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“Your Business + Agencies” Series: Being A Good Partner

Published: July 26, 2018

Author: Madeline Fitzgerald

During this 3Q Accelerate Week, we are breaking down the relationship between your business and digital marketing agencies, and how to navigate it successfully from start to finish.

Lastly, here’s a few tips on how to make the most of your agency partnership by being the best partner possible!
We don’t need to tell you that you’re investing a lot into your digital marketing program. Not only your media spend itself, but also the creative development, management costs, third-party tools and software, and – the most valuable resource – your team’s time and energy. While this week we’ve discussed many of the attributes that can make an agency a successful partner to you, we wanted to round things out by thinking about the other side of the relationship: you! Here are a few tips about how to make the most of your investment into digital, by being a strong partner.

Be flexible

In an age of programmatic buying and algorithmic bids, digital marketing strategies serve as a harsh comparison to marketing plans of the past. To really make the most of your investment, you have to say adieu to the days of fully fixed budgets and tactics/tests planned months in advance. In order to follow the data for a true performance-marketing approach, a nimble partner can make all the difference. For example, a 3Q Accelerate mobile app client faced massive changes in their Google strategy when UAC campaigns took over all other campaign types. Partners at Google recommended test setups and plans that weren’t performing close to the client’s old Mobile App Install campaigns. When the 3QA team radically changed their test setup and began to see things turn around, we recommended immediately that we reroute budget from other channels. The client’s flexibility allowed us to follow the data and lean more heavily into this performance – overall resulting in 65% lower CPA, with 10X conversion volume in just three months.

Be transparent

On the media buying side, it’s impossible to ever have the full story – so much more of a client’s relationship and performance takes place outside of what the Google Ads and Facebook pixels can track directly. To really get the full view, savvy marketers need to combine multiple systems and processes, with the goal of full data transparency. This is especially true in sectors like B2B services: one client, Guidebook, was struggling with lead quality when they came to 3QA for help. In addition to Google Ads-level structural changes to improve their acquisition efficiency, we dove deeper to get to the root of their quality problem. By establishing a standard reporting cadence to share post-lead data, we were able to quadruple the number of monthly qualified leads from nonbrand search. Because the client provided a more accurate full-funnel view of performance, we optimized to these higher-value actions and improved CPLs by 75% in 4 months.

Be collaborative

Paid media is only one part of the online marketing machine – a big gear, but still one of several that your team coordinates and invests resources into, including PR, blogs, site content, and much more. Collaboration between these “gears” is the oil that separates a clunky machine from a smooth one. Consider a 3QA client who offers online career advancement services. The brand invests heavily in producing original content that highlights the success of their programs, including posts on publishing platforms like Medium, original videos, and branded blog posts. The client wanted to maximize the value of the content being made, and the 3Q team wanted to test how this content would perform on Facebook ads compared to existing creative assets. We coordinated with the client to establish a head-to-head test, and the boosted organic posts drove 20% higher social engagement vs. traditional ads. This in turn improved cost-effectiveness of customer acquisition: users who came to the site from these boosted posts converted at a 94% higher rate, for a 40% better CPA.

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