Marketing agencies

Marketing agencies come in all shapes and sizes. They can support you in all areas of your marketing activity from strategy to activation. But what process should you use to identify the best agency? And how do you manage marketing agencies on an on-going basis? Read our guide for tips on how to get the best out of marketing agencies.

Marketing agencies

How this guide raises your game.

1. Learn the marketing agency management process key steps.

2. How to find and select the best marketing agency for your needs.

3. Advice on how to manage the on-going relationship with your marketing agency.

Great marketing requires a combination of different types of expertise.

You can try to do everything yourself, but it’s almost impossible to be good at everything. 

For key areas like your brand identity, your marketing plan and brand activation, you need to be the main driver. 

But other tasks within marketing, you may find yourself looking to bring in some outside help. In most cases, that means working with marketing agencies. 

These are expert partners you hire to carry out specific parts of your marketing.  

But there’s many different types of marketing agencies out there. How do you fidn them and how to do you make sure you get the best out of your marketing agency relationship?

Close up of two hands in a handshake

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The marketing agency management process

If you don’t currently have a marketing agency, or your looking to change agency, you’d normally go through five basic steps. 

Each step comes with its own goal, and set of deliverables to consider. Following these steps increases the changes that you’ll find a good agency and build a good relationship with them. 

  1. Define needs – identify what type of agency you need and why.
  2. Research or pitch – find and select an agency.
  3. Brief – communicate what you want the agency to do.
  4. Activation – Deliver the activity and work hand in hand with the agency.
  5. Evaluation – Measure what the agency have done.
Marketing agencies management process

Step 1 - Define needs for a marketing agency

The need for a marketing agency normally arises in one of two ways.

Either a business spots an opportunity in the market place through market research. But it realises it does not have the expertise or time to take advantage on its own.

Or, an issue arises on the brand that again forces a brand to realises it needs to bring in external expertise. 

So, the first step in the process is to articulate “why” you need a marketing agency.

This then helps define the type of marketing agency to look for. It’ll define the scope of what you’ll ask them to do. 

Marketing mix 4Ps and 7Ps example variables

The opportunity or issue which causes the need for a marketing agency normally links to the marketing mix. (see our guide to the marketing plan for more on the marketing mix or our article on the 4Ps of the marketing mix.)

Let’s look at some common opportunities and issues from the marketing mix where you would need to look for a marketing agency.


The most likely type of marketing agency you will need, will be to support your plans around promotion and communication.

Marketing agencies frequently look after key areas like advertising, media, public relations, social media and digital marketing.

They are able to deliver work at the required expertise and quality level. And usually, it’s easier and more cost effective to outsource these activities to marketing agencies.


You can also find marketing agencies with specialist product development expertise. The most common are design companies who specialise in packaging development.

This area requires a solid understanding of both design and print. Unless you are a big company, you would normally use a marketing agency on these sorts of projects.

In some industries where sensory factors play a large role, you can find specialist marketing agencies who can support sensory development. For example, taste profile development in the food industry. Or aroma profile development in the perfume industry. 


When you work with retail customers, some of your marketing activity will involve sales promotions, including activation in-store or in other locations. Think Point of Sale display units, tasting, events and other merchandising.

In this case, you may not have the necessary staff in your own team to manage this. Particularly if the activity is on a national or global level. Specialised marketing agencies with experienced field teams can help deliver these types of activity.


Though the most likely to be managed in-house, marketing agencies can also help carry out research into price and promotional strategy. They can help you decide if price discounting is a good or bad idea for example. 

Specialist areas like econometric modelling help to optimise the price mix. It would be unusual to find this expertise in-house, except in larger businesses.

The other Ps

There are also agencies who have specialist knowledge in other areas like people, physical location and process. But these additional service based “Ps” (which are increasingly being used to grow business through digital services) from the marketing mix are more likely to run in-house. Or with an agency less focussed on marketing per se.

So, a training business for people. An architect for physical location. Or a management consultancy for process. 

Out of all the Ps of the marketing mix, the most common area where you would use a marketing agency would be in the promotion and communication area.

So for the rest of this guide, we will focus on communications as the example for the marketing agency management process. But the underlying principles should work for any of the other marketing mix Ps. 

Step 2 – Research or pitch

So, the next stage after the need is to research which marketing agencies are around who might meet your needs.

If your need is very specific and short-term, you could consider the option to hire a freelancer on short-term basis.

We’ve covered the use of freelancers on sites like Upwork and Fiverr in our guide to graphic design for your business, so we won’t go over that content here.

We’ll make the assumption that your needs may be beyond what a single freelancer can deliver. And that you have an on-going need for marketing agency support.

Develop a 'long' list

In this case, your aim should be to develop a long list of potential candidate agencies.

A simple Google Search on marketing agencies in your area will give you a list of links to start looking at.

We do generally recommend that you try to find an agency that has offices in a geographically convenient location.

In order to get the best out of marketing agencies, you want to build a good relationship and way of working with them. The ability to have face-to-face meetings can help in both of these areas.

While new technology like video and phone conferencing has made it less necessary to always meet face to face, you will want to meet face to face regularly. Location and time spent on the commute should be at least part of your considerations to narrow down your list.

Where to research marketing agencies

You should look at the websites of the companies who sound like they might be of interest when you search. Try to get an idea of the expertise that sits behind the company. What does the working style and culture of the business feel like? Do they seem like they would be a good fit for your company?

Compare the size of your business and company to the size of the marketing agency

If you’re a small business, and the agency employs hundreds of people, will your business get the focus it needs? And vice versa. If you are a big company with many needs, will a small agency be able to cope with the volume of work?

Beyond their website, look at their social media channels. Are they active on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for example?

Marketing agency websites are typically where they try to present the ‘best’ version of themselves, unsurprisingly.

But if you read their posts and content, this can often give you a better view of how the agency actually operates.

Welcome to LinkedIn sign on door

Marketing agencies working style

What is their style and how does it fit with your own working style?

Is the project likely to require detailed analysis and lots of focus and precision? In which case, an agency that only seems to do “high level” work may not be the best fit.

And on the other hand, if the need is for bold and break-through work, an agency who are more steady and dependable may not be right for you.

You should also use your own network of contents to identify potential marketing agencies.

Who do you know that might have hired or worked with marketing agencies in the past? Can they recommend someone?

This word of mouth can be particularly helpful. You are likely to get a more realistic and honest view of whether a marketing agency can meet your needs.

You should aim for an initial list of between 5 and 10 agencies who could potentially meet your needs.

Initial contact

You should make initial contact by phone or email. You should explain in a few short points what you are looking for.

  • Who you are and what your business is
  • The goal for the hiring of a marketing agency
  • A ballpark estimate of the intended spend and length of the activity
  • Why you think that marketing agency might be a good fit

The first meeting

At this early stage, you want to know if the marketing agencies you approach would be interested to work with you. 

There’s no commitment on either side at this point.

In the spirit of honesty, you should also make clear that you are approaching a number of agencies.

If there’s interest from the initial contact, you should set up a first face to face meeting.

At this meeting, the aim is to get a better feel for the way the marketing agency works. And also for them to get a better feel of whether you will be a great client for them.

Two people sitting at a table with coffee cups in front of them having a conversation

It’s advisable for you to host this first meeting. This will make you more confident and comfortable because you can control the environment.

You should aim to keep this initial meeting short and informal. If you have them, a few slides to give a background to the business and expand on the reason you are looking for a marketing agency is fine at this point.

You can also ask the marketing agency if they have a credentials presentation. This will be a short summary deck to introduce and showcase the agency. It should talk about what it does and what is stands for.

The RFI and pitch

From this first meeting, you should start to identify which of the marketing agencies has potential. Which has the right mix of expertise, style and way of working that will suit your needs?

You should aim to create a short-list from all the agencies on the long list you contacted.

The “pitch” is a much more detailed way to review the capabilities of the different agencies to find the best one for you.

You will ask the agencies to complete a Request For Information (RFI) document. And also to present an initial response to your marketing challenge.

This will be a significant amount of work for the agency. So you should only ask the agencies you feel confident can deliver on the brief.

It’s likely your short-list will be between 3 and 5 agencies. And again, you should make it clear to the agency, they will pitch against other agencies. 

Some marketing agencies may decide that your business is not right for them and drop out at this point. That’s nothing personal, if the interest wasn’t there, it’s better to find out early. 


The type of information you request in an RFI document is at your discretion. It will depend on the size of your business, and the level of detail you will need to make a decision.

At this point, the RFI sets out to more formally, capture relevant information and outline a more specific proposal from the agency.

If you have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that you use with other suppliers, now would be a good time to get the agency to sign that.

If you don’t have one, ask them as they may well have one they use. This is a confidentiality agreement that prevents either party sharing information to those outside the process, so it’s helpful to protect both your interests. You should consult a professional for advice on this if you are unsure or unclear on how to do this.

As you can see from this checklist, the RFI can be very detailed. And while none of these items are mandatory, there are a couple of areas we would highlight.

Client conflicts

Your marketing agency should be clear whether they work for any of your competitors. Or if they have any indirect link to one of your competitors.

An indirect link would be something like a family member of one of the directors works for the competitor.

It’s at your discretion whether any conflict is significant enough to stop you working together. But your ideal situation is where there is no potential conflict at all.

A checklist of 10 items to use with a marketing agency RFI including contact details, agency profile, expertise questions and references

Details of other client relationships / wins / losses

Obviously, the agency will want to protect the confidentiality of their relationship with other clients.

But, an idea of who else they work with in non-competing categories can help in a couple of ways. It can help you go check out the work they’ve done with that client. You can get an idea of the quality of their delivery.

And based on the reputation of those other clients, you can get a feel for the quality level of the agency. If those clients have a good reputation, that’s a positive sign for the quality of the marketing agency. 

Case study / examples

Again, the agency will want to protect the confidentiality of their other clients. But if those clients are in non-competitive categories to yours, and the agency are proposing to use a similar process with your marketing challenge, they should be able to show you examples of the work and how it was produced. 

The pitch 

While the RFI is a written document, the pitch is a face to face session. In the pitch meeting, you ask the agency to convince you they are the right agency for the work to be done.

It can be as formal or informal as suits your business. But it would generally involve going back to the original “why” question of why you need a marketing agency. In the pitch, you ask them to present how and why they would solve your problem.

Before the pitch, you should  share with each agency the criteria that you will use to evaluate the pitches.

What % weight do you give to the creativity of the idea? Or the thoroughness of the process? Or the quality of the activation for example.

You should be clear on the timeline and when they should expect to hear a response. “We are seeing three agencies this week, you are the second one, and we will be making a decision on Tuesday next week” for example.

Clear direction like this will help you make sure you see the agency at their best during the pitch. 

Appointing an agency

After your review of the RFI documents and the pitches, you should respectfully let the agencies who did not win the pitch know.

Let them have any comments / feedback on why they didn’t win.

It’s worth maintaining a professional relationship with agencies who did not win, in case you ever need to go back and re-pitch the business in the future. 

Once you’ve let your chosen agency know they’ve won, you need to close off the process with a more formal contractual agreement. 

Bigger businesses will typically have their own formats they like to use when signing legal agreements. It’s important to make sure you take appropriate legal advice. You should make sure a legal professional checks and validates the agreement on your side. 

We are not legal professionals, but we have worked with many legal professionals on client – agency agreements. This checklist highlights most of the common items you would expect to find in such a legal agreement. 

There are a couple of areas which you should pay special attention (though all are important).

Fees / charges / invoicing / payment

You should examine these very carefully and make sure the set-up meets with your expectations.

In general, the larger the amount of business, the more generous the payment terms. But this is not set in stone. You should also be clear on when payments will be made and should avoid in most cases payments in advance.

A checklist of 13 items which should be included in a marketing agency agreement including obligations of both parties, fees, termination clauses and confidentiality and IP clauses

Termination and cancellation 

These are important terms related to either failure to deliver the service promised or what is called material breach. This is where one party does something that irrevocably breaks the agreement. Of course, you never go into an agreement with the intent to use these clauses. But they are there for the protection of both parties. Do review them carefully so that you are clear on what would happen if something goes wrong.

Indemnification and liability

The agency by definition becomes a representative for your business. They will make recommendations and carry out brand activation on your behalf. And yet, obviously, you do not have direct control over what they do. Or the outcomes of what they do. So indemnification and liability clauses need to be in place, so that both parties are protected. 

Step 3 – The induction and the brief

So once all the legal agreements are in place, you are FINALLY able to start working with your new marketing agency. 

It is worth at this point sharing any additional information about your business or brand that you did not feel sharing before the pitch.

You should make sure that everyone who will be working with the agency gets to meet and know their counterpart. Don’t just keep it to the marketing team, think about the finance team or the IT team or sales team who may also have to work on projects with the marketing agency. 

The brief

Your next step them is to formally brief the agency on the marketing plan and the brand activation work you require.

It will very much depend on the context of where your business is and the nature of the work required how you go about this. It may be that you ask the agency to map out a whole marketing plan for the year ahead.

Or you have a much more specific need for them to develop an advertising campaign, a PR activity  or a website for example.

As we’ve covered what is involved in those activities in other skill guides, we’ll now move on to how the agency is actually set up to manage your business. And what should happen on a more day to day basis. 

Communication brief template with 5 sections - brand, objectives, Communications, Rationale and Project - including additional copy about how to complete

Agency team structure

It may be that your marketing agency is one person who supports you with specific technical skills, but more likely, your marketing agency will appoint a team of people to work on your business. This team will bring different skills together to deliver the activity to meet your brief. The most common roles you will find in marketing agencies are Account Management, Strategy and Planning and Creative teams. 

Account Management

The Account Manager or Account Manager team are your first and main point of contact with the marketing agency.

Their role is to be the connection between you, as the “Account” and the rest of the marketing agency. 

For you, their role is to be your voice in all internal agency meetings and to make sure that your brief and requirements are met. 

For the agency, their role is to make sure you as the client are kept happy and satisfied and that your needs are being met. 

Close up of two hands in a handshake

In some businesses, this role is also called client services, and that probably gives a clear idea of the purpose of the role. They manage the relationship between you and the agency.

They can in smaller agencies, also directly run projects within the agency. In larger agencies, this is sometimes split out with dedicated project managers. This part of the role more directly involves securing resources, managing timelines and keeping projects on track.

The Account Manager role is a crucial role for you to find the right person, when you work with marketing agencies. After all, they are the person you will speak to most often, and they should act as an extension of your business. You should think about the appointment of an Account Manager as much as if you were hiring that person to be an employee of your business.

When you review who will be your Account Manager, we recommend these three questions to start with.

Do they understand your business and goal?

In our experience, the best Account Managers have a solid understanding of marketing and commercial and business factors. The brand activation the marketing agency carries out for you will come at a cost, so you want to make sure the dollars you invest are focussed on what will drive the biggest return for your business. And not generate the best return for the agency.

Think about key success factors in your category and on your brand, like your target audience, your positioning statement and brand identity, and how competitors operate. A good Account Manager will take the time to research these kinds of areas and have an opinion about how to improve them to help grow your business. If the Account Manager hasn’t considered these sorts of areas, or gives you a very generic response, that’s usually a bit of a watch out. 

Would you trust them to spend your money wisely?

As we covered briefly, once you appoint your marketing agency, part of the agreement with them is that they will incur cost on your behalf. You will agree fees, budgets and other financial agreements with them. Whenever money is involved, it’s important to be clear and transparent up-front.

In business, like in other walks of life, you get what you pay for.

When you hire an expert, you should expect to pay a fair rate for their work. 

This covers the level of expertise they provide, the quality of the work and time involved to deliver the work.

Person holding 6 hundred dollar bills in front of them which have been set alight

Account managers should give you reasonably detailed estimates and quotes on work. You need to know when you commit spend to a project, you will see good value in that investment.

And ideally, that investment should be linked to the project goal and the agency KPIs so that you can track the return on your investment.

Extras and incidentals

What you do want to look out for though are the extras and incidentals that marketing agencies typically bill out to clients.

When you go to an agency and it works in a fancy office in a popular part of town, think about how the agency can afford to pay for that.

It’s because of the money it makes from clients.

Look out for extras that creep in like taxis to meetings and courier charges for delivery.

Enjoy the food and drinks that agencies feel obliged to offer. But bear in mind, that though they won’t hand you the bill, you are paying for it in the long run as part of their fees. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. 

You should have confidence that your Account Manager has a handle on where the value-adding parts of the agreement are. And make sure that your investment is focussed on the growth of your business. 

Does their working style match up with yours?

Lastly, you should also really focus on the “people” aspect of the Account Manager role.

As you will spend the most time with this person, you have to feel that there is a good ‘fit’ between your style and their style.

This doesn’t mean you have to have identical views on everything. In fact, differences of opinion and conflict can be part of a healthy working relationship. 

But if you are a detail focussed person, and your Account Manager likes to write Powerpoint slides with one sentence per page in big font (a favourite of marketing agencies), that’s going to annoy you in the long-run.

Account Management

If you like to work at fast-pace and hit deadlines, an Account Manager who only wants to deliver the highest quality work all the time is also going to be a challenge.

Great Account Managers can be worth their weight in gold, but it’s a challenging role. The really strong ones tend to stand out, get promoted and then go and do something else.

There’s a notoriously high high turnover in account management roles. If you’d like to read more about being an account manager, there is a worthwhile article here

Strategy and Planning

We find the separation of ‘strategists’ and ‘planners’ from other agency roles a little odd. We believe EVERYONE should be strategic. (Read our article on why we believe no-one should ever have a job title with the word strategist in it.)

However, specialist strategists and planners in marketing agencies do carry out some specific helpful tasks. 

They can help bring together different strategic frameworks like helping build your brand identity for example. They’ll be a good source of market research questions as they pull together data and statistics.

We’d be asking three different questions for these strategy / planning teams.

Board level view of a chessboard as you are playing black and your opponent is moving their white queen

What new expertise do they bring?

If the account manager role is to understand your business, then the strategy and planning team need to be able to bring some extra expertise to the issue. Do they have a more detailed understanding of the skills required to deliver the brand activation to a high level?

If the focus is on advertising for example, do they have a solid grasp of the advertising development process? Do they bring in insights of how to tap into consumer insights or what makes advertising messages be distinctive and impactful?

If the focus is on digital marketing, do they bring expertise and experience about the different elements of digital like media, websites, e-Commerce  and marketing technology?

Can they share examples of how they’ve brought all these diverse elements together with other clients so you can feel more confident they can do the same for you?

No matter, what the marketing expertise area, do question what benefit the strategy and planning team will bring to your business. 

When this team works well, they will bring new ideas, thoughts and ways of working that can be transformational. But they can also be a costly addition to your fees who end up leaving you feel confused and overwhelmed with Powerpoint slides.

Can they show their expertise in a way that’s clear and meaningful?

Which brings us on our second key question of the strategy and planning team. How they articulate their recommendations is especially important.

They will ask you to make important decisions on how brand activation will happen. So it’s important they are able to frame these questions in a way that makes sense.

If for example, they pull in a model or a framework to explain a recommendation, are they clear on why they chose that model? Does it have strong evidence to support it? Has it been used in a comparable business so you can feel like it’s more likely to work for you?

In our experience, the strategy and planning team are often seen as the ‘brains’ of the agency. They can be a rich source of ideas, innovation and great thinking. 

But this perception sometimes goes to their head. They can overlook the core job at hand. Selling more of your products.

If you ever start to feel lost with a strategy and planning team, go back to the original brief. Check that what you are seeing meets the goal and objective you set.

Are their recommendations focussed on delivering against your business goals?

Which brings us to our final question to manage the strategy and planning team.

As part of their role, they will often keep an eye on the latest trends in the market and in marketing in general. New insights into how advertising works or how consumers choose products, or new methods applied to media buying or customer experience for example.

But sometimes, these clever answers are force fitted back to your brief, without really answering the question you set in the brief. 

The last question here is especially important. 

We’ve seen many strategy and planning agency people get carried away with their own cleverness. It’s not unusual for agency strategists to forget that they are there to help you grow your business.

Be very wary of strategists who come in and present the latest conceptual framework to you. But who can’t tell you how much it will drive sales.

No consumer ever bought a conceptual framework. Consumers buy the benefits your product offers. So make sure the strategy team deliver work that does that.

Creative / technical

The final group at the marketing agency will be the ones who actually do the “work” that the consumer will see. 

When this is communication related, this will normally be the creative team who will be the ‘artists’ for what your brand looks like, says and does. 

When this is digital marketing related, this will normally be the team of designers and developers who make your online idea come to life. 

Creative teams will draw, write, photograph, video record, edit and generally ‘create’ brand assets for you so that your brand comes to life for consumers.

Illustrations, designs, logos, articles, social media posts, brand imagery, advertisements, editorials, events, the list of what the creative team can do for you is only limited by the scope of yours and their combined imaginations.

There are really two key questions to ask of creative teams.

Can they produce creative work which fits with your brand goals?

Creative teams can often see themselves as more focussing on the ‘art’ of creation than the ‘business’ of selling.

This can result in innovative ideas, but those ideas may not always meet the objectives of the brief. Always refer back to the brief when you see new creative ideas. 

Will the ideas appeal to the target audience? If the idea won’t influence your target audience to think or do something different, then it won’t help you grow your brand. 

Is the benefit and the brand identity clear? If consumers don’t recognise the idea as coming from you, it won’t lead to more sales.

Image of two smartly dressed creative type in front of a screen showing a tin of beans, the word beans changed to being, and the text more important than beans, dialogue says "but darling it's a work of art"

Will their creative style work with your brand and your view of marketing?

When you find a creative team who ‘get’ your target audience and brand identity, it feels amazing. Whether it’s advertising, websites, e-Commerce or whatever, you can look forward to a constant stream of high quality, impactful creative work that will take your brand to another level.

But when they don’t, boy, that’s hard work. Some of the most challenging meetings you can have with a marketing agency are where there isn’t a good fit between your view of the brand and marketing and the views of the creative team.

Read our article on the different styles of creative team like the creative rebels and the creative luvvies. And, find out how creative reviews can often go wrong when these types meet clients. 

A final word on agency culture

Culture in a business is often defined as “how things get done around here”. So far in this guide, we’ve set out many questions that you can choose from to help you find the best marketing agency to meet your needs. But the client – agency relationship is a two way street. Whatever tough questions you ask the agency, you need to be prepared to show a similar level of integrity and transparency about your own business. 

You hire marketing agencies because they bring something new and different to support your brand, and they help you achieve your business goals. But at the end of the day, marketing agencies are a collection of individuals, and so you also need to make sure you are well set-up to manage the people as well as the business side of the arrangement. 

Step 4 - Activation

Once you start to work together, it’s important to plan how you’re going to manage the client – agency relationship.

It can feel like marketing agencies go out of their way to be your ‘friend’ at work. Particularly account managers.

But always remember that your relationship is based on a commercial transaction. Your relationship with the marketing agency exists to deliver a business goal. 

As the client, your agency is paid to bring their expertise to help you to improve and deliver against your brand strategy. Not to be your friend. That’s why it’s important to set goals and build the way of working together. 

Archery target with arrows in bullseye to symbolise marketing targeting

Clear and agreed goals

So, it’s important that what the marketing agency does for you is measured against your business goals. Are you creating brand awareness and conversion?  Do consumers increasingly choose your brand? Have you met your sales targets?

We’ve been in many client-agency meetings where it’s clear there is no common goal. If you don’t make the goal clear, marketing agency teams will quite happily insert their own goals. Maybe they are looking for professional recognition? Maybe they are looking to win awards? Or are they looking to use your work to win other clients?

So the first priority with marketing agencies is to make sure the goal or goals are agreed and written down. Refer to the goals often in meetings. Share your performance and progress with the marketing agencies, so you can feel like you are working towards common goals.

Find a way of working that suits you both

Most client – agency relationships work well when there is some sort of routine in place.

If you have an on-going relationship with the agency, it’s a good habit to have regular Work-in-Progress (WIPs) meetings. These can last an hour, three hours or a whole day every week.  

At these meetings, you review what projects are underway and if they are on-track or off-track to hit their deadline. You also review if there are new briefs coming soon so the agency can plan the right resources. And you review any new developments that might affect the timing or quality of a project being delivered?

Is someone sick or leaving? Have the legal guidelines changed? Has the big boss changed his or her mind about what they want from the project?

Informal connections

And don’t forget the value of informal connections.

A quick coffee or beer depending on the time of day can be a great way to build a better relationship with the agency. Phone calls and emails may feel a little more impersonal than a face to face meeting, but can be a very efficient way to make sure the business and the relationship continues to tick over.

These become even more important if you are not geographically close to where your agency are based, in which case you have to rely on technology to be able to communicate regularly. 

At the end of the day, it’s a relationship between people, so you need to find good working practices that fit into each other’s styles and let you build positive and impactful ways of working.

Step 5 - Evaluation through reviews and feedback sessions

Outside the regular WIP meeting, we also recommend a more formal but less regular review to check in against business goals and any KPIs you may have set for the relationship.

Depending on the size or scale of the relationship, this could be as regular as monthly, quarterly or as little as a once a year exercise.

You should take the opportunity to give feedback from you and your team on the key elements of the relationship. These can include the account management, the project management, the overall strategic support and any specialist expertise that is delivered as part of the relationship. That could be creative delivery, it could be media, or analytics or some sort of more specialised technical support.

As part of this process, you should also be asking the agency to give you feedback on your team. Are your briefs clear? Do you share your goals? Is your feedback on projects timely and well-thought out?

Only by making sure your own behaviours land well can you make sure you are building better engagement with the agency.

Marketing agencies summary

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this guide, so let’s quickly recap the key points. There are 5 key steps in the process to manage marketing agencies from defining the need to appointing an agency and evaluation their performance. 

The way you work with marketing agencies will influence your chances of success. So, it’s important to understand the different roles in an agency, and set up strong routines and build strong relationships.

And finally, your marketing agency is there to support your business goals, so a regular and fair evaluation of their performance can help you keep the relationship on track. 

Three-brains and marketing agencies

Need help getting the best out of your marketing agency? Unsure which ones are right for your business and how to make sure your investment with them is driving a return for your business? 

We have many years of experience as marketers getting the best out of agencies. We offer coaching and consulting services to get the best out of your agency.

If you feel uncomfortable with agency feedback process, we can also act as an intermediary between you and your agency.

We have experience in managing and negotiating client – agency agreements and relationships and can act as a ‘neutral’ player who can fairly manage the process.

Contact us to see how we can help you get the best out of your marketing agency. 

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