In today's world, many companies cannot afford to have a single large agency as a one-stop shop for their integrated marketing efforts. Small agencies collaborating together with specialized skill sets are more flexible and often able to work more efficiently. As a result, strong agency partnerships are vital to creating successful marketing efforts. Mercury Labs has enjoyed collaborating with many agencies in different partnership structures in order to help our clients achieve the best results with their marketing campaigns. Over the years, there are five key learnings that we have discovered are essential in any partnership:
1) Client Success as Top Priority - Every agency has a core expertise, and the end goal is to match that expertise to the core expertise of partner agencies to deliver the best marketing effort for a specific client's needs. Having a campaign that leans on one agency's services to the detriment of a better integrated campaign for the client does not serve the client. Utilizing the services that are most valuable for the campaign or project can help develop a long-term relationship for the partnership structure and ultimately sets the client up for the best possible success.
2) Working Collaboratively – When establishing a workflow for a project, it is important to create an open workflow among partners that allows collaboration and coorporation. A collaborative workflow can help create cohesive campaigns where everyone works in unison to accomplish the same goal. Workflow can present an issue if not established and regularly updated by all parties. Many times, insight into a project can be shared from different perspectives. One key value of collaboration is being able to see immediate opportunities as they arise during live campaigns and building from one aspect of a campaign's sucess to grow it in another aspect.
3) Unified Voice – Communications between partners cannot be limited to conversations with clients. Outside of these meetings and discussions, agencies need to be checking in with each other, validating goals for joint assignments, sharing new findings and confirming client expectations. When working with a partner, it is especially important at the onset of a relationship to work out issues or potential issues you may have beforehand and present yourselves as a unified team to the client.
4) Clear Goals without Managing Tactics – Clearly defining a specific marketing goal and what each partner needs to accomplish to reach the goal enables all sides to develop a clear strategy. It is important to leave the tactics to the partner tasked with that goal.
5) Trust – A true partnership requires trust from all sides. Each agency needs to have the confidence that everyone will do their best to deliver great work and will allow each other the structure to achieve it. the partnership. Without trust, people spend time second-guessing each other instead of focusing on the work and the client. Trust often relies on common company values and cultures, so it's best to find partners in agencies that already appreciate each other's values.
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