We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications.
Once you have decided on the right mix of in-house staff and digital marketing agency services, you need to set yourself up for a successful relationship with your agency of choice.
It begins with trust
The fundamental ingredient of a successful relationship with an agency is to trust them to do what you have hired them for. You can build the relationship slowly, perhaps starting off by working on a single project rather than diving into a 12-month contract. A small project will give you and the agency a chance to understand each other, and enable you to get a feel for what the agency does, and how. You can use the project as a trial period to understand one another’s approach to marketing strategies and goals, as well as personal and working styles. The results should speak for themselves, and should leave you feeling comfortable to progress with the partnership – or to look elsewhere if your marketing goals haven’t been achieved. It is best to give it at least three months for everyone involved to find their bearings.
Your agency is going to come in and start asking you all kinds of questions about your brand and products. It will bring ideas and processes of its own. All of this is exactly what you’ve hired the agency for, but it will challenge your business in a number of ways. It’s okay if you’re unsure or confused, if you feel uncomfortable or have a million questions. The only thing to do is to discuss everything openly with your agency. Get your questions answered upfront and answer all the agency’s questions. Like any relationship – business or personal – the keys are honesty, openness and a certain level of maturity.