I've had the pleasure of working in multiple capacities throughout my career. On the one hand, this includes roles on the brand side of marketing and dealing directly with agencies. The flip side is working within an agency and dealing directly with brand marketing teams. I've enjoyed both and believe anyone in marketing should get perspectives from both sides.
Here are a few tips on how to maximize the agency-brand relationship to ensure the highest return on investment (ROI).
1. Relationships Matter
First and foremost, remember that you're working with people. I've engaged with clients that had no respect for the individuals working on their campaigns, and I can tell you that nothing good comes from it.
There are always situations where lighting a fire is a good thing. However, the vast majority of the time you want the project manager and team to genuinely care about you and your organization.
If that's the case, creativity and passion will happen naturally and campaigns will produce a higher caliber of results. Project managers are more likely to push their team, stick their neck out, and sacrifice their time for clients they liketo collaborate with.
2. Encourage Bold Moves
Taking calculated risks is part of any investing activity. With marketing, this is no different.
Success is achieved through a combination of science and creativity. Sometimes you need to test new ideas, and some of them may not meet expected outcomes.
These "failures" are opportunities to learn and should be seen as such. Without problems, there is no growth. If you're not growing, you're dying.
Learn and grow from campaigns and efforts that didn't turn out as expected. I like the phrase, "test often and fail fast." With that said, don't mistake evolution for incompetence. There's no excuse for consistent failure or testing something with no research or foundation.
If you're on the brand side, remember you hired the agency for a reason: take the time to trust its judgment. If you're an agency working with a brand, don't assume you know everything.
The client's experience, connections, and direction are critical to your success. View your partnership as a mutual endeavor that increases the prosperity of a given company. Collaboration and openness are critical to achieving this.
4. Bring the Energy
Nothing is worse than attending a meeting with someone that sucks the energy from the room. You've all been there and know what I'm talking about.
Positivity breeds positive results.This increases opportunities for success. Bring excitement to the table, and you'll be amazed at how different the meeting outcomes will be.
Generating positive returns and getting things done should be motivation for both parties. Ensuring this happens involves effort from both sides. Sometimes a little relationship maintenance is needed to take things to the next level.