The digital marketing industry is booming and it’s no secret that the consumer of today is online 24/7. Businesses are finally recognizing how much value digital marketing can provide and are investing more resources into it. This has propelled the growing demand for digital marketing agencies that provide these services.
In fact, per Globe Newswire, the digital advertising and marketing market – which had been estimated at 350 billion USD in 2020 – is projected to quite double with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 percent, reaching 786.2 billion USD by 2026.
However, working with different digital marketing agencies on the same project may be a challenge. As a project manager, you need to be aware of the different ways that these agencies work so that you can manage the project effectively.
In this article, we’ll help you navigate project managing when working with multiple third-party marketing agencies.
But First, What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing involves a process which utilizes a variety of online channels to promote a brand, product, or service. This can be done through the implementation ofmarketing campaigns, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing. These are some of the services that most digital marketing agencies or service providers can offer.
SEO, for instance, is the process of optimizing a website for Google’s search algorithm. This includes executing tasks such as keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, to cite a few.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, is the process of using social media platforms to promote a brand or product. Asocial media agency can manage campaigns that require tasks involving paid ad creation, organic post scheduling, or by engaging with influencers.
Email marketing is primarily executed through the sending of promotional emails, such as newsletters, to potential first-time buyers and existing customers. An agency provider can choose to do this by building an email list and sending out targeted campaigns.
PPC marketing or paid media advertising is also a form of digital marketing. With pay-per-click marketing, businesses pay to have their ads shown on Google or other platforms as a PPC agency manages the campaign, creates the ads, and controls thepaid ads budget.
And lastly, among the other popular digital marketing strategies, content marketing is a process of creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain customers.
There are various digital marketing services, and depending on the needs of a business, different agencies will specialize in different areas.
So, How Do Digital Marketing Agencies Work?
Most digital marketing agencies will have a team of specialists in different areas. For example, there may be a team for SEO, another for social media marketing, and another for email marketing.
Each team will have its own process and way of working.
The SEO team, for instance, may begin by doing keyword research to find the best keywords to target. They will then proceed to optimizing the website for those keywords. Once the website is optimized, they will start building links to it.
The social media marketing team, on the other hand, may begin by creating a social media strategy. They will then proceed to creating and scheduling posts, as well as engaging with influencers.
And the email marketing team may begin by building an email list. They will then segment the list and create targeted campaigns.
These are just a few examples of how digital marketing processes are executed and how some agency providers might be constructed. An agency’s teams will usually be organized by their roles or business units.
Having an in-house marketing team with limited expertise, bandwidth, tools, or resources is a possible reason for a business to seek third-party service providers. As a project manager, working with multiple digital marketing agencies on a campaign can be challenging for a number of reasons, such as:
There are different processes and timelines
Each team will have their own way of working
There may be overlap in the work that needs to be done, which can lead to confusion
The Importance of Project Management in Digital Marketing
Project management is essential in digital marketing. There can be moving parts in any digital marketing project, and when not managed accordingly, its progress will lag, and performance will be poor.
As project manager, it is within the scope of your responsibility to ensure that the project is on track and that everyone is working together – from the in-house team to the third-party agency.
To effectively manage the project and ensure that your business objectives are met, it is a must for a project manager to have a good grasp of digital marketing’s wide spectrum in both theory and practice.
Some skills that a digital marketing project manager will need include:
Being able to manage multiple teams and projects at the same time
Having a good understanding of digital marketing
Being organized and detail-oriented
Being able to communicate effectively
Having problem-solving skills
If you are working with different digital marketing agencies at the same time, it is also important to build good relationships with them. To effectively communicate and collaborate with them, here are some basics in building good relationships with digital marketing agencies:
Be clear about your expectations
Be responsive to their questions and concerns
Be flexible when things change
Give feedback regularly
Truly, working with different digital marketing agencies can be a challenge, but by understanding the different processes that each agency follows, you can monitor the progress of a campaign, work towards hitting the right metrics, and achieve your marketing goals.
5 Project Management Tips When Working with Third-Party Agencies
Now that we've defined how digital marketing agencies work and how project management impacts the quality of work delivered, here are five project management tips for businesses working with different agencies:
Allocate enough time to integrate workflow processes
When working with third-party agencies, it’s important to have a dedicated amount of time to integrate their workflow processes into your own. This is vital for these reasons:
To direct the team and agency towards to same direction
To reduce miscommunication and clarify roles
To make sure that deadlines are met
If you don’t allocate enough time to do this, it can lead to problems down the line, such as delayed deliverables, poor quality of work, or misaligned objectives.
Create a healthy dynamic for a harmonious working relationship
The relationship between a business and an agency is a two-way street. For it to be successful, there needs to be a healthy dynamic in place, especially since you’re the project manager and your work is dependent on contributors outside the organization.
Some things that you can do to create a healthy dynamic include:
Being respectful of each other’s time
Giving clear instructions
Being open to change
If there is a healthy dynamic in place, it will make for a much smoother working relationship and will ultimately lead to a better outcome. After all, the success of your business reflects the combined efforts of both project manager and agency provider.
Over-communicate, be accountable, and build on in-house expertise
When working with an agency, it’s important to over-communicate. This means being clear about your expectations, giving detailed instructions, and providing feedback on a regular basis.
If, for example, the team needs more information on a specific product or service that your business provides, be sure to send over all relevant resources prior to creation of marketing collaterals.
It’s also important to be accountable for your part in the project. This means being responsive to their questions and concerns and being open to change when things don’t go as planned. And if you’ve made any guarantees or promises, be sure to keep your end of the deal. Like in any other business, accountability goes a long way in achieving success.
Finally, it’s important to build on in-house expertise. This means having a good understanding of digital marketing and having the capability to effectively communicate your business objectives with the agency. But why is there a need for this when you’re already working with agency experts?
Without the necessary in-house expertise to guide, QA, and validate the work being done by the third-party agency, your business might not get the results that you desire.
By following these tips, you can avoid the following problems that oft accompany working with third-party agencies:
Lack of communication
Ineffective feedback loops
Establish a concrete management structure
It’s also important to establish a concrete management structure. Similar to accountability, a defined management structure allows for a clear understanding of who is responsible for what, and it sets both the client’s and vendor’s expectations from the outset.
Essentially, this empowers your business to effectively manage the project, and ultimately leads to a better outcome. Without established leadership in place, the third-party agency or vendor may take the lead of the project, which can eventually lead to confusion or undesirable results, as they haven’t been integrated accordingly.
Digital marketing is one of the most important aspects of any business, and as such, it’s important to partner with an agency that you can trust. As project manager, you must establish the standard of quality to achieve satisfying results.
Implement the right technologies for seamless service delivery
To effectively manage a digital marketing project, it’s critical to implement the right technologies. Having a system in place that allows for seamless communication and collaboration between your business and the agency enables consistency in work delivered.
Here’s a list of widely used tools that can help with project management:
These tools each offer its own unique set of features and benefits, alongside differing pros and cons, so depending on your needs and preferences, it will be to your benefit to leverage the most suitable software.
Through the implementation of the right technologies, you can avoid reoccurring problems that can impact your marketing campaign, such as missed deadlines, content that isn’t on brand, or wrong targeted keywords.
Digital marketing is a constantly evolving industry, and as such, it’s important to partner with an agency that keeps up with the latest trends.
The Benefits of Working with Different Agency Providers
Conclusively, project managing a digital marketing campaign while working with third-party service providers can offer a number of benefits to businesses when done effectively, including:
Access to subject matter experts
Increased efficiency and productivity
Better quality control
When executed properly, partnering with different digital marketing agencies can help businesses take their campaigns to the next level.
By following the tips and advice outlined in this article, you can successfully manage your digital marketing project, all while reaping all the benefits that come with working with different agency providers.
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