Garry Viner: Hello. It’s Garry from Rocket Agency. This is James.
James Lawrence: Yes.
Garry Viner: How are you?
James Lawrence: Yeah. Good.
Garry Viner: Excellent. A short, sharp video. We’re talking about how to get the best out of your agency relationship. First of all, James, talk about why you’d want to use an agency.
James Lawrence: Yeah, 100%, I think the classic [question is], when agency, and when in-house? In-house, the benefits being you hire staff, you get them 100% dedicated to your campaign. They’re going to be cheaper on an hourly rate than paying an agency when you’ve got overheads and those types of things, you get a better understanding typically of, you know, in-house staff, knowing your business, knowing your team’s processes, all that kind of thing. The benefits of using an agency is you get typically a greater level of expertise and experience in a channel. And equally, you get a better, a bigger perspective where we might run 10 or 15 campaigns in B2B, or B2C, or whatever it might be. Where if you’re in one business, you’re siloed and that’s the maximum amount of exposure you get in that channel.
Garry Viner: Okay. So a lot of Marketing Managers come to the decision that they might want to use an agency and complement their existing team. If we want to look at how to best manage that, I guess there’s four points we want to touch on. First one is expectations.
James Lawrence: Yeah, 100%, and I think we’ve been doing this for 12 or 13 years now. And just setting a clear expectation with your agency partner, which is, you know, by month 6 or by month 12 or by month 3, this is what success looks like. And we are encouraging clients to look at what is that one big metric that is success – might be “leads are at here” or “sales are at there,” and there might be some supporting initiatives there as well where it might be about reporting or some of those softer things that you might not actually, you know, think would be important. But, set expectations really clearly with your agency and then if they choose to onboard you based on that, then at least you both know what success looks like.
Garry Viner: Okay. Number two: Respect.
James Lawrence: Respect. Yeah, I think our best clients, where we get the best results, where we win awards, are ones who are a true meeting of equals. Where we work with the client, and we respect them, and trust their judgement and knowledge of you know, in-house and what that looks like. But equally, they trust us, and they treat us with respect. I think, if you’re going to engage an agency and you think it’s this kind of master-slave relationship where “I’m paying the bill so I’ll dictate what happens here,” it just never works. Your best results are where you truly have a meeting of equals.
Garry Viner: Okay. One thing you can do to be respectful is provide feedback. That is our number three.
James Lawrence: Yes. 100%, respect on one hand, but equally, you have to give feedback. Where if, and that goes both ways, where I think there’s often a tendency, which is where “I don’t want to give too much glowing positive feedback ’cause the agency will take their foot off the accelerator.” And definitely here at Rocket, our experience is, is that if we get positive feedback, it just drives the team harder. I mean at the end of the day, we’re all humans and it’s just nice and satisfying to be told you’re doing a good job. But equally, if you’ve got some bugbears, if you need different reporting or if you’ve just got a query as to why something’s happening in a particular way, just be direct. Give feedback and give your agency partner a chance to adapt and evolve. Really crucial to not sit in your box and get frustrated and then, you know.
Garry Viner: Okay. Point four: Communication. Feedback’s obviously an important part of communication, but there’s so much more to that.
James Lawrence: Yeah. I think – when you’re in-house, you forget just how close you are to your brand, and you need to work on ways to feed information back to your agency partner. And, we’re doing digital marketing. We do not do our best work when we’re limited to Google Analytics reports and Google Ads reports and delivering, you know, CPAs to clients. We need access and insights into sales data, like, what is actually happening as a result of our work. And we do our best work when we’re brought into planning sessions with businesses, and often it’s bigger than just being in marketing discussions. Getting feedback about new products, services, being copied in on internal communications. The more information you can give to your agency partner and actually almost bring them into your in-house team, the much better results you’ll get from your agency.
Garry Viner: Okay, so there you have it. That’s four ways that you can maximise your relationship with your agency. We are talking about expectation setting. We’re talking about respect, feedback and communication. Thank you, James, for your time.
James Lawrence: Thanks Gaz.
Garry Viner: Cheers.