April 12, 2016
Making the Most of Your Agency
by Erin Johnson
Corporate marketing teams get tasked with a lot. From tradeshow planning to the creation of sales collateral, from content marketing to Web planning, there’s plenty we juggle on a daily basis. A strong team needs to stay nimble, and we also need to know when to draw on the expertise of other organizations to help make it all come together smoothly.
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Working with an agency is one way companies can make their marketing plans come to life. Agencies bring a fresh perspective, outside talent and—when you find the right one—a dedication to learning your business to help your company succeed.
Quanex regularly works with agencies for these very reasons, and over the years, our team has learned a lot about how to make the most of an agency relationship. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Inclusion. Keeping your agency regularly updated on your business activities is critical to a successful relationship. This extends both to projects where your agency is directly involved to others where they may not be. This transparency benefits both parties, as your agency may be able to offer expertise in unexpected places, and you can be sure they are armed with all the necessary information to execute projects successfully. Commit to frequent status calls and communication to keep everyone in the loop at all times.
Education. You know your business better than anyone. Conveying that knowledge to your agency team and fostering their understanding of your business goes a long way toward successful projects. The more your agency understands your goals and the intricacies of your business, the more aligned you’ll be—and the smoother each project will go.
Immersion. Far more valuable than another phone call is an in-person look at a day in the life of your business and operations. Plant tours, customer visits, tradeshows and sales calls are all great ways to expose your agency to what makes your company tick and helps better inform the work they’ll do for you in the future. This works both ways—spending time at your agency’s offices allows you to get a clear look at process and functionality.
An extension of your team. One of the most valuable characteristics of an agency that I’ve found is somewhat intangible. It’s not just the output—or the “stuff” they produce—but your agency’s investment in your business. This can manifest in a lot of different ways: How willing is your agency to go the extra mile for you? How often do you hear, “Not a problem, we can handle that?”
Have any tips of your own about working with an agency? I’d love to hear them—email me at Erin.Johnson@Quanex.com.