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3 ways to build a better agency-client relationship

The reality of maintaining a complex business relationship where income is at stake is that there are several traps that can destroy it. Although all these points do not apply to all partnerships, the lesson is the same.

If you do internal marketing: Do you treat your agency as if it were part of your team? How do you keep them in the loop and give them everything they need to succeed? How do you know when you are not? Do not get me started in the process of choosing an agency!

If you are in an agency: How much should we charge for our services? Which pricing model should we adopt? When you're a small digital agency trying to grow, you end up throwing all you can on the prospects just hoping that they'll say yes – so, once you're done, how do you keep that momentum going? ?

Let's dive in three ways in the client-agency relationship, and how it can be repaired. This will include tips for both agencies and those who have hired one, so let's get started!


Clients: So, you have just hired an agency to manage your advertising. Generally, you will not have the same level of sophistication as the agency with regards to the work in progress.

When looking to create a paid search campaign, you must work with your agency to establish your methods and goals. This becomes even more complicated because, very often, you do not ask for something specific – you are simply aware that there is a problem and you ask the agency to find a solution. Establish the information you need to provide each time you request a job and use a single channel for that. Keep doing it!

Now let's talk about the results. When you notice that the ROAS, Leads / Month or any KPI has not improved as you wish, notify the agency. Ask how the problem can be solved and take note of the tactics that correspond to the problem in question. The more you communicate with your agency, the better you'll understand the tactics used in the paid media – and you'll be able to make more effective requests.

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Agency: Your responsibility in this role is to remove some of the mystery; facilitate an educational process and help your clients understand how specific issues are resolved. In the end, educating your customers on how to apply for a job will only help you do your job better. This creates a better experience for both of you – if customers do not know what to ask for and do not receive clear communication from you, they may feel like they are not getting the job for which they have paid you.

Providing a real understanding of your efforts solves many problems. If a client does not understand the work you have done, he relies solely on what the data says, which he does not always understand. Tell them what's going on! PPC is not magic after all.

As an agency, you have to create a better flow, from the beginning of your work until you get results – which keeps the excitement of this initial parry period . This can become tedious in the months when the results are not yet achieved, so it is important to lay a good foundation and continue to be good communicators after boarding.


Clients: Have you ever thought that you can not really know if hiring your agency pays dividends? Sometimes it may seem impossible to determine if progress is being made, and the biggest difficulty of all is that marketing does not happen overnight.

Being on the paid side, I've heard many times how what I do gets results faster than SEO / organic research; but i have the feeling that we exaggerate it. You must be patient and let the agency do its work, and you must be very clear with your goals so that the agency can set the expectations correctly.

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Agency: Yes, we should be doing detailed reporting to show success in terms of keywords and campaigns, but we should also be developing our reports and ideas on progress toward the goal. customer objective. At the beginning of the engagement, if the goal was to reach 100 prospects per month from all sources, how far are we? Never lose sight of this in your reports.

Many organizations struggle to celebrate success with their customers – if you're doing a good job and are on the right track to achieving your goals, make sure your customers get excited!

Also, I understand that for many paid search marketers, the day you do reporting is a terrible day. The reporting days are rather pale compared to the days when you have to dig into campaigns and become strategic, but the power is anyway – it's important!

Simplifying the process

Clients: Being honest about your needs and goals is the best thing to do to have a successful engagement with an agency. It's a strange relationship dynamic – you do not want to push your agency too much, but you really want to see results.

Try to find a balance and consider how you would treat your agency if it were your full-time employee. Respect, empathy and other core values ​​for your internal team should always apply.

Keep your agency informed of your goals throughout the process and communicate openly. You will achieve excellent results by working with your new partners, so keep the relationship simple and be in the foreground.

Agencies: There is a lot of information to communicate in a condensed period of time, and you try to provide as much value as possible. But take a look at your process from height to closing and through the work in progress. Are there things that are useless? Do you communicate clearly what is happening along the way or are certain steps being called?

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If you do not communicate value and do not explain the reasoning at every step of your process, the work you do is less valuable to the customer. Keep your processes simple and be open about what's going on.

Finally, keep your billing simple. Hourly billing creates accountability and definitely shows what you are doing. If your agency charges a percentage of the expenses, communicate the tasks and milestones achieved throughout the process to demonstrate your value in a consistent manner.

Final Thoughts

There are countless ways to improve the relationship between an agency and a client, but in the end, the most important thing is to start evaluating how we work together. Let's evaluate our relationships and work harder to avoid running campaigns or doing our daily chores – let's work together and get things moving.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.