The relationship between a business and its marketing agency is a very special and important one. As their partner, an agency often has ready access to their website, data, and digital assets. We get to hear the dreams and goals of our clients and take on the mission of helping them achieve them. This can feel very vulnerable to a business owner, and they need a partner that understands that. If you are thinking of hiring a marketing firm or have a relationship with one already, here is a checklist of what is important in that relationship and should help you find and keep the right partner.
Many people decide to hire a marketing firm to make their lives easier. They want someone that understands the everchanging world of digital marketing, search engine optimization, web development, and social media. In fact, many are so excited when they do hire a firm that they immediately throw that ball into the agency’s court like a grenade only to be rarely seen again. This is an example of a bad working relationship between a small business owner and their marketing partner. A healthy relationship is based on thorough and timely communication. At COMO Marketing, this is represented by our commitment to clear project timelines and weekly progress report emails. We never want a client to wonder what we are doing to help them or what we need to be successful that week.
The Heart of A Teacher
Your agency needs to have the heart of a teacher. At COMO Marketing, it is very important to us that our clients understand the investment they are making and the return on investment that they should be expecting and getting. We require a minimum of one hour a month to review reports and work on strategy for the next month. During these meetings, we make sure to thoroughly explain our approach and why we are using the tools that we chose.
Collaboration is mandatory for success. There’s no one size fits all approach in marketing. It’s an art form and one to be perfected in an ongoing collaboration with the client based on their strengths, ideas, assets, changing environment, and available bandwidth. The strategy presented should be a reflection of that specific client’s needs and goals and not a template made for everyone.
Reporting on progress made on the strategic plan as well as the return on investment should happen on a regular basis, ideally monthly. Reports should be easy to interpret and understand with little use of industry acronyms. Goals should be specifically stated along with progress towards goals.
I would recommend choosing a team that has a full time staff of project managers, writers, web developers, designers, and strategists. If an agency relies on freelancers to provide services for their client, quality control and consistency in brand as well as adhering to tight timelines can be an issue. At COMO Marketing, your business is assigned its own team that is fully immersed in your brand making sure nothing is missed.
Lastly, I would recommend that you pick a locally owned marketing firm. By choosing a local firm, you are choosing someone that knows your target market, knows your competitors, and knows the uniqueness of your community. As a locally owned small business ourselves that owns COMO Marketing, COMO Magazine and COMO Business Times, few organizations know Columbia as well as we do.
If this is a hire that you plan on making, let’s chat and see if we are a good fit. Schedule a meeting with me today and let’s create the perfect marketing plan for YOU.