Working with an agency gives you certain advantages...
Bolt-on skills outside of your core expertise
The ability to scale quickly with pre-vetted talent, to meet a particular challenge
Experience that helps you avoid costly mistakes
The power of a seasoned team behind your project is certainly a valuable asset. Having more people in the mix inherently means more people to manage too, and more opportunities for confusion and delay. So how do you get the best and out of your agency relationship and avoid pitfalls that even seasoned, professional teams can make?
The best agency-client relationships are managed through a single point of contact—a representative between the agency's project manager and your team. Your representative is an open conduit between both sides of the partnership, simplifying and accelerating the process for all.
"The best agency-client relationships are managed through a single point of contact"
Ever hear the joke that a camel is a horse assembled by a committee? With an effective single point of contact, you avoid that kind of communication bungle. By maintaining a clear understanding of the team's concerns and goals, your representative should be able to manage the committee, while staying focused on objectives. And, as a conduit to the team, they will, in turn, be able to communicate and manage the agency’s needs and concerns back to the team. This makes the whole process more efficient, effective, and enjoyable for everyone.
"A camel is a horse assembled by a committee"
Speaking of objectives, focusing requirements to meet the goals of the engagement allows the combined team to really deliver results. An amorphous approach usually results in an amorphous outcome, which can be hit or miss. If you want a home run, it really makes sense to take the time at the project’s onset to precisely define the project’s desired outcome, and what is practical. A good, strategic partner will help you chart a clear and well-defined course for your desired outcome.
And, be prepared, a good partner doesn't always take orders without clarity and alignment first. Sometimes everything is possible at once, and sometimes the project needs to be phased out. Effective strategy and goals go hand in hand with successful implementation.
"A good strategic partner doesn't always take orders without clarity and alignment first."
In the agency-client relationship, the client may be the ultimate decision maker, but to get the most out of your agency relationship, it makes sense to trust and empower your agency team members to make decisions and be your guide toward satisfying the agreed-upon criteria. This allows seasoned professionals to make timely decisions to achieve optimal results for their clients.
Your agency relationship is about you. Communication is key, as in all relationships, so picking the right agency is as much about communication-style as it is about skills and experience. If you've vetted and chosen the right partner, streamline the communication and empower the team to reduce friction and open the pathway to a successful engagement.