The Insights Blog

5 Steps CMOs & agencies can take to deliver better return on agency investment this year

5 Steps CMOs & agencies can take to deliver better return on agency investment this year

CMOs and their agencies are looking to get the year off to a great start.

CMOs and their agencies everywhere remain as busy as ever. Marketers and agencies are expected to produce more with less and to deliver even better results. There is enormous stress on both growth and cost effectiveness.

And today there is an unprecedented urgency to make an impact. Marketers and their agencies feel those pressures daily.

How can CMOs and their agencies kick off the year in a way that increases their mutual odds of success?

Here are 5 steps CMOs and their agencies can take that will dramatically enhance their odds of delivering better impact and a better return on agency investment.

1. Renew your client-agency “vows”.

Once upon a time, the client and agency got “married”. They decided to work together in an ongoing relationship. And over time the business has changed, priorities have changed and many of the people involved have changed. Renew your vows to each other! Define the principles that will govern your working relationship.

2. Brief the agency on the annual marketing and business plan.

Share the plan for the year. Discuss the challenges, what is expected and needed and what is ahead. Engage the agency team even deeper in your business.

3. Review what you know – and need to learn – about your customer.

Marketers and their agencies need to represent the voice of the customer to the organization. Your customer doesn’t stand still – so make it a priority to better understand your customer every day, week and month of the year.

4. Develop 30/60/90-day plans and commitments.

Do this now for the first quarter and thereafter on an ongoing, rolling basis. Identify the key efforts needed and who from the client and agency is responsible with clear due dates. Publish this plan and use it as a living document to track and sense progress.

5. Schedule top-to-tops now.

If it’s not on the calendar it doesn’t get done: the modern marketer is pulled in so many directions from business issues and staffing challenges to digital transformation and data and Martech initiatives that it is easy to miss some of the basics in leading and managing key client-agency relationships. A routine, well planned and managed top to top call between the top marketer leading the agency relationship and their agency counterpart can be the secret weapon to greater effectiveness and results. You can read about how to structure the ideal top to top call here. Schedule your routine top-to-top calls now to maintain momentum and keep communication flowing.

Steve Boehler, founder, and partner at Mercer Island Group has led consulting teams on behalf of clients as diverse as Ulta Beauty, Microsoft, UScellular, Nintendo, Kaiser Permanente, Holland America Line, Stop & Shop, Qualcomm, Brooks Running, and numerous others. He founded MIG after serving as a division president in a Fortune 100 when he was only 32. Earlier in his career, Steve Boehler cut his teeth with a decade in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, leading brands like Tide, Pringles, and Jif.