biggest pitfalls of a long-term client-agency relationship is that it can go stale – no exciting new campaigns, no push. Just standard housekeeping and reporting, month in, month out.

If neither of you is fully invested in the relationship, the chances are those goals you set out in the first place will fall by the wayside. So how do you keep the flame alive beyond the agency-client ‘honeymoon period’?
 

It’s all about communication

Lack of communication is one of the biggest killers of romantic relationships – and the same applies in a professional setting. Make time to communicate with each other, whether that’s a scheduled Zoom call or regular project updates.
 
Honesty is the best policy here, so tell your agency the truth: the good, the bad and the ugly. If a product isn’t selling so well, tell them. If you’re heading into a round of redundancies, share that information. Having the full picture will help your agency give you the best advice. 
 
And if – heaven forbid - you’re not happy with the service you’re getting from your agency, say it out loud. It’s far better to confront the issue head-on than to let it fester, thereby damaging the relationship. Even the little things can become big things if you don’t talk about them. So if you prefer emails to phone calls, say so. Set your boundaries from the first meeting and be transparent about the monitoring, reporting and communication you prefer.
 

What’s the bigger picture?

Did you know that sharing your dreams features on the list of ‘36 questions to make you fall in love’? While this isn’t a marriage proposal, you should be willing to share the bigger picture with your agency. Rather than limiting yourself to one campaign right here, right now, think about your long-term plans.
If your agency has an idea of your aspirations, they can come up with strategic plans to push you in the right direction.
 

Respect each other’s individual strengths

All good relationships are built on trust. Your agency should respect the fact that you are the expert in your industry, and know better than anybody else about your business, product or service. On the flipside, remember that you have hired your agency for a reason – they are the PR and digital marketing experts, so trust them with ideas when they have your best interests at heart.
 

Change it up

One of the biggest signs that you’re ‘stuck in a rut’ is doing things simply because you feel you should be – for example, the same tired social media campaigns that get no engagement. Have regular progress sessions with your agency; don’t just take on a PR or digital marketing team and wash your hands of it. 

Things change regularly, so what may have worked in the beginning could soon be irrelevant as your business evolves. Spend time with your agency and keep them up to date on the latest developments in your business, and the industry in general. The more they know, the better and more relevant advice you will get.

Half the battle with marketing is testing and measuring your efforts, so make sure your agency is on-hand to evaluate with you. Stay in touch with your account team and agree on the one communication stream you can all use. There’s no point adding tasks to a project management tool if your agency can’t see it.
 

Be human!

This one is so often overlooked in professional communications. Your suppliers are only human, and will appreciate a friendly phone call as much as you would. We often think we only need to keep our staff and customers happy, but suppliers are a key stakeholder, too.
 
Treat each other well and you’ll both benefit – more energy behind campaigns, relevant support, better results…what’s not to love?
 
If you’d love to work with an agency that puts client relationships first and keeps the spark alive, give us a call
 
 
    
 
The Partners Group

Comments

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment