For a healthier, more productive, and prosperous relationship

Hello, and welcome. In this video, I want to touch on the five questions that you should ask whoever is responsible for your marketing, whether it’s an agency, a professional or a freelancer or someone on your team. Five questions that as a business owner, you should be asking whoever is responsible for your marketing. The reason for it is because it will lead to not only just sustainable growth but a healthier relationship and a more beneficial partnership between you and that individual. Too often, these types of conversations do not occur, leading misunderstandings, frustration and a lack of clarity. You should view your relationship with the marketing professional as one of your most important professional relationships. You should treat them like a supplier, a staff member or a client. Be respectful and mindful of the advice that you’re getting and the professionalism of that individual. It is a relationship you need to manage, nurture and grow. Why? You are asking them to speak on your behalf to your customers. It’s a big deal, a big responsibility that you’re putting on them. So what are the five questions

The first question, what does success look like?

It is not enough to say we just want to grow our business. I just want the phone to ring more. You need specifics, and you need to be very clear. So you need to say if it’s more phone calls – currently, I get ten phone calls a week, after three months I want to get to 20 phone calls a week. If it is based on sales, then something like – currently we sell ten of our premium service, after three months I want to sell 20 of our premium services per week. It should be based on something you both can track. You should agree to the growth target and timing up front – this is where you create accountability.  Where the relationship can start to deteriorate, is because neither party was on the same page in terms of how long it’s going to take to go from point A to point B. I have seen too many times where impatience, lack of trust and understanding has derailed a marketing campaign within the first month. All marketing takes time, often months before you see meaningful results. It is a partnership, if you can assist the marketer with new content, photos, stories, testimonials, special offers, the faster you will see those results. Success can also be defined using holistic marketing metrics such as cost per click, cost per acquisition and customer lifetime value. Tracking the profitably of your marketing investments over a longer period of time, to ensure you are optimising for a higher return of investment. Whatever you agree on, please make sure you write it down and share it via email.

The second question, what happens if we miss our target?

The truth is, it is very difficult to guarantee results in marketing. There is a lot of factors involved that can impact results, including competitor activity, changes in technology, consumer trends, and internal business challenges. It can take time to assess whether the messaging, positioning strategy, brand reputation, consumer experiences, service design, are fit for your target market. In other words, it might take time for the marketing professional to determine if your business has the foundations required to win. A great strategy is only successful if backed by excellent execution. Any disruption, mistake or unforeseen internal or external issue can impact this. It is imperative, upfront to agree on what we do if, after the agreed period, we fall short? What is the gap-to-goal plan? The answer is not a refund or discount. Too many business owners ask for this, only to derail the relationship with the marketing professional, which will cost you far more in both time and money. The best thing to do is to focus on value-add. What else can you do? What additional time can they put in, additional investments they can put in, other software they can use, what else can they do on top of the initial scope and agreement to close that gap? So maybe they create more ads, perhaps they an increase in the number of keywords. Perhaps they provide photography or video to create more content. Focus on value-add activities that will help close that gap.

The third question, how do we review those results?

You want to set the reporting and communication expectations early. Why? This can be a huge source of confusion and frustration. Depending on your monthly spend, will dictate the type of reporting and commentary you will receive from the marketing agency or professional. The most common is a monthly email, with a link to a dashboard or an attached pdf, which provides a summary of the results and some commentary. The next most common is a fortnightly or monthly phone call to share the results and discuss what’s working, not working and help needed. Whatever the standard is, this is assumed in the price they charge you every month. If you have different expectations on how often you should communicate, you need to clarify this upfront. They might be assuming less than an hour a month for communication. You might be expecting any time I have a question, I can call you. So you might be planning to call multiple times a week. There is nothing wrong with this, but you need to let them know so that they can plan for it accordingly. The last thing either party wants is to feel like they are getting taken advantage of.  So this discussion must happen upfront.

The fourth question is, how can I help?

This is a relationship, a partnership – whether you are spending $600 per month or $6000 per month. There is a lot that you can do as a business owner to help accelerate results. You can provide content, photography, share stories, case studies, and industry insight. You can be more proactive in securing reviews and testimonials from customers. I recommend asking this question every month or so. It demonstrates your commitment to the results and places pressure on them to do more.  

The last question is, how do we celebrate the wins?

This question may feel odd, but again, you’ve got to treat this relationship you have with the marketing manager like you would a client or key supplier. You want to make sure that your relationship with the person you are entrusting to communicate with your customer is strengthening. Please take the time to celebrate the wins and completing the significant milestones. Maybe it’s grabbing a beer down the pub or coffee catch-up, exchanging flowers and cookies. I don’t know, but whatever it is, do it periodically. Have fun, take photos, share it online. Marketing should be fun. It also encourages self-reflection. So when you get together, celebrating the wins, you’re looking back at what worked well, and what was learnt. You don’t want the relationship to become stale. Just like a staff member, you want to motivate them and excite them. That marketing agency or marketing professional might be managing multiple clients. It will help if you are one of their favourites. You want them to put in that little extra bit of effort.

So they are the five questions. I highly recommend you ask those five questions of your marketing agency your marketing professional or your freelancer. Make sure you are asking those questions regularly to building that relationship over the long term. My name is Luke Hawley, Managing Director of Marketing Broker Australia, and I hope you found this video helpful. Thanks. Bye. If you would to speak to a Marketing Broker about the marketing of your business, please visit our contact us page to learn more and book your free consultation.