I always tell my team that Rocket Clicks isn’t in the SEO and PPC business; we’re in the client service business. We just happen to offer PPC and SEO as our means of serving clients.
One of the most crucial lessons we’ve learned using this philosophy is that it’s absolutely essential to have great agency-client communication to maintain a successful relationship.
Imagine your digital marketing is like your health: If you and your doctor don’t communicate regularly, openly, and meaningfully, you’ll likely lead an unhealthier life than if you communicated well with your doctor. It’s the same with your agency. Timely, open, meaningful communication from both sides is the key to a healthy working relationship.
So what does it take to keep business communication healthy? We can’t speak for every agency, but we know what is means for our partnerships. I’m going to dive deep into my top 4 signs of good communication with your digital marketing partner.
1. Great Communication is Timely
Great marketing doesn’t just happen once a month. It’s a long game that occurs each and every day. If you’re only hearing from your agency when they send you the monthly report, I guarantee there are huge opportunities that you’re missing out on.
While monthly touch bases are essential for helping you ensure your digital marketing is on the right track, good agency-client communication will be much more frequent than that.
I’m not saying you need to talk to your agency every single day, but both you and your agency should be communicating as things happen—not just after the fact—to not only ensure everything is going according to plan but to capitalize on time-sensitive opportunities as they emerge.
This is a two-way street.
If your marketing firm notices a significant opportunity in your account but waits until your next monthly meeting to bring it up, you’ve missed out on some potential gains in the meantime.
Likewise, if you know of a big sale or other significant company event and don’t tell your agency ahead of time, they might not be able to put together a great strategy in time to truly make the most of that opportunity.
At Rocket Clicks, we’ve found that weekly updates tend to be a good cadence. This can take the form of a recap email or a quick phone call, but we’ve found at least some form of weekly communication allows us to be the most successful for our partners.
2. Great Communication is Collaborative
Your digital marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
A great agency can do good things for your account without any input from you, but when you and your agency work together, the sky’s the limit.
There are a few reasons for this.
No one will ever know your business like you do.
Agencies are great at becoming knowledgeable about your industry, but you spend each and every day living it. By supplementing our knowledge of the best digital marketing tactics with the expertise you have for your product or service, you’ll get the absolute best out of your marketing efforts.
You and your agency need to be on the same page.
If your agency has one set of priorities and you have a completely different set, the overall results will be significantly weaker than if both sides are aligned on the same goals.
Your monthly touch bases are a great opportunity to align on priorities for the month ahead with your agency. But remember, you should be ready to adjust those priorities with your agency if new opportunities arise. Having open and ongoing conversations allows you to not only get on the same page but also continue on that path long term.
3. Great Communication is Transparent
Like all relationships, your relationship with your marketing partner is built on trust. It’s easy to forget this when everything on your monthly report is green, but it shows up front and center if things aren’t going so well.
Decreases and dips in success are inevitable. No one likes them, but they’re part of the growth process. A good agency will be transparent during these times. They’ll take ownership of the responsibility, clearly explain what’s wrong, and—most importantly—outline what they’re going to do about it.
These moments are the most essential to a successful partnership. If your agency communicates regularly when things are going well but goes silent when something starts to dip, it’s hard to trust that they’re actually working to get things back on track.
Important Note: You should be prepared to offer this same level of transparency in return. If numbers aren’t looking the way you expect them to, start a conversation with your agency. If you’re not comfortable with a certain marketing strategy they’ve come up with, tell them. They’d rather know about a problem and find a solution than finding out about that problem months later when you’re firing them.
4. Great Communication Explains Why it Matters
This one is a bit of a learned skill, but it’s absolutely crucial.
Odds are, you hired an agency because you are not a digital marketing expert. If that’s the case, it can be easy to fall into bad marketing tactics or “snake oil” SEO contracts.
A good agency won’t just tell you that a tactic is good at a high level. They will actually educate you on what that tactic means for your marketing efforts and for your business.
This is also key to building trust. If we need you to invest money in a new data feed or man-hours into a large content project, we better come prepared with some compelling reasons for why this is good for your business.
The goal is to get at what will be the most impactful for your business. The only way to do that is by getting to the heart of how your agency’s work is truly affecting your bottom line.
What should you do with this info?
If you’ve got an active agency relationship, it’s so important for you to take a deeper look at how you’re communicating with them, and (perhaps more importantly) how they’re communicating with you. I’m willing to bet there’s at least one area that could be improved. Audit that relationship and take necessary action to improve the relationship.
If you’ve already done what you can and nothing seems to be improving, it might be time to look elsewhere. If you’re on the hunt for a reputable digital agency that prioritizes client relationships, we know where you can find one.