How to get the most from your media agency
Gone are the days where a media agency was a separate entity that was given a brief, and then executed on that brief individually using its best interpretation. To get the best out of a media agency it should be an extension of your team, ensuring that it shares and is working towards your common goals.
To get the best out of a media agency it should be an extension of your team
If an agency is part of your team, surely to get the best out of it is to use the same processes you use to get the most out of your team members. Applying key processes from onboarding to continuous feedback will ensure your agency will be delivering a market-leading performance.
All team members should go through a thorough onboarding process. Your media agency should have a detailed understanding of your business, systems and processes, and know what your business and marketing objectives are.
Just like internal teams, your media agency should be given objectives and targets that are measurable and realistic. Both parties should be clear on what the common goals are and have an outline of the key roles and responsibilities. The agency will then know what it is working towards and the timelines it has available. Clear direction and guidance will make it easier for it to employ the necessary strategies and tactics to reach the goals that have been set.
Check in regularly
Arranging regular check-ins are a given, but are you merely going through the motions, or are these check-ins productive and valuable both to you and your agency? To get the best out of your media agency, regular check-ins should focus on:
How the agency is performing based on its short-term performance targets
Diagnosis and discussion
What has happened
Why it happened
What it needs to do to fix it (if performance is below target) or maintain it (if performance is above target).
On top of these regular check-ins (weekly or fortnightly at least), there should be quarterly and annual reviews to discuss and review longer-term targets, goals and the competitor landscape.
If your agency is always aware of how its work is being received, it will be aware of how it is performing against your expectations. This will lead to it making improvements if you are not happy and doing more of the same when you are. Building a culture of continuous feedback is a long-term benefit and will also lead to continuous improvement from your agency. Open lines of communication and transparency eliminates surprises, as even great performance should never be a surprise. Feedback should be constructive and honest, and flow both ways. Trust, communication and transparency develops an ecosystem where all team members can thrive.
In summary, your media agency is an integral extension of your team, so treat it as such. Make sure it has the guidance to know what you need and trust it to find a way to exceed targets. If you give it all the support and guidance it needs, it should flourish if it is your right partner. Fostering a good relationship and giving it every chance to succeed will result in great performance in the short and long term.
Asher Gordon is head of paid media at Tug.
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