When a brand doesn’t have a strategy, or they don’t share it with their agency, both parties effectively work in the dark. It’s impossible to achieve success consistently over time if there is no roadmap, direction or benchmarks to measure yourself against.
When long-standing, established businesses like Toys R Us and Carillion are failing because of a lack of planning, it not only highlights the importance of strategy, but also the difficulty of the task.
Historically, strategists would look to add a roadmap and set objectives on a project by project basis. While this is better than nothing, it’s also short-sighted. Project strategy would typically be the output of an agency that values your project but not a long-term working collaboration.
Today, agencies should be writing account development plans in line with account strategies that are based on your business goals. To achieve long-term collaboration between yourselves and your agency, you must develop trust and understanding. The collaboration, by its nature, benefits both sides and aligns strategy with success; an account development plan will help drive this.
So, why share everything, what’s in it for you? A proper account strategy can result in the following benefits:
Insight provides statistical benchmarks, which you can use to drive and showcase understanding and success
Both qualitative and quantitative data, objectives and knowledge about your brand, audience, sector, and industry landscape are used by agencies to determine an account development plan for your business and/or product/s. If the agency feels confident and thinks they have all the information they need from you; they will be proud to put their name to the work.
With knowledge comes efficiency and focus
Time efficiency will be created on both sides, proposals will be focused and proactive. A shared understanding of the key objectives, performance levels, and a roadmap will enable you to achieve your goals quicker and more economically. The agency will be proud of the work they’ve done and will benefit from higher Net Promoter Scores, great case studies, and even industry awards; all of which lead to more business and positive internal moral for both parties.
The output will be improved
It becomes channeled, scalable and robust. Aligned to the achievement of your objectives. The deliverables will be better all round. They will be more economical, more strategic, and potentially transformational.
Measurables for transparency
When all of this information is in place, if your agency are worth their day rate, their proposals will all be aligned to achieving and succeeding the measures you’ve collaboratively put in place. Benchmarks will be set, exceeded and re-set.
In summary, every brand or business needs an agency that can be both consultative and hands-on. When there is a collaborative, transparent relationship where knowledge is at the centre of everything, the output can only be better. That output covers everything from your account strategy to your business plan, your digital platforms to marketing and statistical benchmarks to success. And the best part, this type of relationship is long-term, which in turn results in loyalty between both parties.
Fran Aries is senior account manager at Rawnet