Think quick! Should your company develop an in-house marketing team, or outsource your marketing efforts to an agency? Answer: Yes.
While your in-house team knows your brand like the back of their hand, they are at high risk for burnout and fatigue. Incorporating an agency to work as an ally for your brand will provide your company the opportunity to take a fresh eyes approach to your business objective and its corresponding deliverables. Not only that but integrating an agency with your in-house marketing team can prove advantageous to your business’ bottom dollar, as it serves to round out your company’s skill set while also proving to be an extremely cost-effective solution.
Find the extension of your tribe
At first glance, vetting agencies might seem unnecessary. Aren’t they all created alike? Well, the short answer is, no. Acquiring an agency to work in tandem with your team in achieving your business objectives deserves the same time and attention as hiring a new employee. It’s vital to vet the agency with questions you deserve to have answered before stepping forward with the relationship.
- What are the pricing and scheduling terms of the agency?
- Does the agency know your buyer personas? Do they understand your niche? Can they provide you insight into their personalized thought leadership?
- Does the agency have skill sets (copywriters, designers, media teams, strategists) that, when consolidated with your in-house efforts, make for a more robust team?
- How many clients stay with this agency? Asking for referrals is a great way to receive unbiased feedback on the lifecycle of a project.
- Do you believe the agency is being transparent and honest with their answers? Would they be a good culture fit if you were to hire them for your in-house team?
Be clear and detailed
Once you’ve discovered the perfect pairing for your company, you can begin the process of outlining clear expectations of the stakeholders as well as metrics within the project. What action steps are needed from your in-house team and within what frequency? Does the agency need your company to review copy, supply media, or any other vital information to keep the needle progressing forward? It’s essential to understand the scope of the deliverables requested (how much behind-the-scenes power is necessary to make everything come together) as well as to communicate your company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Having these conversations during the initial stages of establishing your working relationship is sure to free up costly communication discrepancies down the line.
Execute the strategy
After expectations have been established, it’s now within the scope of your company’s responsibility to stay involved in the process and request updates but not to encroach on the agency’s territory. This is not to say an unscheduled check-in will nullify any goodwill between yourself and the agency, but your company has already done its due diligence in vetting the agency - trust their process and remember just how much you dislike being micromanaged yourself.
Maintain a positive relationship
The hay is in the barn, and the first project is complete. Unless you never intend to utilize the helping hands of an agency again, it’s a best practice to maintain the goodwill you’ve already built up. While this step is perhaps the simplest to overlook, it provides exceptional emotional equity which only compounds as the relationship matures.
Success can be found when internal marketing efforts are combined with the working hands' of an outside agency.