Your company has recently hired a B2B marketing agency to help build brand awareness, redesign your website, generate leads or produce thought leadership content. This can be an exciting time since this marketing agency can help your company identify new business development opportunities, close new deals, and generate new revenue.
In terms of maximizing the value of this B2B marketing agency partnership, the following are some best practices.
Your company hired an agency because they are the experts on which B2B marketing tactics work and which practices may not be optimal. You hired the agency to take the lead and, because they do this all of the time, there needs to be an element of trust. There does not need to be blind trust, but there needs to be some faith that the B2B marketing agency knows what they are doing. Constant questioning and skepticism tend to impede the process and slow down results.
Before starting a project with a B2B marketing partner, it is critical to define what success is and ensure that the agency you have hired is confident that they can deliver on your expectations. Success should be formally defined before a contract is signed. You should not ask for a guarantee of success, but at least make sure that your company and the hired agency are on the same page. Is success tied to the number of leads each month, closed quarterly business, increased traffic, securing a specific client, or something else? Success needs to be formally stated and written down.
2 Things You Know Best
Trust is important but there are 2 things you will know better than the agency you hire: your company’s ideal client profile and your company’s sales process. Make sure to aggressively communicate both items as much as possible—not only at the beginning but through the entire partnership. This proactive communication will ensure that tactics employed by the agency will result in more engagement with your ideal prospective client AND give you the tools in the sales process to nurture this prospect from a general inquiry to a qualified lead to a committed relationship.
Agency Takes The Lead
Let the marketing agency do their job and take the lead. You don’t want a B2B marketing agency to be order takers. Rather, you want them to be proactively thinking of ways to generate more business for your company. Make sure you allow them to drive the lead generation strategy and be creative on ways to build brand awareness. In the agency interview process, if you find a prospective agency to be passive and not aggressive, move on to the next option.
If your company and the agency have defined success, it better be measured monthly! In the agency interview process, directly ask about an agency’s reporting and optimization process. Request that there is a monthly report and activity call so that you can determine that you are getting the most from your relationship. Regular reporting will track results and hopefully showcase success.
Selection of the right agency is critical. If you don’t select the right agency the first time, it can postpone success for years. However, just as important as the selection of an agency is managing the agency effectively to maximize your company’s investment. If you adhere to the philosophy above, you will be on the right track.