Your brief was inspirational. You’ve led from the front. And you've involved your marketing firm in your business. Following on from last weeks post about how to work with a marketing agency, part 1, check out our final few best practices and tips for getting more from your agency.
4. Positive feedback.
- Comment on concepts honestly, quickly and objectively. If it’s good, praise it. If it isn’t, say so. Try to be positive, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of being honest and direct.
- Be constructive. Give a sound reason for your view. If you can’t, avoid the comment. Be objective in your feedback, and beware of personal idiosyncrasies and prejudices.
- Don’t nit-pick or stall creative that the agency likes but you don’t. Kill the project or progress it.
- Fight the desire to fall back on the familiar. Set up an experimental budget to test the occasional piece of controversial creative.
- Encouraging experimentation stimulates a responsible sense of creative freedom.
5. Build strong relationships.
- This immeasurably increases the chances of getting superior work.
- A spirit of teamwork (sharing success as you move the brand ahead, with no reprisals for the occasional short term failure) makes for long-term success.
- Spend time to get to know the agency people informally. Go to their offices and homes; get to appreciate one another as people.
- Then, if the relationship hits a rough spot, clear and candid communication is that much easier.
6. Enjoy the ride.
- Be enthusiastic, challenging, confident, complimentary and fun to work with.
- Your attitude can convey a powerful sense of excitement and dynamism about your business—and that enthusiasm will be contagious.
- This should extend to the contribution the agency makes. Give them praise when it’s due. It’s a tonic that balances out the criticism, however well founded and constructive.
- And have some fun. Creative and marketing (even b2b marketing) is about people at the end of the day. It should have warmth and emotion; infusing some of yours into the process will help produce it.
- In this environment the agency will be hungry to produce its very best work for you.
(Thanks to Tim Lines, Brand chemistry friend and ally, for his golden touch on this week’s blog).
Have you thought about outsourcing some marketing, but not sure how to choose an agency? Check out our 7-step checklist for how to choose an inbound agency.