Choosing a new content marketing agency is a big decision. Will they deliver what you need? Will they ‘get’ your organisation, industry and how you like to work? Will they be a good fit for you?

They may have been recommended to you, or their initial pitch may have been impressive but, when it comes down to it, will they walk the walk as well as they talk the talk?

After you’ve seen examples of their work, it’s sensible to scope out how they’ll work with you. Here are the top four questions to ask:

1. What steps will you take to get to know our business?

An effective agency should be proactive about asking questions around the topics below and suggest an onboarding meeting to learn what makes your organisation tick.

Topics to cover should include:

  • your organisation’s objectives and wider business goals
  • current industry challenges and trends
  • key competitors to check out
  • a big-picture summary of your target audiences
  • your ways of working and how you’d like them to fit in with these
  • your expectations of the agency and your priorities.

It’ll be important to share your past marketing collateral, brand guidelines and any strategy documentation before this meeting so your agency can review and ask any questions.

2. What experience can you bring to our partnership?

The experience an agency brings to the table is a significant asset – if it’s used to your benefit.

Ask them how they’ll use this in your work together.

Specifics to look for include:  

  • insight based on previous experience in your sector and/or with your target audiences
  • an approach that views your business with a fresh pair of eyes
  • an understanding of the working practices of global organisations’ marketing departments and the likely pressures you’ll be under
  • practical suggestions about how they can become a genuinely helpful virtual team member.

3. How will you communicate with us?  

Every organisation recognises clear communication as a vital part of any business relationship but what you need to pin down here is how this will work in practice. How will the agency go about building a collaborative partnership, particularly via a remote working setup?

An agency genuinely committed to collaboration should suggest:

  • regular check-in calls for project updates and to report progress on hitting project milestones
  • delivering regular budget updates
  • a named project manager who will be the main point of contact and regularly available during working hours for quick questions or more extended consultations
  • a willingness to act as a sounding board to help campaign development, sharing experience gained from cross-industry working.

4. How will you tailor your services to our requirements?

Your business is unique, and it requires content marketing that caters for your specific requirements. A marketing agency worth choosing will recognise the value of tailored content and be ready to deliver it.

Find out their approach to:

  • customising their standard approaches to different content types to your organisation’s style and preferences
  • considering your target audiences’ preferences, and crafting content to these
  • pulling together content mixes in collaboration with you to better meet your objectives
  • adapting in-life campaigns to emerging trends or industry issues to increase relevance and impact.

How we fit the bill

We pride ourselves on the outstanding quality of our work, our responsiveness, our ability to work to tight timescales, our transparency over progress and costings and our down-to-earth way of working.

But, above all, our clients talk about our friendliness, team spirit, can-do attitude and how well we collaborate as a virtual part of their marketing departments.

We’re always happy to chat about how we could support you and make your working life easier, so get in touch to find out more.

Screenshot of BT's video animation focusing on BT being able to transform your contact centre experience

A market leading cloud-based contact centre solution

BT has a proven track record as a trusted transformation partner for contact centres across numerous industries for over 20 years. They provide a market leading cloud-based contact centre solution that blends the best of human touch with AI technology to deliver a personalised experience that exceeds customer expectations and increases business agility.

They asked us to create a video animation explaining the solution to share at an upcoming global event. The video needed to highlight their multi-faceted technical solution in an easy to digest format that would capture people’s attention.

Screenshot of BT's video animation focusing on BT being a global contact centre solutions integrator

Collaborative working at pace

We worked closely with the BT team to capture their vision for the video. We did this through interview calls before drafting a script. Once the script was approved, we liaised with a voiceover agency to bring it to life and our designers to visualise it into a comprehensive storyboard. Due to the tight timescales, it was essential that each stage of the script and animation was approved by BT before moving onto the next step. This close collaboration, and our proactive communication, meant we hit the strict deadline necessary for the video to be ready ahead of BT’s global event.

A great result

We met the video’s tight deadline and through clear communication got it right first time. BT were delighted with the result, able to successfully showcase their contact centre solution at their global event and we received great feedback.

Proactive communication
Delivered to a tight deadline
Effective collaboration
“It has come out very well, sleek and absolutely spot on! Thank you and the team. You have been fantastic to work and collaborate with and great at understanding our requirements and situation. Keen to work with you on more.”
“Thanks for delivering this video on time. It will go live later today during our global event. It’s been great working with you, and we’ll do more together, I’m sure.”

Strategic partnerships are a great way for businesses to make the most of each other’s expertise and expand their offerings by creating a joint proposition that serves both of their customers’ needs. Armed with an exciting new offer and joint marketing campaign, both partners can broaden the other’s reach – tapping into new audiences and boosting awareness.

But working jointly across disparate teams can have its pitfalls, with projects at risk of being held up by complex sign-offs and overlapping processes. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. So, if you’re considering partner marketing, we’ve laid out the benefits and challenges it presents along with our top tips for making it a smooth process.

The benefits of partner marketing

By playing to both parties’ strengths, partner marketing can be a win-win for everyone involved. Working together effectively gives both parties access to a broader range of marketing expertise and skill sets, so you can create a stand-out marketing campaign that delivers results.

When two well regarded companies join forces they can also build on their credibility, while at the same time increasing brand awareness, attracting new customers and opening new markets. Shared marketing makes financial sense too, with the potential for larger budgets and better economies of scale.

The challenges of partner marketing

Before you embark on a partner marketing campaign, it’s important to be aware of the common pitfalls so you can avoid them. Working across teams with multiple stakeholders can lead to inefficiencies creeping in if people are unclear who is leading the project and what your end goal is. This can make projects take longer than necessary and exceed their allocated budgets.

It can also be tricky to strike the right balance in terms of whether both brands get equal promotion, or if one is more prominent. To tackle this, budgeting decisions, brand consistency and messaging all need to be carefully managed to ensure your campaign makes the right impact.

What you need for effective partner marketing

A sensible starting point for any partner marketing project is identifying a lead to guide you towards an outcome that you’re both happy with. Everyone needs to be clear on who this is and understand their role. The project lead is key to ensuring that clear goals are agreed from the outset and that a strategic promotional plan with well-defined timescales is in place.

The project lead is also responsible for ensuring effective, proactive communication between the two companies and is pivotal to fostering a positive working relationship. They can manage the sign-off process and coordinate cooperation between the parties involved. By ensuring key elements of the creative process, like joint branding and asset creation, are addressed they can make sure both businesses are aligned so you get the right outcome, first time round.

Using an agency to manage your partner marketing

Involving a third-party agency can make a world of difference to managing your partner marketing. At asabell, our partner marketing strategies are tried and tested, so we can anticipate any potential hold ups and run a smooth and successful campaign. We’ve worked with global organisations for 20 years and are skilled at managing multiple marketing departments and coordinating their efforts.

To find out more about how we can support your partner marketing, please contact us.

Strengthening business relationships

As a proud custodian, sponsor and organiser of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for over 20 years, BT Ireland wanted to use the event as an inspirational venue for two key initiatives: an executive leaders’ forum for VIP customers and a day of fun and exploration for invited customers and their families.

BT Ireland was looking for copy, design, speechwriting and event stand support that could attract the two very different audiences. The challenge with the VIP customers was to get them to commit valuable time to share in a fireside chat discussing how to help businesses thrive through complicated times. With the customers with families, the mission was to convey a sense of the fun, excitement and learning on offer, to attract maximum numbers.

Swift and effective marketing support
With a deadline looming, we worked closely with the BT Ireland marketing team to create a suite of content tied together with consistent, strong branding. It was essential that the copy for the email invitations and reminder emails was motivational, to win time in diaries. Making the most of BT Ireland’s strong branding, we added eye-catching email banners to deliver inbox standout and maximise the opportunity to grab attention.
The emails directed the target audiences to landing page copy specifically crafted to convert interest into registrations. We backed this activity up with regular, visually varied event promotion across social media channels to further spread awareness. Plus, to set the scene, we produced printed content for the tables and made the most of BT’s brand to design a striking backdrop for the event stand.

An easy experience with great results

BT Ireland’s two events based at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition were a huge success, achieving the target number of attendees and gaining great feedback from customers. Although there were many parts to this project, our close collaboration with the BT Ireland team and regular progress updates ensured a smooth and effective experience for the team – and we received great feedback from all concerned:

Motivational copy
meeting attendance targets
One point of support
for a complete event package
Challenging timescales
while maintaining quality
“Wow you are great at your job – you hit the brief whatever we throw at you!”
“Everything went really well, and the artwork looked excellent, thanks for all your help!”
“Thanks again for turning everything around so quickly, you have put us in a great place to launch this week.”