How to Manage Your Marketing Agency Partners

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If you are a business owner making over 1M a year, it’s likely that you are currently managing multiple agency partners. If not, then expect to be in this position soon. How you manage these relationships will be what either propels your business forward or causes it to flat line.

After working with hundreds of businesses and having vetted over 625+ agencies, to date, here is the most ideal way you can manage your marketing agency partnerships.

How to manage marketing agency partners in the most effective way

Step 1: Hire the right marketing agencies

If you are reading this, you have already figured out that you need to hire a marketing agency.

This is easier said than done and the reason CJAM Marketing was founded. To help businesses find the right marketing agencies.

When you are managing multiple marketing agency partners, it’s important to hire agencies that will play nice with others. You want the marketing agencies you hire to focus on their core competencies rather than managing all your marketing efforts. We have yet to find a unicorn agency that does everything well.

Most full-service agencies only do 2-3 things well, and the others are just average. So, when managing multiple agency partners, make sure they are focused on what they are good at, and not trying to increase their bottom line by selling you services they don’t specialize in.

When working with our customers who need multiple marketing services, we will mix and match agencies that can support the cause without overlapping services.

For example, one of our customers needed influencer marketing, SEO, Website and Email marketing. There is no one marketing agency that does all these aspects well. So for the 4 services, we combined them with 3 different agencies; a Website development company with an SEO arm, Email Marketing Specialists and an Influencer marketing SaaS partner.

Here is a recent testimonial from one of our customers we helped find partners for:

I first met Bee in a group for Entrepreneurs.  I had tried (but failed) to find agencies to help my startup with identifying experts to help me out with: video creation, content strategy, PPC, SEO, paid traffic, creative design…and a variety of other things!

After a few calls Bee started making introductions to agency owners who specialized EXACTLY in what I was looking for.  Unlike my own efforts, where no one responded to my emails, Bee personally gave me the Founders of these agencies.

Long story short, I began working with 2 of the 5 he introduced me to and plan to work with one more in the new year.

The time he saved me is immeasurable.  The people he sent me are super relevant.  I simply do not have the network to get these tasks done…he has probably HUNDREDS of people he can intro you to but he takes the time to figure out who would be best.

I highly recommend CJAM Marketing and I will definitely work with them more in the future as my business grows.”

Step 2: Have an in-house resource to manage the agency relationships

As your business grows, it is key that, as a founder, you are not the one watching over every aspect of your marketing. Your time is better spent scaling your business instead of overseeing all aspects of executing your marketing strategy. This is how you scale a business with outsourcing.

Hiring a fractional CMO or marketing director to manage both the in-house and outsourced agency resources is extremely important for a few key reasons. One is that they understand the marketing lingo and can speak the same language as agencies. This is crucial as we have seen businesses miss key information that costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars because they missed or misunderstood terms or lingo in a marketing discussion.

Another important aspect is an experienced in-house resource will be able to spot when agencies are slipping and keep them honest. Thus providing your team with strategic direction and the space to focus on the other aspects of your business.

We have helped many business owners with their outsourcing business model for digital marketing by having an in-house resource to manage the strategy and marketing agency relationships. Learn more about outsource business models for digital marketing here.

Step 3: Setting up business and marketing KPIs

By now, you probably know that KPIs stands for Key Performance Indicators. When managing multiple marketing agency partners, it’s important that you have KPIs set up for each engagement. These KPIs should be reviewed monthly at a minimum. Don’t make this complicated. Find your most important metrics and have them displayed in a dashboard so you can do quick checks as needed.

Some key KPIs to review would be:

MER – Marketing efficiency ratio
CPA- Cost per acquisition
AOV – Average order value

Or any other metric that is important for you to know as a business owner.

Step 4: Communicating with your marketing agency partners

Just like any relationship in life, communication is the most important aspect. If you’ve done your due diligence and hired a strong marketing agency. The next mistake most business owners make is not communicating effectively.

Another key tip is that you shouldn’t look for a perfect marketing agency relationship. If the marketing agency is working at 85% effectiveness, work on the remaining 15%. No relationship is 100%. Not in your personal life and not in your business. Having 3 agencies operating at 85%, is better than having one person internally operating at 100%… And we know that very few employees operate at that level too.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a marketing resource on agency calls to make sure context isn’t being missed. For example, if an agency is talking at a level of 8/10 complexity and internal resources are only understanding at 2/10 complexity, a lot is going to be missed.

This concludes the 4 steps of understanding how you can manage your marketing agency partnerships effectively. It is no easy task, but when you master this skill set, your business’s marketing engine will thrive. If you are looking for support in building out a marketing team, reach out. We connect businesses with the right marketing partners and work alongside you to introduce great agencies.

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What’s Next?

Now that you know a little more about personal branding, it’s over to you so that you can put what you’ve learned today into practice. Of course, if you still need some help with developing and implementing your personal brand, we’ve got you covered there, too.

We specialise in helping people just like you to find the perfect agency to help them out, so reach out to us today to find out more. You can also leave a comment to keep the discussion going or follow us on your favorite social networking sites for more. We’ll see you soon!


Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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