Read our seven top tips to help you work effectively with your digital agency and supercharge your own performance.
Are you meeting yourself coming back in a whirlwind of internal meetings, forward planning and doing-the-do? And then finding that dealing with a specialist agency robs even MORE essential time from your working week?
We hear more and more that clients spend so much time meeting-bound that they are left with little time to get on with the actual work in their beleaguered schedules. The frenetic pace of working life seems to be becoming faster, more demanding and increasingly uncompromising.
The inescapable truth is that this is unlikely to change anytime soon. So how can you create a calmer, more considered atmosphere for you and your team, where effective planning and quality output is more likely to blossom?
Working smarter with your digital agency can really save you both time and money, assuming there’s a relationship of trust and open communication.
Here are our favourite seven ways to make a difference:
- Think ‘we’, instead of ‘them and us’
It can’t be underestimated how much the strength of your relationships and trust with your agency can save you time. A good relationship can shortcut so much. So, share your thinking, your plans and your results to the fullest extent and it will reap rewards in terms of quality of contribution, proactivity and responsiveness. You will command respect as a client and the agency will be more determined to do a great job for you, going above and beyond.
- Agencies are a mine of resources
Wheels rarely need to be reinvented. Improved and maintained, yes – and most things can be made better and tailored to what you need. Agencies will have worked in a variety of ways with many different clients, so they have a wealth of experience, templates, processes and tools. You and your extended team need to find the absolute best ways of working to minimise wastage, so you can focus on quality of ideas and execution.
- Clear demarcation
Hand-in-hand with improved ways of working comes the need for clear demarcation, particularly if you have multiple agencies working on your account. Agencies can often sap your time when their scope of work and ways of working with other teams are unclear, leading to mixed messages or inconsistent expectations. Cut to the chase and lay it all out clearly to all involved, so they know what’s in scope (and what isn’t) and what’s expected of them.
- Write good briefs
The single thing that drives unnecessary time into the equation is an incomplete or ill-considered brief. Most agencies can improve a brief if they have a deep knowledge of your brand, but they cannot ‘make up’ essential information. Take the time to get it right initially, allow your agency to clarify the requirements. Add value at the outset and it’ll save a lot of time down the track.
- Share your problems
Contrary to popular belief, agencies love to get stuck into thorny problems. Taking the rough with the smooth is a large part of what motivates specialists. If you’re stuck with something or there’s a big issue to be solved, use your agency and chew the cud. It will undoubtedly throw up a fresh solution, a new perspective or build-on idea to make yours better.
- Team training
Any agency worth its salt should be a treasure trove of specialist skills – be it social media, CRM, content writing, technical or project management. Upskill your own team by getting the agency to come in for a breakfast workshop or similar. The agency will generally love to showcase what they know and have the opportunity for some face-time with you. Your team will also benefit in many ways, with the end result of improving their contribution.
- Ask for feedback
Whether formally or informally, invite development feedback from your agency and provide them with the same. But if there’s a problem, don’t wait to be asked. There are few issues that can’t be sorted out once both side’s views are aired – and you can then move on. Affairs left to fester can be the kiss of death. You’ll then have the time-consuming problem of exiting an existing agency and getting familiar with a new one.
Get in touch with Karen if you’d like to know more about building a productive relationship with your agency.