The number of possible options in the field of marketing and sales support increases from one year to another. Many of those solutions could be implemented immediately in a company, unfortunately companies often lack adequate competences, time or people.
Cooperation with an external agency may contribute a lot to the functionality of an enterprise. However, in case of such contracts, some certain rules should be obeyed.
Behind many marketing agencies there are: strong branding, rich portfolio of even more well-known clients, as well as a whole list of prestigious awards and distinctions. But at the end of the day all of this may have absolutely nothing to do with your project. It can happen, that Unexperienced people are assigned to work with you. If you don’t meet the future team that will be responsible for the project already at the arrangements stage, you might be quite surprised later.
With more complex tasks in a short term, changing even just one person in a marketing project can have a big impact on its result. And the belief that every single employee of an external agency, along with employment, automatically gains all the secret knowledge is a great naivety. There might be some complete amateurs hidden behind the professional disguise.
Usually, during meetings, this utopian idea about the cooperation on the Win-win rules appears. Unfortunately, it only sounds nice during kind conversations. In business it’s really difficult to maintain long-term relations that would be evenly profitable for both sides.
Partially, it’s due to a simple fact that both a customer and an agency have motives to break out of the established rules to gain quick profits. Even if a current collaboration is flawless, it can always be better with another agency. And on the top of that, practically everything can be fixed somewhere else – cheaper. Competitors never sleep.
Without control, there cannot be any Effective management of Marketing activities. However, to control effectively, the proper knowledge is required. Any agency can flood its clients with a pile of data, put in some beautiful and logical stories, additionally enriched with a specific terminology that is often too difficult to understand for less involved people.
This is particularly the case in digital or E-commerce activities. If on the company’s side there is no one competent in the subject of the project, no person able to catch inaccuracies and wrong approach of the agency, then the company will only feed on the data provided by the agency.
The fundament of collaboration should be a precisely written agreement that contains clearly defined goals and settlement principles, instead of just general rules of collaboration. If you see potentially negative effects of the agency’s activities, don’t be hesitate to implement them into the contract in the form of contractual penalties. After all, nothing motivates as well as a responsibility for actions.
Do you have the feeling that you’re losing control over the activities carried out by the agency? Get quick statuses (reports) on a weekly basis or even every 3 days. After all, an agency is not only a contractor, but mainly the entity responsible for the result.
Many companies see outsourcing as: “I assign and expect the result”. Unfortunately, nothing is that simple. Majority of Marketing activities have a very broad context and many things simply don’t depend on you.
Without the constant exchange of information and the market knowledge on the ordering company – agency level, there’s going to be more and more misunderstandings. And the real culprit for the failure of many outsourced projects is the commissioning company.