Before I worked in a marketing agency setting at Little Jack, I spent almost 4 years working as part of an in-house marketing team for a B2B company. Although we had a team of coordinators, designers and developers we still needed the help of an outside partner from time to time to help us where we lacked knowledge.
In that experience, viewing things from a client’s perspective, I learned a lot about what it’s like to work with an outside marketing partner, and the challenges and rewards that come with it. Here’s a rundown of what I learned to help you navigate your own experience.
Recognize When You Need Help
Marketing changes so rapidly that even just a few months from now, what you know could be woefully out of date. That was the experience my former company had when it came to SEO. For years they had worked with an outside freelancer, reading up on everything they could to keep up. Then one day Google took a huge leap forward, and all their years of SEO strategy were suddenly headed in the wrong direction. We realized it was time to stop trying to do it ourselves, and find an agency that specialized in those tactics.
This is all to say don’t be stubborn, and recognize when you’re no longer the expert in your own marketing. It’s ok to need some help.
Build a Relationship
While some marketing tactics you hire agencies for can be more hands-off, if you’ve brought on an agency to help you with your overall strategy you have to let them in. Much like friendships, your relationship with your agency is a two way street. If you never respond to requests for feedback or to discuss your goals with your partner, you won’t get the tailored strategy you’re looking for.
Give Up Some Control
If you continue to try to cling to your marketing and never allow your agency to have actual agency (had to make that pun), then you’ll end up paying a lot of money for a marketing assistant to implement the same strategy you’ve been doing. You shouldn’t try to manage your agency like an employee. Remember, the reason you hired them in the first place is because what you were doing wasn’t working. Let them do their thing, build new ideas and teach you and your team.
Hiring Someone Else Doesn’t Mean Results Any Faster
In a lot of cases marketing is a long game, and hiring an expert doesn’t change that. I’ve been on the client side where teams were frustrated that SEO strategies weren’t having an immediate return. The truth is that even the most expert marketers have to test strategies and approaches to figure out what will work. That’s the nature of marketing, so be patient.
What have you learned from working with a marketing agency? Do you have advice to share? Let us know in the comments!