How To Get The Most Out Of Your Marketing Agency | Ep. 24

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Hear us out. What if there was a site, similar to a dating site, that paired businesses with their ideal marketing agency? Swipe right and thank you. Seriously, the partnership between a business owner and their marketing team should be a familiar relationship. 

 
Think about it. The more time you spend getting to know someone, the more successful the connection is. It seems like a no-brainer to us, so we’ve decided to share some tips to help you make the most out of the relationship with your marketing agency.
 
Episode Covers:
  1. Why regular meetings are key to a strong partnership
  2. The keys to collaborating with your marketing agency
  3. How learning as much about each other can help with content
  4. Why it’s important to learn a business’ pain points
 
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Transcription: 

Devon Hayes:

Hi, I’m Devon Hayes.

Amanda Joyce:

And I’m Amanda Joyce. And today’s topic is how to get the most out of your marketing agency. And here’s why you should care. If you’re paying an agency to manage your marketing dollars and you’re not doing these things, you might as well be lighting that money on fire.

Devon Hayes:

So this is beneficial for us, but it’s also more beneficial for them. When you sign on with an agency, whether it’s for SEO or full service marketing or paid ads, whatever it is, it shouldn’t be just something you check off the box and say, “Okay, I sign on with them. They’re handling it.”

Amanda Joyce:

Yeah. You don’t just write a check, hand it off, and move on. This is like you’re entering a serious relationship.

Devon Hayes:

Yes.

Amanda Joyce:

And you have to treat it as such. You really do. And if you take the time to get to know your agency and to work together, everyone on both sides are going to benefit. And we promise you it’s going to be worth it. As Devon said this, this is a bit beneficial to us as well. But at the end of the day, it’s the most beneficial to our clients. The clients that we get to have quarterly or biweekly meetings with and give the best news to are always the clients that follow this equation.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So depending on what the service is, the frequency of how often you meet with your marketing company is going to be different. For example, we offer, call it the CCMO Assist at Elevation Marketing. And it is kind of the full service suite of digital marketing. So that’s your email marketing, paid media management, content marketing, search engine optimization, website management-

Amanda Joyce:

Call tracking, chatbot, all the things.

Devon Hayes:

All the things. Oh my gosh. Award submissions, press releases, gated content, all of that. And with those clients we meet biweekly, we touch base on all the things we’ve been doing. But also, we get to learn about their business. Is there an upcoming, I don’t know, festival and you want to sponsor an ice cream truck or things like that?

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly.

Devon Hayes:

Touch base every couple of weeks. We get to learn about how they’re involved in the community and how we can assist with what they’re doing.

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly. And how their team is changing. If they just brought somebody new on and, now, they’re starting to really focus on a certain area of their business, by talking to them that often, we know about it immediately. We’re able to look at our content schedule for the upcoming months and make sure that we’ve got content that’s being written that’s going to really support that.

Having those touch bases is, oh my gosh, I know we look forward to them because we also get to know our clients, and we get to hear about things that are happening with them. But at the end of the day, we get to really sink our teeth into the life and times of their business and then make sure that we’re reflecting it and everything we’re doing with our team.

Devon Hayes:

Absolutely. Like one client, she’s newer with us, and we noticed that her adorable little dog was in every Zoom with us. And from that, we were able to learn more about her business and asked more qualifying questions about it. We’re like, “Oh, tell us about Jerry.” She said, “Oh, he is the mascot for the business. He’s a working dog. He doesn’t like to be at home.”

And from that, we were actually able to incorporate it into the brand. And with some of the messaging and things like that, we learned that they donate a portion of every roof to the ASPCA, all because we saw a little dog in a Zoom meeting. Sometimes, we have a blanket of questions we ask. But sometimes, the actual brand and the nature of who you are as a business come out through these conversations. And it’s not just the canned, what services are the most lucrative, which has the best margins. It’s some of these other things that we pick up on when we get to have these Zoom video meetings.

Amanda Joyce:

Absolutely. And I love it too when we just get to sit down and kind of chat about what’s going on. If they just landed a big deal or something like that’s going on, where then we can suddenly learn, “Oh, they’ve got this new product.” Then, they’re being trained on it that day. That’s the way… I mean, being the one that plans most of our content, that’s the stuff I get super excited about. And would’ve never found that out in a casual email interaction.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. I think we’ve new software implementation that makes the process easier for the homeowner and for the project manager, things like that. That’s not the most riveting content. But if you can speak to what’s happening in your business and how it benefits your customer, that’s marketing gold right there. Just stay away from those me, me, me, I, I, I statements and say, “You will see the benefit because now you have this automation. When we reach certain steps of the project, you will receive an email about this, and what the next steps are.” So things like that, again, to a business owner might not seem really relevant to what the marketing team is doing-

Amanda Joyce:

The marketing team. Yeah.

Devon Hayes:

They totally are.

Amanda Joyce:

And then, Brook, real quickly on this meeting thing, the other thing that we do suggest, if you have a full scale agency, we would definitely recommend meeting every other week, at least monthly, minimally if you’re really spending a lot of money with them.

But if you’re, for instance, like a lot of our clients, just hiring them out for SEO, with those clients, we meet with them quarterly because SEO is a slow game, and you’re not going to see huge changes month over month. And sometimes, it can be analysis paralysis if you meet too often to chat about SEO while you’re still kind of waiting to see how this strategy unfolds after some tweaks maybe you made at the first of the year. It’s not quite time to talk about it yet in February or March. But by April, it’s time to reconnect and talk about it.

So we suggest meeting with your SEO provider at minimum quarterly. And regardless of what level of service you have with your agency, we just cannot say enough that whatever cadence you guys agree on to meet, keep it in your calendar. Prioritize it. When you’re there, give your marketing partner your full attention, and just be prepared to really immerse yourself in the process. And, A, you’re going to be a great partner with your marketing partner. Bt at the end of the day, you’re going to get so much more out of what they’re doing when you’re not looking over their shoulder, and you’re not in between meetings because you’ve given them that time.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. Absolutely. And the quarterly meetings are great because this is where we’re really learning about the ROI of kind of your investment on all ends. What are your leads like that are coming from those form fills? What are the phone calls? Are they high quality leads? We like to talk through your return on investment for SEO.

But naturally, when we ask for this information from you, because it’s something we ask for, you’re going to see what the quality of the leads are from your other lead sources. So with SEO, you have those automated monthly reports, and that’s fine. Most clients, most contractors.. Not even most contractors, but most people don’t look at them. It just looks like a bunch of graphs and a bunch of words and a bunch of stuff that it’s like, “Okay, does this matter?”

If you’re not looking at it year over year, you’re kind of like, “Well, what am I comparing?” I don’t know. So that’s why. So we have that set up. You can have automated reports. And if you’re the type of person that really wants to look at those granular details monthly, you can.

But because the nature of the SEO beast is a slow gain, that quarterly report where we analyze… or your agency, I say we because it’s how we do business. But your agency really dives in and looks at how you’re performing. And if something is not going great, this is where you’re going to find out about it. And if it’s performing really well… Maybe you’re killing it in gutter and siding terms, but you’re a roofer, how are you going to pivot and change? And then again, talking about the ROI. So that’s what that quarterly meeting really is. It should be long and meaningful and meaty. And you absolutely should not skip it. So yeah. I’m like-

Amanda Joyce:

Just be there. Be there. Be ready to be engaged. And then, you can check out and get back to business, and you’ll be so glad you did.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. I start to get super granular, but this is all to say don’t partner or don’t sign on with an agency and think that you can just disappear. The biggest theme of this podcast today is the partnership and collaboration with your agency.

And then, there’s a lot of ways that this can be done. It’s not just at the business owner’s level. So Amanda, you meet with a lot of the head of sales project managers. Talk about that relationship and why it’s beneficial and meaningful, and why it should be happening.

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly. So I meet with different members of our clients teams typically for the sole purpose of interviewing them for content. But from that conversation typically comes all kinds of different information that I can turn back to Devon, and we can maybe change something we’re doing strategically as a result of what I’m learning in these.

So, for instance, when I meet with the sales manager, I’m going to talk to them about what they are experiencing in the sales process at that moment. What particular pushback are they getting out in the field? What frequently asked questions are they fielding from people as they’re trying to close them? Those kind of questions can really tell us where the customer is right now. And that can help us write content that speaks to that, that can help us address it on the homepage, address it in FAQs.

It can really help us help to craft a story that is going to support the messaging that the sales team is trying to get across out in the field. So by meeting with them, we open those lines of communication. And a lot of times, at first, there’s a little bit of confusion when the sales guys are like, “Wait, why does the marketing lady want to talk to me?”

And I really try to break down that barrier right up front and let them know that I want to be there to help support them. And typically, after our first meeting, they’re excited to get back on the phone and start talking to me because they understand that we really are trying to help them.

One of the other great things we can have in those conversations is some feedback from them, the people that are out in the field. What is the quality of the leads? They don’t necessarily always know the channel from which a lead came from that’s given to them. But a lot of times, if it’s a smaller business, then there’s an open line of communication internally. They’ll know, oh, this this was an internet lead. And oh my gosh, I just closed this huge project off of it.

And so, the more of that kind of feedback we can get or if they can say, “Everyone I’ve been getting lately is super price conscious and I really feel frustrated, and I don’t feel like the leads that we’re getting from marketing are that high quality,” we can learn from that and start switching messaging up and really help them.

So long-winded answer. Those touch bases can help us really look under the hood and really learn about what’s happening on the ground with the sales team and then help us reverse engineer our marketing strategy to better support them.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. And as owners, owners I know are just out there, they want their sales team to be happy. They want their sales team to feel supported. And I know sometimes sales guys are like 1099 and they’re not W2 employees for a business. So it’s hard to know how much an owner… that balance of how much support they provide versus how much the sales team is expected to go out and generate their own leads.

But as an agency, when we collaborate with the sales team and we’re working for the owner, we can come up with collateral that is going to help the sales team convert the leads that they’re getting whether they’re office leads or self-generated leads, listening to the pain points from the customers or a sales guy’s strategy. Maybe he goes to a neighborhood and, say, he’s roofing a house, then, he has a plan to touch six other houses in the surrounding area to say, “Hey, I’m going to be working on this house. Let me know if the noise is too much, if there’s any debris.”

But you can take it a step further and come up with another idea. Well, it’s like, do they have kids and pets, and how can we turn that into a way to connect with that customer and provide some sort of a thunder vest for a dog that’s scared or something of loud noises.

But there’s opportunity. If we hear about that sales guy’s strategy and his process and how he is prospecting and trying to self-generate leads, marketing can help with that. And then, it’s collateral that can be used across the sales team that the owner can then tell prospective sales guys like, “Hey, we provide this for our team,” and it helps reinforce the brand. It helps with trust. It helps build the relationship with the customer. And that’s all because we learned that maybe one sales guy, his goal was to touch six houses for every roof that he is working on. So that collaboration is something we would never know, just talking to an owner saying, “What’s your highest priority in terms of service? Which location do you want to work in?”

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly. Exactly. And those kind of conversations, they honestly make our job more fun. It’s a great way to really create content that is truly reflective of a brand. And it’s not just more of the same. We’re the best in the area. We’re the most trusted go with us. It makes our numbers look good long term. And it actually makes that marketing partnership worth the money, worth the squeeze.

And a lot of times, to your point, it makes the sales guys feel supported and heard, which really feeds into just the vibe of the company as a whole. And it can help you keep the people that are the most important to your business and, at the end of the day, drive more leads for everybody.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. The more opportunity you provide them to convert a lead, the better. If they can say, “We’ve got 300 reviews online,” that’s a collaboration between marketing and giving a customer the opportunity to provide the lead, but also the performance of the sales guy, the project manager, the operations team, the workmanship of the job performed, all those things. They all kind of come together.

And if you think about it, marketing has touched each area of your business which kind of leads us into another point to collaboration is, yes, there’s the sales and marketing collaboration, but then, also internally, operations, production. That’s it. That’s a huge opportunity for collaboration as well. That’s sometimes overlooked when you’re thinking about your marketing agency. You don’t necessarily think of connecting them with your production manager. But there’s synergy there that can make whatever you’re paying for your monthly marketing services much more effective.

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly. And it goes back to creating marketing materials that support the efforts of your team internally. So if your marketing agency is in contact with your operations, and they can hear about the pain points that they’re getting from customers, maybe cool new systems and processes they’re putting in place that are helping make the buyer experience better, let’s talk about things that we should be sharing in social, we should be making sure it’s clear on pages of your website so that if somebody comes there, maybe they haven’t even reached out to you guys yet. But then, they find out, well, they take all these extra steps to keep me in the loop during the project process, maybe have someone that really likes to have some insight into what’s going on if they’re paying somebody, that might pull them in and bring them further down the funnel and make them more likely to fill out that lead form if they find out that you guys have taken these extra steps.

So something again, that might not seem like that big of a deal to a business owner. It might seem like it’s just business as usual and it’s what we’re doing to become more efficient. It could actually really be an important piece of information that your marketing agency can take and run with.

So again, that communication is key. And FAQs, again, that’s a great thing that we can do sometimes to take the load off of operations. If we’re answering questions that people are commonly picking up the phone to ask, we can answer those questions in a Google Business Profile. We can answer them on the homepage. We can answer them on a service page deeper in the site, whatever makes the most sense.

But we can answer some of those, and it might reduce some of those kind of duplicitous phone calls and let operations focus on what they’re doing, and spend less time kind of going through some mundane tasks that we can take off their back.

Devon Hayes:

Totally. Totally nailed it. Yeah. That’s it. Understanding, okay, what are the questions you get over and over. With ChatGPT and AI, it’s so big, not just a big buzz phrase, but automation, and using technology to, I don’t know, do those repeatable tasks so that you can be more effective in the jobs that technology can’t do.

So we can get those FAQs for people and break them out. Are they problem aware? Are they solution aware? That’s our job. That’s how we can speak to them differently. But what are those? If we know those, we can put them on a chatbot and automate it and say… Then, that gives the sales team another tool to point to. We have a great list of FAQs. Go to our website. Go here. Same thing if your website has a great breakdown of your process and what to expect for the project, that’s another place to point people.

If you have a ton of five-star reviews, that’s another tool in the shed that your sales team can use to point customers to an external trusted source. If it’s like, hey, don’t take my word for it. Go check us out online and giving-

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly.

Devon Hayes:

That collaboration just gives your sales guys or salespeople more of an opportunity to convert the lead.

Amanda Joyce:

Exactly. And another great point to that is if there are a few pieces of information that the sales guys are consistently finding, really pull the homeowner in, those are the things that we want to make sure we’re underscoring on the homepage because, again, they might want to come vet the company in afterwards and say, “I swear he told me they offer a lifetime warranty. Am I crazy?”

And if it’s on the homepage, it’s going to reinforce that. It’s going to remind them, “No, the guy’s not full of it. They really do offer it.” And on the same note, if they haven’t even spoken to one of your sales guys yet, and that’s what’s really attracting people in a face-to-face sales conversation, let’s put it on the homepage and hope that that pulls them in and entices them to reach out and start that sales process.

Devon Hayes:

Yeah. So the theme of this and where we’re getting at is collaboration. It’s when you collaborate with your marketing partner or your marketing agency who should be a partner, you’re not just going to check something off the list, mail a check once a month. You should be in constant communication, sending them updates. And they should be communicating with you, letting you know how you’re performing. And so, that’s it. So that’s the theme. I mean, collaboration, communication, assessment, and action, I think are how you can really be the ideal partner for your marketing agency and have the results that you’re going to be happy with at the end of the day.

Amanda Joyce:

Yeah. That you’re spending that money to get. And as a business owner, if hearing this, it kind of makes you a little overwhelmed, just as a reminder, it doesn’t all have to come from you. Open up those lines of communication to key members of your team and you’ll find out pretty quickly that you can outsource some of this communication. And everyone will feel heard, and everyone will benefit. And you don’t have to log hours at your computer or communicating directly with your agency. As long as you’re being responsive or making sure that the person that should be is being responsive, you’re doing your job as a marketing partner. And the rest of it is on the agency to deliver those results.

Devon Hayes:

Yes, ma’am. I love it.

Amanda Joyce:

Whoa.

Devon Hayes:

Whoa. I think that’s it. I think that wraps it up. I think we’ve kind of talked this one into the ground. But, hopefully, maybe your ears perked up a little bit as a business owner and you’re like, “Oh, that does make sense. Oh, I do want that kind of collaboration,” and really understanding that it’s partnership. So thank you so much for listening. And we hope you got some good nuggets out of this one.

Amanda Joyce:

All right. We’ll catch you guys next time.