Whether your organization has previous experience working with agencies, or if it’s your very first time, finding a good marketing partner can be a complicated process. There are a wide variety of factors to consider when trying to find the right fit for your business. From budget, to number of employees, to average client growth year-over-year, your company is unique, and a good marketing agency should be able to tailor to your organization’s specific needs.
Over the years, All Around Creative has established itself as a trusted partner to a number of different businesses across a myriad of industries. We created a framework to help you ensure growth and productivity when working with an agency. Here are 5 signs of what we believe makes a good marketing partner.
1. Known Limitations
Agencies that know their true limitations are a rare breed. Depending on their size, experience, and breadth of talent, they can only do so much with so many clients. Find a team that is able to show you the full scale of their capabilities, how far and fast they can move along a project, and one that truly understands the scope of work they’re able to handle. Once you get a good grasp on their approach, with insight on how they operate, that’s the first sign you are in the right place for finding a marketing partner.
2. Strong Portfolio
Once you learn what an agency is capable of, you will want to find out how capable they are at what they do. Marketing partners with strong portfolios give you a tangible sense of the work they have done and how they have grown over the years. Research their previous and existing clients, ask for samples of their work, and explore a few of their recent projects that might be of interest to your business. At times, evaluating the work itself can speak higher volumes than a fancy presentation or strong promises.
3. Consistent Communication
It is crucial to learn and understand early on how transparent a marketing partner can be, and how well they can communicate with you. Do they respond to emails in a timely manner? Do they speak open and honestly during calls? Can you reach them at any time during business hours? These are the questions you will want to ask yourself when looking for that perfect fit. Project details change, deadlines get pushed, and sometimes you just need to be able to hop on a quick call to brainstorm or flesh something out. A partner that does not communicate well can cause friction in the relationship, no matter how exceptional their work is.
The marketing world is all about being flexible. Keeping the overall goal front and center is the driving force of the work, but it is essential to acknowledge that there will be unknown obstacles on the road to completing any project. Being prepared and knowing how to be agile is the key to overcoming curveballs in a partnership. To identify flexibility in a partner, observe practices such as contingency plans, if they are proactive vs. reactive, and how they approach projects with you. A good marketing partner discusses what could go wrong, how they will handle an unexpected situation, and provides details on how they have successfully dealt with adversity in the past.
Being able to measure the value of a partnership is a key factor in assessing future success. A few metrics to consider in your evaluation are financial KPIs that can be used to determine the monetary value of a partnership such as leads generated, active deals, or completed sales. Strategic KPIs can be a little less discernible – from brand awareness and user engagement, to customer retention and satisfaction – but are still extremely important to consider. At the start, be sure to keep measurable data simplistic and easily understandable for your team, then build on them as the partnership grows.
While every partnership is unique, they should all include the qualities above to some extent to ensure mutual success. When both parties know their limitations, understand their breadth of work, are communicative and flexible with one another, and can provide measurable results along the way, those are the signs of a budding partnership.
At All Around Creative, we’re more than just an agency, we’re your partner in growth. We work day in and day out for all of our clients, meeting their needs in a timely manner while keeping communication open and fluent. If you would like to learn more about what to look for in a marketing agency, visit our site today.