more value from marketing agency

5 Ways to Get More Value from Your Marketing Agency

Whether you’re about to start working with a marketing agency for the first time or you have a partner you’ve worked with for years, clients want to know that they’re getting the greatest value for their investment. After years of working with a variety of clients, we’ve learned that there are things you can do to make it easier for your agency to stay focused on what’s most important – delivering impactful creative that generates results and keeping your projects moving smoothly forward on time and within budget. Here’s how:

1.  Plan! This may seem obvious, but we’re often amazed by how many clients seem eager to rush through this step. Take time to work through a detailed creative brief, including objectives, audience insights, key messages, content and graphics that must be included, brand guidelines and any issues to avoid. Define the schedule and set progress milestones, including buffers so you can accommodate the unexpected. Define roles and responsibilities so that both you and your agency know what to expect from each other. In other words, make time up front to answer the question, “What do you want to achieve?” Spend time on this at the beginning and you won’t waste time later.

2.  Be honest and up-front about your budget. Once, I asked a client how much he was willing to allocate for an upcoming project and his answer was, “I won’t tell you.” Confused, I asked why and he said, “If I tell you how much money is in my budget, you’re going to spend it!” I smiled and told him that yes, this was true – we would do the very best work possible for whatever dollar amount he gave us. If you’re trying to save money, say so – a smart agency will find creative ways to help you do it, or advise you when your goals outpace your budget. At the same time, remember that your creative partner will also help you identify and validate opportunities for a larger expenditure to deliver a much greater return on investment.

3.  Communicate. Many businesses look to their agencies to spare them from the minutiae of minute-by-minute project details. At the same time, expect your agency to keep you informed about key milestones and project development. You should always feel comfortable picking up the phone to ask how a project is going. And you should expect to participate in regular calls and status reports to make sure that everyone is meeting your expectations, staying within budget and using resources as effectively as possible.

4.   Let the agency make your job easier. Say your agency is developing a new website, but ultimately, you’re going to be responsible for updates and new content. Or the agency is creating an initial sales presentation that your biz dev team will customize in key places. Your agency should work these expectations into their deliverables. Designs should include templates that make customization easy – but keep standard graphic elements secure. And this kind of “make the client’s job easier” thinking goes beyond materials that your internal team will edit. For example, you are launching a video series, with new segments added over time. The agency can create modules that make it easier to edit in new components without having to reinvent common graphics every time. This saves both time and money.

5.  Stay the course AND let your agency help you adapt. This actually is not conflicting advice. Plans exist to ensure that everyone knows what should happen, who should do it and when it will be done. Plans keep creative, budgetary and timing expectations aligned with reality. And, in a perfect world (i.e. never), all plans would be chiseled in stone.

In our real world, a new stakeholder may come on board after work has begun on a project. The date of a major meeting moves up a week. A new industry regulation is announced. A product is recalled. Changes do happen – and you stand a better chance of thriving amidst change when you keep your agency informed and in the loop. As soon as new circumstances arise, be honest about what’s driving them and their implications.

These five steps will certainly help you and your agency keep projects on time, on message, on strategy, and on budget. Equally important, they will help you strengthen your partnership with a team that can help you advance and achieve your goals and your organization’s broader objectives, as well.

Lenbrook website and email

Advanced Website Enhances Senior Community Sales

Lenbrook Atlanta is the city’s only nationally accredited Continuing Care Retirement Community and it needed a website that would reflect every reason why. Relish Marketing created and developed an easy-to-navigate responsive website designed with the needs of seniors and their families in mind. Based on in-depth research with prospective residents and their advisors, the new site featured the ability to view detailed blueprints of each of Lenbrook’s 24 available floor plans. The site highlights programming created for and by residents. And, it eases the process of planning for the future for both seniors and their families. Relish is currently working with Lenbrook to develop a robust digital experiences strategy that includes CRM, social media and advertising as well as their governance and implementation policies.