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How to Form Agency Partnerships in Marketing Industry

By Rachel on February 24, 2022 0 Comments

Agency partnerships can be advantageous in the marketing industry, but they require careful attention to detail and planning to ensure their success. When establishing an agency partnership, it’s important to build a strong foundation of trust and set goals together, so both parties know what they’re getting out of the partnership and how they’ll measure its success. Together we will explore how to form agency partnerships in the marketing industry. 

Tips to Form Agency Partnership in the Marketing Industry

When choosing to form a partnership with an agency for your marketing strategy, you want to choose a business that fits well with your brand. The following tips may prove beneficial as you vet various marketing partners.

1. Find the Right Fit

Finding an agency partnership can be tricky; you want it to be mutually beneficial like any relationship. While you may feel that your brand or product is perfect for a particular agency, even if they’re not actively searching for a partner at that time, it’s important not to push them into something they might regret.

Similarly, agencies aren’t likely to work with brands that don’t share their values. Nurture these relationships over time and ensure that everyone involved in those partnerships feels like they’re operating at peak performance. If things aren’t working out, remember that you’re under no obligation to continue working together.

2. Insist on Transparency

Transparency fosters better agency relationships, and if you don’t have a true partnership, you’re just wasting time. Tell your partners exactly what your company does and be as straightforward as possible about what you expect from them. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them for more information, they may ask you questions too. After all, isn’t working together what a successful agency partnership is all about?

Agency marketing programs can require specialized services, so make sure you know exactly how your agency will meet those needs before signing an agreement. Instead of just handing off promotional tasks and having little control over their results, insist on transparency throughout every aspect of their efforts. Give yourself access to detailed financial data, including invoices and expense reports, while also requiring ongoing consultation with your team to check in with them along the way.

Most importantly, be honest about what works and what doesn’t. If a project doesn’t generate positive results, then don’t hesitate to pull it or scale it back if necessary. Ultimately, you are the business spending money, so you can pull the plug if it is not working for you. 

3. Define the Expected Outcomes and Values

One of the best strategies you can take is to ask potential agencies what they’re willing to provide you as an expected outcome. Any agency that fails to specify, at least, a few values they hope to bring into your marketing program won’t be able to deliver on their end of a value-based partnership. Additionally, make sure they define their expected outcomes. These should align with yours, and if there’re any major discrepancies, you need to evaluate whether or not moving forward with them is right for your organization.


NoGood makes their expectations known.

Once both sides have agreed upon these expectations and future goals, a truly effective marketing partnership has been formed between all stakeholders involved.

4. Define Roles and Responsibilities

When two or more companies collaborate on a marketing project, each should be clear about its roles and responsibilities. For example, if a website design agency partners with an email marketing agency, it’s important for both parties to know how much time they’ll spend working together, what work they’re responsible for producing, and when it’ll be delivered.

The worst thing that can happen is that agencies blame one another when something goes wrong, like a deadline not being met because of inaction or lack of preparation by another party. To avoid such confusion, make sure you set clear expectations at the beginning of your partnership so there’re no misunderstandings down the road. This’ll help ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

Both parties need to agree on who has decision-making power before moving forward on any aspect of the project and then follow through on decisions until all appropriate stakeholders have given final approval. If it’s unclear who makes which decisions about content and messaging along the way, things could get out of control quickly, or worse, both parties could miss business opportunities entirely.

6. Be Aware of Cultural/Social Differences

When working with other agencies, you must be aware of cultural differences. Being aware, you can anticipate how your partner agency might approach a given project. This is especially important when it comes to creative work. For example, if one partner is more laid-back about timelines than another, delays and errors could result from not knowing those cultural differences. So take the time upfront to understand each other’s unique culture. That’ll make your life easier down the road.

To do so, try meeting for lunch or coffee to discuss your recent successes, failures, and any ongoing projects in which both of you’re involved. A face-to-face conversation allows each team member to share their opinions openly without feeling judged. After all, people always act differently when they know others are observing them.

7. Create a Budget

Having a budget is an essential part of forming agency partnerships. Before you can formulate a business plan and work with potential agencies, you need to have a basic idea of your business’s willingness to spend. It’s important that you know your advertising budget and where all your funds are going. The more clearly defined your budget is, the easier it’ll be to estimate costs for different services.

It also allows you to make smarter decisions about how much money should go toward which service. Creating an ad campaign that would cost over $10,000 doesn’t seem like a wise investment if you only planned on spending $2,000 on marketing. However, creating such a complex campaign could take valuable time away from developing simple social media ads, such as Facebook or Google AdWords, which would have resulted in far greater returns at far less expense. The marketing industry has never been simpler when accessing many online resources.

The best place to view marketing practices is with your competition; learn what they’re doing right and wrong and begin applying those lessons to your business model:

  • Is it worth investing money into social media?
  • Which platforms should you focus on first?
  • How will these platforms benefit your business?
  • What will they do for sales figures?

Answering these questions can be intimidating, but luckily, some professionals understand and utilize different marketing services.

8. Measure and Evaluate

One great way to form an effective marketing partnership is through metrics or evaluation. Both agency and brand should evaluate each others’ performance regularly. Both parties can achieve a meaningful partnership when they know what they’re accountable for. This isn’t just about numbers and what needs to be done; it’s also how each party feels about their contribution and how they feel that contribution fits their overarching goals. Evaluating as you go also allows you to spot areas where adjustments need to be made.

For example, suppose one partner realizes that more of its resources focus on a particular metric than initially planned. In that case, there might be room to add additional compensation. If your partner believes it’ll take longer than expected to execute against certain deliverables, then there might be some wiggle room with deadlines.

Either way, making these decisions earlier rather than later is important. With time comes momentum; eventually, you’ll have invested so much time and energy into working together that pulling back is difficult, especially when you’re both getting something out of it. Evaluating each partner’s success also impacts how each views future projects. Even partners need accountability and transparency to form healthy partnerships over long periods.

9. Have an Exit Plan

When you first start working with an agency, it can be helpful to discuss your exit strategy. What’ll happen if things don’t work out? How do you want to end your relationship? This is especially important if you’re working with a local business or startup.

Make sure you have a solid understanding of what you’re getting into before making any decisions so that there are no surprises down the road. If any issues arise, at least both parties know how to handle them professionally and peacefully. Don’t forget that many of these partnerships stem from long-term relationships built on trust; it is important to treat those relationships with care even when you part ways.

Final Thoughts

Effective marketing partnerships are a great way for agencies and clients to grow together. They’re formed when each party understands its role and comes prepared with a desire to achieve mutual success. When you work with a marketing agency, getting carried away with your own ideas and projects is easy. Still, you must remember that teamwork is as important as any individual contribution. The best outcomes come from collaborative efforts.

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