From pitch to partnership: 3 golden tips for agency success
The road from pitch to partnership can be fun and challenging in equal measures - for both sides of the fence. For agencies, there's a risk that their time, energy, ideas, hard work, and nerves will all be a lost cause. For clients, there's a lot of pressure to make the right decision on the agency selection.
Before you read our 3 golden tips for success, make sure you're confident that the agency solution is the right option for you (as opposed to hiring or contracting freelancers, for example), and that you've taken a look at the 5-step decision-making framework when selecting possible partners.
Tip no. 1: Don't overlook the art of briefing
Proper briefing is a foundational step no less important than any other in the process. In fact, as such a key first step, it's arguably the most important - as it sets the direction for the rest of the process.
A good brief needs to include the following:
Your key objectives - what exactly is it you need from an agency partner?
Available resources, including existing team and budget
Context for this opportunity. What's the backdrop, why now?
Expectations in terms of both timeline and deliverables
A good brief does not need to have:
Lots and lots of pages with superfluous data. (Pitching is hard enough for an agency, and sits outside of their already busy days servicing existing clients. Don't give them more to do by having to sift through mountains of paperwork and calculate the main points for you).
Unclear or woolly information. Be direct.
Tip no. 2: Take your time (but not too long!)
You have listened to pitches from multiple agencies with a lot of information to now absorb. It’s now important that you don’t rush your decision. Working with an agency is an investment in the growth of your business. If you rush, you potentially risk losing a lot of time and money, so take your time, pay attention to the details from the pitch, and ask yourself:
Who aligns best with our company values?
Who can offer us exactly what the business needs?
Who do I think we will work well with?
Who is going to deliver the most impact?
Out of courtesy, do not take too long to sit on your decision either. There are constantly moving parts and if too much time has lapsed, the agency could have since gone on to win other accounts, had team members move on, or changed their prices in the interim.
Once the decision is made, contact the agency with a draft agreement to start solidifying your partnership. Don’t forget to contact the other agencies that pitched to you too, as they will be waiting for your response. (Honesty is the best policy here!)
Tip no. 3: Co-develop the relationship
Remember that once you have picked a marketing agency, it is a partnership that you are co-creating. That means it is a two-way street; you can’t expect to leave them to it and walk away.
An agency will do their research into your business and go through the onboarding process with you, but ultimately they don’t work in the company or have all the background you do, so it's vital to put the work in - especially in the early days.
The best partnerships work because the business contributes with ideas and a vision for a piece of work. Ideally your new agency partner should feel like an extension to the team. Part of this is to keep them abreast of relevant new developments (even if it's just copying them into weekly business updates).
The more knowledge you can pass on to your agency, the better results you'll see.
This is part of Bloom's content series to help save a lot of headaches for both agencies and clients. Make sure you've read Part 1: 'Should you work with an agency? 3 key questions to ask yourself first' and Part 2: 'How to select an agency: 5 ways to decide.'
Bloom is an award-winning brand marketing agency for high-growth tech scale-ups. Our work has been featured in the likes of The Independent, Sifted, and Startups Magazine, with clients listed in the UK's Top 5 Startups of the country. Book a call or get in touch here to find out what makes Bloom the tech industry's favourite agency.