You might think that a corporate marketing team and a marketing agency are an either/or proposition. In reality, partnering with a marketing agency can be just what your marketing team needs—under the right circumstances.
With B2B buyers waiting longer than ever to engage with sales experts, a marketer’s work is more vital than ever. Marketing teams have a unique opportunity to drive sales through the creation of—
Content that targets ideal customers and personalizes the experience for key accounts
Customer-centered websites that lead visitors to a purchase decision
Nurture campaigns that move prospects up the buying funnel
Interactive and engaging audio/visual content like podcasts and videos
Unfortunately, many marketing departments run up against a shortage of time or skills, preventing them from achieving a real impact on sales. In such cases, an agency partner can be an ideal solution.
The Agency’s Role
Whether during a product launch campaign, the development of a new market, or the expansion of your internal team, a marketing agency can offer breathing room and help you bridge both skill gaps and time crunches.
An agency can complete an entire project or campaign or contribute specific skills across all your efforts.
Many agencies also have connections with related service providers, such as PR professionals, SEO experts, and advertising or branding firms. If you need support in any of these realms, a great marketing partner should be able to suggest reliable options.
Even better, your agency will be able to coordinate such services to relieve some of the administrative burden related to billing and coordination, providing everything you need under one umbrella and ensuring a smooth integration with your internal players.
You should expect an agency to begin by clearly delineating the services it can provide and how those services will be sourced.
Obviously, expense is a consideration when choosing an agency, but be wary of using a cut-rate shop. Companies that offer significantly inexpensive services could be outsourcing much of their work to less-experienced or less-qualified staff, underestimating the time needed to provide quality work, or cutting corners on tasks such as coding (which can cause major issues in the future).
The Marketing Director’s Role
When working with an agency, marketing directors can get optimal results by prioritizing clear and consistent communication.
Make sure that all parties—both internal and agency team members—know the stakeholders and decision-makers for each project.
Schedule regular communication, such as weekly coordination meetings or status updates.
Provide style guides, file-naming conventions, and other specific company and brand information that you would typically provide internal team members.
Alert agency staff to important personnel matters, such as planned absences or separations, which could affect deadlines or lines of communication.
Be clear about the level of involvement you want. An agency can provide fresh insight and a level of honesty that internal employees might not be in a position to offer. Watch out for marketing agencies that are unwilling or unable to let you know when a project isn’t likely to provide adequate ROI.
Understand that even the best agency can’t compensate for certain systemic issues, such as executive bottlenecks or departmental infighting.
The Best of Both Worlds
When you approach an agency as a trusted partner—and choose an agency that is willing and able to adopt and prioritize your vision as it would its own—you can significantly extend your team’s capabilities. Whether providing short-term coverage or functioning as a permanent resource, a successful agency relationship is worth more than the sum of its parts.
Looking for a Better Partnership?
Agencies today are perfectly positioned to help your internal team reach bigger goals than you might have thought possible. Let’s talk about what a personalized partnership would like for you. Contact us.