By: Daniel MacDonald
An agency needs guidance. You, the client, could be dealing with the smartest, most well-funded, well-connected agency in the industry; but if you don’t communicate your expectations and provide suggestions and guidance, you won’t get the results you desire.
Consider the alternative; if you are a larger client with many distinct deliverables, it can be difficult for an agency to assume priorities. If a client wants to ensure that agency hours are being allocated to critical issues and areas, and not to back-end redundancies or administration, a client needs to ensure they delegate, direct, and discuss.
Delegate – While it’s up to an agency to determine how many cooks they have in their kitchen, it is up to the client to determine the dishes they cook. Ensure that you are delegating the appropriate responsibilities to your marketing agency. If certain deliverables take precedent, delegate those to your agency first. If there are smaller things that perhaps aren’t as time-sensitive, or that you could even complete in-house without delegation to an agency, be aware of that. Your agency will always be hard-working, but it is important to make sure that they are given the right information to succeed in the first place.
Direct – To go along with delegation of proper tasks, micro-management on a directorial side is important. No one is telling you to stand over your agency’s shoulder for the length of work; rather, use the beginning of your relationship with the agency to direct on a specific line of tasks. Agency reps are smart and skilled enough to know how to execute on deliverables; they just need to know which deliverables you care about most. Direct them towards a specific line of action, and they will carry through to the finish line.
Discuss – The bottom line is that building a personal relationship with your agency is the best way to ensure maximum value return. If you are available and eager to discuss matters and to ask and answer questions, you will find that your agency is going to execute on your deliverables quicker, and with more zest.
These three D’s may be arbitrary (or thesaurus-aided) adjectives to describe larger processes, but they represent the investment necessary for a company to get the most out of their agency. Engagement and communication are the key to effective agency management.
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