Finding and hiring the right agency can be a big challenge. You not only have to find one that produces the type of work you need for your specific marketing goals, but also one that can actually deliver results. And on top of it all, it’s crucial to build and maintain a strong, trustworthy partnership with your contacts throughout the engagement.

If you’re thinking about diving into the agency world, there’s no doubt that your business can reap the benefits. But starting off on the right foot and performing your due diligence upfront will help you gain the most value from working together. So, what can you do to set your agency relationship up for success from the onset?

We suggest doing the following four actions before going all in with your agency to keep you and your partnering agency both honest and satisfied.

  1. Get to know who you’re working with: Just as you’d interview a new hire, it’s important to find out who will be on your agency team and what makes them up – as a team and as individuals. Dive deeper into what makes them up personally and professionally to ensure they’re a cultural fit and your values are aligned. Referrals can also help this process along, as hearing candid feedback from people you trust is extremely valuable.
  1. Set expectations upfront: Assumptions can be the downfall of any relationship. But bring them into your business-agency repertoire and you’re bound for failure – or at least an episode of “he-said, she-said.” Instead, discuss your expectations of the project, campaign, or partnership – whatever you’ll be embarking on together – from the very beginning. This will help both parties get on the same page and stay there throughout the journey.
  1. Establish agency KPIs: Sure, this goes without saying for your marketing efforts. But why not do the same for your agency relations? What are the key performance indicators on which you can gauge your partnership? Sit down with your internal team and list what these would look like, along with a timeline of when it makes sense to score their efforts alongside these KPIs. Maybe even ask your agency to do the same for you.
  1. Make time for facetime: With all the technology options we have available today, face-to-face meetings can be a complete afterthought. Day-to-day and weekly tasks can, of course, be discussed via phone or video, but there’s no substitute for an in-person interaction. Depending on locations and logistics, your agency contact or team should make it a point to have monthly or quarterly meetings to keep your plans in clear view – and to keep building your relationship as well.

Remember: A relationship works both ways

Whenever you bring outside vendors, partners, or agencies into the folds of your business, you are taking a risk. But the risk can be worth the reward if properly planned – and that starts with asking these types of questions. And while we talk a lot about keeping your agency honest, it’s just as important to ensure that you – as a client – are doing all you can to maintain the partnership’s integrity.

Interested in learning more about how you could benefit from working together with a digital marketing agency? Get in touch.