If you’ve ever been involved in hiring an agency, we guarantee you’ll have heard a variation of the phrase "we’ll work hand in hand with your internal team."
I don’t think it’s unfair to say that clients often feel let down in this department as the months go by, with agencies losing sight of how important communication is.
Which led to us asking the question: How often should you hear from your agency?
Although it might seem like common sense, there isn’t a straightforward answer.
The commercial reality is that budget dictates how much face-to-face contact you’ll have with your agency. In an ideal world, every client would have regular face-to-face contact with their account team. However, sometimes it’s simply not viable to spend half a day (or more - if multiple people are involved!) in a meeting.
By reducing the amount of time your agency spends in meetings, you’re increasing the amount of time the team can work on your marketing, getting you better results in the process.
The problem comes when contact reduces to the point where it’s almost non-existent.
Let me walk you through a process we’ve heard time and time again (from both clients and friends).
- Agency pitches for work
- Agency wins work
- A flurry of strategic meetings take place
- You get your first ‘monthly’ report
- Over the following months, contact, activity and enthusiasm gradually dwindle, leaving you questioning “what happened?”
Communication, alongside the work you’re employing your agency to do, should be seen as a key deliverable.
At the very least, there are three basic things to expect from your agency:
- Your emails should be answered within one working day
a. This is a common courtesy, and although it may seem insignificant compared to a detailed report, regular contact via email will help keep you in the loop of what’s being done, and help you manage the expectations of superiors when you’re asked questions.
- Your account manager should always be available on the phone
a. You should be able to phone your agency and be able to speak to someone who is working on your account or has an understanding of what is being delivered. However, communication is a two way street - in our opinion you should receive a phone call from your agency just as often as you ring them.
- You should receive a clear activity / results report every quarter
a. An explanation of what work has been done and what will be completed in the following quarter to meet objectives.
b. An ‘executive summary’ that gives you an overview of the report and presents you with the key information and takeaways from the data.
c. Plus, the critical element - the results and analysis of work to date, particularly how this can be learned from and applied to future activity.
So we have a question for you. How well does your agency communicate?
We sincerely hope that your answer is a positive one. However if it isn’t, it’s probably an apt time to question why that might be.
Here at Applied, we’re in the unique position to be able to say that most of our work comes from existing clients who have seen positive results from our efforts, and referrals from satisfied customers. That’s a direct result of our most prevalent mantra: "Always deliver more than expected."
Rather than taking our word for it - click here to see our World of Wool case study. We’ve marketed WoW for 10 years, providing new websites and regular marketing that has resulted in increased sales, traffic, engagement plus a Northern eCommerce Award nomination!
In the meantime, if you would like a second pair of eyes to look at your marketing, let us know, we’d love to hear from you.