How to Get More from Your Integrated Marketing Agency
Integrated marketing is one of the latest developments in the marketing world. The idea is simple: all of your marketing channels and campaigns should be working together to create a coherent, universal message, no matter where your customers encounter it.
The execution is a little more complicated and requires a lot of expertise and careful planning. Luckily, it’s gotten a lot easier to run an integrated marketing campaign in recent years, thanks to the explosion of marketing technology that can help you keep track of all the moving pieces in real time.
If you’re not running an integrated marketing strategy, you probably should be, and that means hiring a full-service integrated marketing agency that knows their way around the myriad techniques and channels you’ll be using. But to make sure you’re getting the best possible results from your marketing agency, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Lay Out Goals
A lot of companies don’t really know what they want out of a marketing agency besides generic ideas of “engagement” and “more sales.” Those are perfectly fine goals, but in order to build a good marketing strategy, you’re going to need a little more detail.
Specific goals are also what your agency needs in order to do their job. That’s the benefit of expertise — you come to them with what you need to change, like increased lead quality or more website visitors, and they’ll translate those goals into actionable campaigns. Without clear goals, your agency won’t know where to start.
The same goes for metrics. According to the CMO Survey, almost 85 percent of companies are prioritizing “brand awareness and brand building,” but how are they quantifying that goal? With direct traffic to the site? With blog shares? With social engagement? There are a lot of metrics you can use to measure the same statistics, so make sure you and your agency are in agreement as to which metrics really matter.
Establish Communication Systems Early
The next thing to establish before a marketing campaign truly gets underway is your communications systems. The good and the bad news about the technology-saturated world we live in is that there are a ton of options for communicating … but you have to pick one. Some companies are fully immersed in the Microsoft ecosystem, while others use Google. Some use the collaboration tools of Dropbox, some use Asana and Slack.
Besides the methodology, you need to establish how and when you’ll talk to your agency. Are you communicating with one account manager or offering feedback to the content creators directly? How often are you checking in? How often should you be getting reports? How many rounds of feedback are you allowed to give? How long between idea and execution should a given piece of content take? Come up with detailed answers to these questions and others about your working relationship with your agency to avoid confusion down the road.
Combine Inside and Outside Viewpoints
“The best thing about working with an agency is that you get to combine your perspectives — you know your industry and your market, but your agency knows marketing strategies, channels, and trends. If you mix the two together, you can be unstoppable.“
This comes down to communication again. The more you talk to one another, the more you’ll find areas of overlap and brilliant ideas that speak to your customers. You might have a great idea for a Twitter campaign, but your agency tells you that your users don’t use Twitter, so they revise it for Facebook instead. Your agency might want to talk about a specific feature of your product, but you know that it’s not a popular feature, so you steer them in a different direction.
This is one of the most important aspects of any working relationship between a company and a marketing agency. You can’t be looking over their shoulder all the time. You can’t sign off on every single social post, especially if they’re interacting with your customers in real-time. And at the same time, your marketing agency isn’t going to be privy to the inside workings of your company.
You’re just going to have to trust each other. You’ll need to be able to take a back seat, believing that your agency is staffed by experienced marketing professionals who know what they’re doing and how to do it. You’ll be able to keep tabs on them through the communication channels you set up at the beginning, but you can’t micromanage each other! Working relationships don’t work that way.
Talk to Madison Taylor Marketing
If you’re looking for an integrated marketing agency with the skills, expertise, and experience to turn your company’s branding and marketing around, look no further. At Madison Taylor Marketing, we have the versatility and talent to run a comprehensive campaign for any company, large or small. If you’re ready to start taking your marketing seriously, get in touch!