I've been in the marketing world for a very...very...very long time. Everything from being a Marketing Manager who hires—and fires—marketing agencies, to now working for a web marketing agency. Working on both sides of the fence gave me the ability to be empathetic for each side.
But this blog isn't about me, it's about you, the client. Your needs, your goals and ultimately your successes.
Take this scenario; your current marketing agency does an excellent job at print, radio and billboard advertisements but probably isn't the best at digital marketing campaigns. And that's okay. It stands to reason that not every marketing/advertising agency is the best at everything.
The next step is to hire a second agency to do your digital marketing campaigns.
Now ask yourself this, do you honestly think that you will get the best return on investment if the two never meet?
The answer is no. "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" is not the approach your should take.
Make the Introductions
Admittedly, introducing agency partners can be uncomfortable, but it is very necessary. By establishing a working relationship between the agencies, you ensure the freedom of different thinkers, planners to come together and collaborate. Clients need agencies; agencies need clients and agencies need other agencies.
Early on, set the expectation that the two shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to each other. Ever.
Once the agencies no longer see themselves as competitors, they can work together to maximize capabilities, your dollars, and new business successes.
Make it work
Here are a few tips to help ensure your agencies have the best chance at successful collaboration.
Egos are checked at the door. Pride creates tension. The perception of agency creatives being better than their competitor at everything is unrealistic. In today’s hyper-fast business world, the pace at which advertising and marketing needs to happen has accelerated considerably. It's in the best interest of everyone, especially you, the client, to work together to accomplish your goals and capitalize on opportunities.
Treat each other as equals. Let the agencies know you want them to become creative partners. Each party has the shared goal represent the brand and campaign in the best, most engaging way possible. They should capitalize on each other’s strengths and use each side's talent in the most effective way.
Create a process. Meet as a unified creative team by getting the marketing agencies together. There may be confusion or apprehension about what the other is there to do, so a meeting of the minds will help everyone understand and relieve tensions.
Be open, be efficient. Utilize tools to manage projects and communicate as a team. We use Wrike, a web-based project planning tool we use to track projects and exchange feedback among the creative teams.
Involve each other in the creative approval process. Before an agency presents a concept or design to you, have them run it by the other agency first to ensure the initiative is not impeding on other efforts.
Celebrate successes together. Invite each agency to celebrate the launch of a big campaign. It doesn’t have to be a big affair, just a quick “kudos” to great collaborative work.
It will always be in your very best interest to align all of your marketing efforts, internal and external. We promise we won't hate you for it.