The days of being able to hire one agency for all of your marketing needs feel so dated; they feel almost . . . prehistoric.
Today, agencies are encouraged to specialize, as there is no possible way to be an expert at everything. Digital Edge (DE) recognizes our own strengths, weaknesses and areas for growth. We don’t pretend to know it all and we are happy to partner with other agencies to achieve our clients’ goals.
While specialization may be the best course of action for agencies, it certainly has made marketing a challenge for clients. Now, you have to find the right agency for each area you need to outsource and internally manage these multiple agencies, which may sometimes feel like developing multiple personality syndrome. No one wants that!
The goal of having agency expertise in each area is to make the client’s work absolutely stellar! The purpose is to provide the client with work that is highly effective and focused on the client’s needs. The initiative is to seamlessly play well in the sandbox with other agencies.
So in an effort to help make our clients’ lives easier, here are three tips on managing multiple agencies.
- Set clear boundaries.
- Focus on expertise and unique attributes for each agency.
- Share important workflow documents.
Bonus: Host an annual or semi-annual agency roundup.
Set Clear Boundaries
When managing multiple agencies, it is important for each of them to understand their role, the platforms they manage and the audiences they target to avoid overlap as much as possible. In our agency, we recently had a case come up where we needed to understand which agency was responsible for a certain client’s SEO. The client communicated back to us exactly what each agency manages in terms of their SEO scope and now we are all able to collaborate and help this client win more organic traffic.
Focus on Expertise & Unique Selling Propositions
When hiring multiple agencies, you are hiring the best services and expertise from each of them. Take the time to understand the agency’s strengths, weaknesses and areas for opportunity. Understanding where they have been, where they are focused and their growth plans will help you leverage the agency’s intel for your own benefit. Treat each one as a partner and have them share these insights with each other. This will help everyone understand the value they are bringing to the table.
Share Important Workflow Documents
Sharing documents between organizations and teams has never been easier. Creating master shared docs that allow each agency to collaborate, review and contribute may be weird at first, but in the end, having open collaboration truly helps. Shared docs like media plans, content calendars, reporting and strategies are helpful so each team can further understand what the other is contributing and where they can pitch in.
BONUS: Host an annual or semi-annual agency roundup
We had a client host a five-agency roundup one year right before planning and it helped ease the tension between all of us uber-competitive agency folks! We had meals together, shared the best of our work and collaborated on ideas for the client’s plans in the new year. Now that we know each other and have broken bread together, it makes sending an email or picking up the phone to reach out to another agency so much easier. Get your agencies together for a get-to-know-you fest and see the barriers come down!