They can bridge the trust gap by making very clear what each partner is working with and what reality looks like. A good agency should be advocating for a solid framework and single source of truth: data and numbers that are reliable, accurate, and recognized as the benchmark that both teams will use to measure success and performance. When everyone rows in the same direction, resistance is easier to manage, and it becomes easier to identify gaps and close them.
Does your agency bring you insights based on data and industry research?
Say ‘NO’ to RFPs
A procurement-driven process is no way to start a relationship that aims to deliver performance. An RFP document rarely discloses everything required for a thorough response, and even more rarely is the process managed effectively, efficiently, and without bias. If you’re a brand in search of an agency—whether a first-time engagement or looking to replace your current partner—do some research and seek referrals from colleagues and peers who are already working with agencies. The best source of a good relationship is a recommendation from a trusted source.
Do you still feel the need to issue RFPs?
Take the time to draft an SOW
A good SOW will also spell out each party’s responsibilities and what to do when partners disagree, or the scope has to change for any reason. It’s a framework for a productive working relationship. A good working partnership is in the details. When everything is documented and signed by both parties, it’s a binding contract that can save both of you later if either partner steps out of line. Even when both sides enter the engagement with honest intentions, the unknown can always change the dynamic, and when backs are against the wall, behaviour that was once inconceivable can blindside a party that is relying too much on good faith.
Are you currently using SOWs to manage scopes of work with agency partners?
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