The best companies employ the best practices. Easy to say, right? But not so easy to do.
Here we look at the best practices consistently followed by successful marketing companies or marketing departments within successful companies. If you are not currently following these best practices, it’s time to turn your valuable agency resources into high-performance assets.
It’s not always easy, as we said. Managing a business never is. But follow these 10 steps for business best practices and you’ll be on the right track:
1. Articulate strategy to strengthen the company’s agency model
- Do you have the right agency strategy/model in place to support your marketing goals?
- Is the agency model and entire roster aligned to your organizational requirements?
- Is it structured to take you forward and accelerate your marketing priorities?
Structure always follows strategy and it couldn’t be truer with agencies. Successful CMOs have a carefully defined & orchestrated model that the marketing organization has bought into and is complying with to get the most value from it.
2. Develop a robust, data-driven scope-of-work planning framework
- Are they equipped with accurate, comprehensive, up to date data to make insightful recommendations?
- Are you still trading documents via email for weeks or asking agencies to accurately anticipate your needs?
Successful CMOs are implementing an efficient, streamlined way of scoping resources that in the end reduce waste and give them and their organization what they need most.
3. Continuously scout the agency industry for top talent
- Do you have the right agency partners in your roster?
- Do you have the best talent at those agencies working on your business?
- Are these agencies delivering the type of competitive-edge work you need to deliver against your goals?
Successful CMOs keep a pulse on agency talent, scout the marketplace to find gems and are ready to seize opportunities to partner with top performing agencies and specialty vendors that can propel their efforts forward.
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4. Ensure agencies collaborate effectively and are aligned behind common
- Are marketing goals and team expectations from agencies clearly defined?
- Are your agencies all working together as effectively as they could?
- Are they all unified behind common goals that support your company growth?
Successful CMOs have set clear expectations from agency partners and internal client teams and implemented efficient processes to ensure full collaboration between all their vendor resources.
5. Institute and fine-tune incentive-based compensation models
- Do key agency partners have skin in the game, and are they rewarded to go above and beyond to deliver outstanding performance on your business?
- Are they compensated as true business partners with your goals as the ultimate measure of success?
Successful CMOs have implemented carefully orchestrated performance-based compensation agreements that are increasing their marketing performance and building win-win situations.
6. Encourage great work by exchanging structured feedback
Successful CMOs are providing agencies the type of constructive feedback they need to drive continuous improvement and generate greater value from their engagement.
7. Set up agency partners for success by providing easy-access to critical resources
- Are you providing the information your agencies need to operate efficiently on your business?
- Do you have onboarding and training resources that are easily accessible and automated?
- Are you operating as if your agencies were a mere extension of your own organization?
Successful CMOs have established a predictable process for existing and new agencies to access the information most needed for them to interact with their internal clients and to comply with various guidelines, policies and best practices.
8. Make internal teams accountable for best in class briefing and client practices
- Are your agencies being briefed effectively?
- Did you know that as much as 1/3 of agency resources can be wasted due to poor client engagement practices that can be easily addressed with tools, templates, processes and training?
Most studies show that agencies lack the essential guidance they need to avoid countless re-briefings, endless re-concepting or creative reviews that waste resources and delay campaign execution. Successful CMOs have equipped their team with the resources they need to be the best client possible and reduce unnecessary churn and wasted efforts.
9. Foster a culture of accountability, transparency and recognition
- Are you rewarding outcome or output?
- Are you encouraging a performance-based culture that rewards those who consistently deliver results?
- Are you promoting a culture of accountability that encourages better work and leads to higher performance?
Successful CMOs are asking for full transparency and demanding results, not activity. Progress, not motion. By acknowledging top performers, they are setting the right example for everyone else to follow.
10. Operationalize campaign activities to make efficient use of agency resources
- Are your campaigns run efficiently?
- Do you have too many moving parts, too many cooks in the kitchen?
- Can you accelerate your go to market activities, improve the work and use fewer agency resources?
Successful CMOs have a management system that allows them to monitor and optimize agency resources. They work better and ultimately, get more for less.
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If you are not currently following these best practices, it’s time to turn your valuable agency resources into high-performance assets. At Agency Mania Solutions, we ensure your efforts and resources are not significantly undermined by poor quality relationships, lack of process rigor or unproductive practices. See how stronger relationships contribute to better marketing. Contact us at https://www.agencymaniasolutions.com/
Originally published in April 2015 courtesy of Association of National Advertisers
“Top 10 Best Practices: Successful Companies and their Marketing Organizations are Putting into Practice.” Agency Mania Solutions, 2014.
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