Misconception: A Marketing Agency is a Vendor

Karah Blandford, Account Specialist at Ontario SEO
Karah Blandford
April 29, 2020
Misconception: A Marketing Agency is a Vendor

Last week, I touched on the misconception that marketing agencies are simply just a vendor to your business providing a service. We prefer to look at it as a partnership.

In a partnership, two groups need to work together to find the best possible solutions in order to be successful. So, although your marketing agency knows what your media spend will look like when running ads, or the keywords to target with commercial intent, we’re very much in the dark about your internal operations and what might make you different from your competitors. This information can be make or break for any campaign.

What Your Marketing Agency Needs to Know

Some questions that we might ask to improve our SEO and PPC strategies might be:

  • What questions your customers commonly ask?
  • How qualified are the leads that you are receiving from your campaigns? How do you determine the value of a lead?
  • What is your close rate on leads?
  • What is the value of each lead that turns into a customer?

These questions can help us take a deeper dive into what makes your customers tick, allowing us to build more effective SEO strategies, landing pages, ad copy, and even top of funnel campaigns.

How to Build a Successful Relationship with Your Marketing Agency?

Is your work done when you hire an agency? Probably not. If you perceive your advertising agency as a partner in your company’s success, the campaigns you take on with them are bound to be more successful. So, here are some ways that you can arm your marketing agency with what they need to achieve the best possible results for your business.

  • Don’t skip the client intake.

    Many agencies have a client intake or discovery meeting or they come prepared with questions to better get to know your business model. A lot of times this can seem like an annoying step but it is absolutely critical to take your time with this and provide as much information as you can. Even providing information on what strategies you’ve tried in the past or pulling in your sales reps or operations team so that we can get a better idea of what you’re doing on the frontlines.

  • Collaborate and Provide Insights

    Agencies are constantly looking for ways to improve campaigns and strategies to better reach your target market. So, for example, for a Google search campaign, we may be seeing a significant number of conversions on our report. If these conversions are not actually turning into close sales for your company, that tells us there could be a problem with unqualified prospects finding your ads. In this situation, we may look to see if there’s a trend in the keywords that these unqualified leads are searching and either apply a negative bid adjustment to that keyword or remove the keyword altogether if it isn’t generating results at all. This helps prevent wasted media spend for your campaigns and really helps us hone in on the keywords that are the most lucrative to your business.

  • Keep Your Agency Informed

    Keep us up to date on changes to your product offering promotions and industry news. Internal marketing and promotions need to be integrated with your agency’s efforts. Although agencies do their very best to keep up with your industry and market changes, there are always some great little nuggets of information that the client has, that isn’t always communicated to your agency. So, for example, if you know that a competitor goes out of business, there may be an opportunity to run a competitor search campaign to target that competitor’s keywords. Or, if you’re running an internal promotion for current customers this can be easily integrated into your digital campaigns using customer lists.

  • As Markets Evolve, So Should Your Strategy

    User behavior evolves regularly, so it only makes sense that your strategy does too. What are you finding that customers enjoy most about your product or service? What questions do they have before getting started? Has this changed over time? And what are customers expecting as things evolve? These are all important things to know and to address so that your campaigns can improve and evolve over time.

It may be time to take a good hard look at your relationship with your agency and figure out if it’s give and take. Any good agency knows that campaigns are not set and forget. If you aren’t actively collaborating with your agency, it might be time to assess if this is a profitable relationship for your business. Stay tuned for my next rant on the common misconception that results will happen overnight for your projects.