How to have a successful relationship with your marketing agency

by Dan Edwards on Mar 30, 2022

Working with a marketing agency to grow your business should feel like a dream, not a nightmare. Here’s what you need to do to get it right.

Digital marketing 5 min read
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You’ve got objectives to hit and a business to grow. In order to hit your targets, you need to hire a marketing agency to help with strategy and to execute the tactical work.

Sounds easy enough, right?

It’s a hard fact of life that what sounds simple on paper is rarely so in reality. Hiring a marketing agency that gets results is no different. The truth is, it’s rather difficult to get right, as it requires a series of strong interpersonal relationships and shared ideals, which, as we all know, can be complicated and precarious at the best of times.

So how can you do it? Build a relationship with a marketing agency that not only feels right but makes commercial sense and gets you closer to your goals? 

Keys to a successful marketing agency relationship

Imagine you’re in the process of choosing your agency. There are three key things you need to consider:

Communication

How open to communication is your chosen agency? Do they respond promptly to emails and calls, and where appropriate do they set and confirm acceptable deadlines for completed work? Having an open line of dialogue with your account manager or sales lead ensures your needs get heard and things get done. At Cognition, we have a dedicated team of senior marketing professionals who can help with any and all sales, marketing and HubSpot challenges. 

Collaboration 

Some agencies get precious about their ideas, which isn’t much use to you if you don’t like them or can’t see the value in paying for them. When hiring your agency, ensure that they can take constructive criticism and understand your point of view when you don’t see eye to eye about something – this is a critical part of your long-term relationship, and in reality comes down to…

Compatible values

Do you and your prospective marketing agency believe in the same things? If you were to write down the three most important values of your business – the core maxims that embody your offering and dedication to your customers – would they be similar? As strange as it may seem, compatible values might be the biggest key to your future success. If you both see the world the same way, you are likely to have similar ideas of how to shape and execute your plans, which means less time wasted and more speed in execution and learning.

Cognition’s values: how similar are they to yours?

We’re pretty open about our values and what we see as the bedrock of our success. As a team, we live by three simple principles:

Speed

We’re thinkers and strategists but we don’t waste longer than necessary on deliberation. We’re quick to experiment, to take risks (with your blessing) and to test assumptions that are often the barrier between very little traction and exponential success. We aim to add value as quickly as possible. 

What this means externally (when working on your behalf to generate leads and win business): 

  • We think quickly, evaluate the options and then act decisively.
  • We avoid long words and complexity for the sake of it.
  • We are quick to test and quick to kill – through constant experimentation and application of the scientific method we find the outperforming campaigns and creative work that sets you brand apart and gets you noticed.

What this means internally (when working between us to get projects up and running and deliver campaigns):

  • We don’t believe in bloated day-long meetings or overstaffed brainstorming sessions – we would rather act, fail and learn something, than ponder and never do anything.
  • We like data, but only when it is useful and informs our next action – we don’t fetishise it or give it undue importance if it doesn’t deserve it.

Simplicity

With our unmatched experience in psychology and our Scientific Board, we have detailed knowledge of how complexity impairs human judgement and often destroys our best intentions. We make it a priority to ensure that all of our client strategies are clear, actionable, easy to understand, easy to action and, finally, easy to evaluate and improve. 

What this means externally (when working on your behalf to generate leads and win business): 

  • Every project has a simple objective – to deliver more sales for less money.
  • At the beginning of each project we help you articulate exactly what you’re looking to achieve with your marketing. We collect all the information we need to make effective recommendations on how to accomplish these goals. Then we get on and do it.
  • We don’t waste time with fluff. You can expect faster results and lower costs because of our straight-talking, forthright approach.
  • We understand the investment that goes into marketing, so we treat your money as if it were our own.

What this means internally (when working between us to get projects up and running and deliver campaigns):

  • We are committed to simple processes and clear communication. This allows us to work efficiently, without bureaucracy, and to deliver projects within budget.

Courage

We’re fearless in the way we engage with our clients and we want you to be the same with us. Often the best results and the best relationships come from the hardest conversations. When both sides are prepared to have those conversations, and to come up with clear, tangible ways to move forward, successful long-term partnerships can develop and thrive. 

What this means externally (when working on your behalf to generate leads and win business): 

  • Our objectivity allows us to uncover valuable insights into what your competitors are doing and how your business is viewed in the marketplace. Our creativity allows us to use this knowledge to maximum effect.
  • We never just jump on the latest bandwagon, but we do our best to stay focused on our objectives and only adopt the trends that are relevant, useful and likely to achieve success.
  • We thrive on helping ambitious companies with high expectations of what they can achieve with their marketing budgets.
  • We will fight to generate every possible lead, staying focused on what will best bring in customers.
  • We are an experienced and well-established agency where bright, entrepreneurial and creative people combine their skills to help you grow your business.

What this means internally (when working between us to get projects up and running and deliver campaigns):

  • We deliver the best possible campaigns, even if it means challenging our clients and standing up for what we believe is the best approach.

Hiring a marketing agency that ‘gets it’ shouldn’t be difficult…

What makes Cognition different from other marketing agencies is that we provide a degree of certainty in an industry notorious for guesswork – we simply don’t believe in marketing as a mysterious art. 

We get to the root of why customers buy products and services and use this evidence to develop and execute a strategy focused on achieving our clients’ business objectives. 

In fact, our clients tell us that we make the process of selecting an agency easy because our thorough, intelligent approach gives them confidence that they’re making the right decision. Take a look at our case studies to see what our clients are saying about us.

Are you ready to find an agency who truly understands your business and your goals? Download our 'How to Choose the Right Agency' guide today to get access to the ultimate checklist for sourcing and vetting your next marketing partners.

Choosing the right marketing agency

Dan Edwards

by Dan Edwards
Mar 30, 2022

Dan heads up our Client Services team and works with senior client stakeholders to devise and implement successful strategies to deliver business growth.