Effectively managing the agencies

When your brand / company works with agencies you can usually follow two paths. Be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

These two types are described well in iMediaConnection article as:

Low-maintenance clients are:

  • trusting
  • enjoyable to be around
  • transparent in discussing their goals and intentions
  • appreciative of what you do
  • in it for the long run (not fickle or willing to play you off other competitors)\
  • not arbitrary
  • willing to pay for expertise

High-maintenance clients, on the other hand, are:

  • demanding and in need of ego-stroking
  • lacking in communication skills
  • constantly holding the amount of money they’re spending over your head
  • always discontent; they’re never pleased about anything
  • insistent that they know more than you do
  • dismissive or unwilling to hear advice
  • holding you responsible for things that aren’t your fault
  • unwilling to give you credit for your work

Smart agencies know the difference between low-maintenance clients & high-maintenance clients and price accordingly. And smart clients know how to be a low-maintenance client & help their company budget by smart management of their agencies.

Smart agencies also constantly try to turn high-maintanence clients into low-maintenance ones. However, there are always some unexperienced clients who hurt their companies while they are actually trying to do something good for their companies. These inexperienced “high-maintenance wanna be” clients usually end up with low quality agencies which are mostly focusing on client relationships.

So it is your choice, be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

How to hire a digital agency

How to hire a digital agency – the most important CMO task

One of the major obstacles on the move towards new marketing is the lacking decision making in the choice of digital agencies.

Recently, iMediaConnection had an article on this issue. (To see the full article please visit; A CMOs guide to hiring a digital agency – iMediaConnection.com.)

You can find my takeout and thinking on this article below.

Three things not to miss when choosing a digital agency:

1) Understand that nobody serves a perfect full service and you need either a great team or a lead agency.

from the article: “Do you opt for a “specialist” agency — a social media shop, for example — to work in a highly technical area, or do you hire one agency that can bring it all together at the risk of sacrificing some key knowledge in an emerging area?…

… If you have the time and staff to orchestrate across multiple specialists, then you have the option to spread the love. If youre like most organizations, however, and youre short-staffed and time-crunched, then you should find and assign a lead agency and have them sub-contract for the specialists.”

2) Don’t try to catch up with each trend yourself, it doesn’t pay off

from the article: “digital creates new communication channels faster than advertisers can figure out how to use them…

…If you try to have a specialist for every niche, you’ll constantly be searching for a specialist for the next new thing,”

3) Look for thought leadership and be courageous to empower the thought leaders (even if they are outside of your company).

from the article: “If you have a lead agency responsible for bringing holistic thinking, then they will have the responsibility to be constantly searching for those specialists and providing you with thought leadership and success.”

Also, the article correctly pointed on an often problem creating area; the view of the CMO and the marketing team.

“the assumption that the onus is on the agency to make its client happy won’t get a CMO very far in the long-run”

That is so correct, and just a change in this view might change the total outcome of the marketing efforts (needless to say, if the company was smart enough to choose the right agency).