I have found there are three reasons that clients come to a digital marketing agency:

  1. They need assistance in their digital marketing efforts and seek expert advice, marketing creativity and innovation, and implementation of it all because they do not possess those skills themselves or have an in-house team.
  2. They know what they want done and have some skills to do it, but do not have the time nor bandwidth to accomplish it all themselves.
  3. A combination of 1 & 2.

This all makes sense, but there is also a component of the brand/digital marketing agency relationship that often does not make much sense at all – that is what we will explore here. Why? Because if you acknowledge and understand this important point, your relationship with your digital marketing agency AND the amount of value they can provide for you will be so much greater!

The Importance of Taking Advice

If someone seeks medical help, either for general health or a pressing medical issues, it is because they want a professional diagnosis and a plan of action. We can do research and gain enough knowledge to feel like we can self-prescribe, but when push comes to shove, we go to a professional!

Ultimately, for our physical health we wish for the best results possible.

In most cases, that is best accomplished by following the advice and recommendations of our doctor or personal trainer. If someone wants to be competitive in a marathon, a trainer evaluates the current physical state of their body and tells them what to fine tune to get ready for prime time competition. It could be several recommendations that may be perceived as relatively insignificant. The professional trainer is using their education and experience to create a comprehensive master plan where each recommendation – when completed together – produces better results any single recommendation performed in isolation.

They can confidently say, “If you want this, you have to do that.”

Woven into this analogy is the question for you: If you want to have success and be competitive, do you think you can accomplish that without your doctor or trainer’s recommendations? Should you second-guess what they say, and instead tell them what YOU want to do?

It is your body – you can do what you want with it. You can also tell the doctor or trainer what exercises you will and won’t do, you can tell them what you think is most important, you can even tell them that you will do some things on your own – and then not actually do them. They’re working for YOU, right? RIGHT!

If you do that however, there is one thing that you cannot hold your doctor or trainer responsible for – YOUR SUCCESS!

You have taken ownership of that; the trainer is just there to carry out your plan, your strategy and your tactics.

Achieving Your Shared Goals

When I needed surgery on my elbow, my cousin who is an orthopedic surgeon told me to find a doctor who performs THAT particular surgery every day. They know what to expect. They have seen it all. They know exactly what to do if something is not proceeding as anticipated.

Digital marketing specialists perform their craft every day. They live and breathe it. They attend conferences, share thoughts and ideas with the industry thought leaders and innovators. They are thought leaders themselves. They read articles, blog posts, white papers, watch videos, webinars, roll up their sleeves and try everything they discover to see if it can be a difference maker.

Take some time to consider these recommendations:

  • You hired a professional because you want a professional diagnosis.
  • A doctor can help you get healthy if you agree to follow their plan.
  • A trainer can only help you win the race if you stay on track.

What brand/agency relationships do you find to be successful? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 4, 2015 and is filed under Organizational Innovation.

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