Accountability is an essential element in any client – consultant relationship, and marketing is no different. As a client you put your trust in your B2B marketing consultant or agency to work in your best interests and make analytics based recommendations to get your business where it needs to be, and your consultant relies on you for access to the right information, feedback and sign offs they need to keep your marketing rolling.
Marketing is not an exact science, and reaching your targets is not guaranteed, so it is critical to be able to analyse and measure results from the work undertaken to determine what has worked and what hasn’t been as successful in order to inform suggestions and recommendations for the way forward.
First and foremost the relationship between a marketing agency or consultant and client should be collaborative, which works best if there are built in mechanisms for transparency and accountability.
Here are 5 simple ways to keep things on track.
1. The Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The SLA helps to clarify and manage expectations (client and consultant/agency) during the period of the contract. It includes a description of services to be delivered and the expected service levels, it outlines what each party will do, the timeframes and required turnaround times, and defines how results will be measured.
2. The Quarterly Work or Campaign Plan
A quarterly work or campaign plan is developed in collaboration between the client in the lead up to each quarter, and (as the name suggests) sets out the activity for the coming period taking into account past results (via analytics review) and any new opportunities that may have presented during the previous quarter.
A defined scope of work provides transparency around the work to be done, and the schedule, making it easier to stay on track.
3. Weekly Work in Progress (WIP) email
At the start of an engagement ask your B2B marketing consultant or agency to provide you with a 1-3 line weekly email to let you know what they will be working on during the coming week (and achievements during the week prior).
4. Monthly and Quarterly Reporting
Meet with your agency following the end of each month to review results and analytics. Have an agreed framework for the report and include both lead and lag measurements (as agreed in the campaign or work plan). This will allow you to identify successes (you may decide to do more of this activity) as well as under performing activities which you may need to adjust.
5. Real-time Analytics
Real-time analytics allow you to see progress and results any time you like. Google Marketing Platform (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Data Studio) along with your marketing platform (eg Hubspot Marketing) have a suite of self-serve analytics.