As an agency, we're used to earning the right to retain clients with the results we drive. We expect it and welcome this challenge. If we can't help you grow, then we probably shouldn't be in business.
We also love it when our clients realize that hiring us as their agency is a little like hiring in-house marketing leadership. It's a long-term investment, especially if we're starting an inbound marketing program from scratch. You'll definitely see results over the first year, but they will pale in comparison to years two and three. That's why we found Mike Lieberman's article on the Square 2 Marketing blog from yesterday so valuable. Here's an excerpt:
"You’re going to invest the same amount of time selecting an agency as you would hiring your new head of marketing (or at least you should). The process of picking an agency should be just as comprehensive as the process you go through to hire someone.
But would you think about firing your new marketing leader in just three months or even six months? What about a year? Probably not. Assuming nothing dramatic is going on, you’re going to give them the time they need to learn your business, get their strategy set up, build the program and then optimize it to produce results.
You need to give your agency the same runway you would give a marketing hire. No one is going to come in and drive 1,000 leads in 30 days."
If you're going to give your agency time to build a successful program, what should you do to make sure the investment will be worth it? Mike Lieberman provides five recommendations that we wholeheartedly agree with.
- Define Exactly What Success Looks Like: Get super clear with your agency on where you're growing. Have a shared doc that defines success. You can only work together if you have a shared vision of where you're going.
- Set 30-Day And 90-Day Goals: Set interim goals that you can work towards as a team with your agency. By breaking the big goal into smaller pieces it will be easier to achieve.
- Agree On A Budget: You need to agree on a budget that matches your goal. By doing this you'll ensure that the right amount of resources are being invested to make success possible.
- Agree On Strategy And Stick With It: Company strategy needs to be consistent. So does your marketing strategy. If these things change constantly it will be hard to get traction with your program.
- Trust Your Selection Process And Be Patient: If you did your due diligence to select an agency, you should stick with your decision and be patient. Be confident that you made the right decision and invest fully in the relationship.
What do you think of this advice?