Every successful marketing agency is known by the strength of their partnerships. Likewise, every business partnership has its vulnerabilities. The distance between these statements may be closer than you think.
Agency executives know the collective strategies needed to secure these critical bonds. They're also aware of the damage when key personnel leave or their client wants to go in "another direction." These fragile relationships require careful attention, however; there are ways to protect and preserve their existence.
Marketing Agency Relationships Must Evolve Purposefully
Long-term client relationships will never develop with short-term campaigns. Similarly, a social media-only marketing strategy will never be enough. Your partners rely on you to handle their information responsibly with your mutually beneficial goals in mind.
Here are five ways to actively manage these important relationships.
1. Commit to Clear Communications
Align expectations at the outset and review regularly. There exists an ‘e‑gap’ in most business relationships: expectations vs. experience. Varying interpretations of the scope of work, key performance indicators, timelines, and the definition of success will lead to misunderstandings.
Conscientious development toward an overall goal is key. However, it’s particularly difficult when creativity and subjective elements play a significant role. Ways to build client relationships include seeking meaningful feedback, delivering on time, meeting or exceeding expectations, and following up.
As a marketing agency, you must focusing on the success of your partners. Being honest is the path to shared victory. No one wants to work with a partner who is in it for themselves.
The best business relationships are those focused on mutual success and trust.
2. Build Trust with Actions and Deeds
Trust is essential in any professional relationship, yet it can be eroded by missed deadlines, unmet expectations or a lack of transparency. According to Harvard, building trust is all about taking action and following through on your promises. Demonstrate value as a business connection by fulfilling your commitments.
Once you have established that you are a reliable digital marketing agency, your reputation will speak for itself. Your existing connections are more likely to stay in your network if you are honest and trustworthy. You will also attract businesses that are looking for dependable partnerships.
Another trust-building tactic is to become an invaluable resource offering assistance, advice and support to your partners. Further, it’s essential to stay informed about the industry. Providing competitive intelligence means staying current on the industry’s movers and shakers, emerging trends and important news.
3. Maintain Important Contacts for Relational Value
Networking is essential to support your value as a professional marketing agency. Check in on LinkedIn or other professional social media platforms and be visible at industry events. Keep your website updated, add reviews that prove you're honest, have a trustworthy reputation and offer consulting services.
The Forbes council suggests that you cultivate your network and relationships each day. Meet with them or call periodically and get to know their needs, values and what drives them. Ask yourself, "How can I be of service and value to them?"
4. Establish a Collaborative Work Environment
The challenges of collaboration require communication, listening and empathy. While individual effort should always be rewarded, salary.com says it’s the sum of the work that is most critical. Further, they suggest incorporating five basic ingredients for success, whether it's for digital marketing agencies or other types of businesses.
These ingredients are communication, collaboration, culture, creativity, and commitment.
Regardless of the strength of the team, occasionally a key player goes missing. Building and maintaining latticed relationships throughout the organization can help in these cases. Identify key stakeholders in the organization and connect them with their counterparts in your organization.
5. Offer Value and Excellent Customer Service
Often the best clients are those who walk in after being referred from a raving fan. It's much easier to build a relationship with a preconceived warm and fuzzy feeling. Work on perfecting every interaction with your social media marketing agency as the most valuable and authentic service your partners have experienced.
Maintaining Your Agency Value
Your marketing agency will live or die on the quality of its work and its reputation. Follow the suggestions in this post to boost credibility and position your team for the best year yet.
Photo by Annie Spratt Unsplash.com