Why do agencies prefer to deal at executive level? Well, he who manages the budget, makes the decisions. Yes, but, is this all there is to it?
Dealing at a senior level gives the agency a real, holistic view of your business, including pain points, growth areas, industry landscape, new opportunities and, most importantly, a deeper understanding of your strategy and objectives.
Why should this be important to you, the business executive? With an executive level understanding of the landscape of your business – a thinking agency can give valuable insight and strategic direction, ultimately helping your company achieve its goals.
Think about your agency for a moment, and then ask yourself if they are ticking these six key boxes.
- They talk in strategy
Anyone in marketing knows that a well formulated and executed strategy establishes the foundations against which you can create, monitor and measure success. It establishes the voice, tone, messaging and channel to reach your target audience, and it is the foundation for any successful campaign. Without first understanding and then utilising the strategy – what are you measuring success against? And if you’re in marketing, what you love doing is measuring success.
- They ask the tough questions
An external marketing agency is not emotionally invested in your business. They are not a part of the office politics nor the history of the business, and they have no fear when it comes to asking the tough “why” questions, in order to expose and understand the real needs of your business. A marketing agency that is focused on achieving the objectives of the business’ strategy, will stop at nothing to ensure that their campaigns are delivering against these objectives.
- They push boundaries and think beyond any box
There are opportunities for growth, when a business is taken beyond its comfort zone and the status quo is challenged. An integrated marketing agency with its finger on the pulse, can guide a business to achieve its strategic objectives, through conceptual campaigns the company would never have traditionally ventured into. In addition, as the agency is exposed to case studies across departments and industries, when applied with a strategy in mind, it can result in success across the board.
- They communicate one unified message
By understanding the strategy and all the channels needed to communicate and execute this strategy to multiple target groups, the agency can help the business talk with one clear, unified voice. A consistent message that is delivered across all communication channels, supports growth at every level in the business.
- They are independent from the business
Because of their independence, the agency is not seen as a threat nor are they deemed to have an agenda. In fact it gains them more buy-in and support. An integrated agency that views the business as a whole, knows how to use the strategy and objectives to break through silos and bring the organisation together, and moving in the same direction.
- They are not prisoners of legacy thinking
The more your agency questions and challenges your processes, the clearer their execution is aligned to your objectives. The more aligned they are to your objectives, the more likely you are to achieve success. The most important thing for your agency to do, is never stop asking “why”.
So, the only question left for you to ask, is how did your current agency measure up? Need help selecting a new agency? Here’s how to manage your pitch and you can even download a free agency scorecard.
At Stratitude integrated marketing, strategy is so key to everything we do, it’s even in our name!
About the author: Stella Carter is Head: Client Services at Stratitude.