Setting the Expectations with a Marketing Agency

Leave a Comment / /

If you’re looking to work with an agency, there’s a lot of factors to consider. Often times I find that prospects are concerned that as it’s an outside marketing agency that they will not have the same level of control as having someone in-house. 

This can often be the case, however, if you start the relationship with your marketing agency transparently, working to set the right expectations not only in terms of the results but also how you want them to interact with you and your team you’ll rest assured that the agency you choose to partner with will align correctly with you and your organization.

I find that there are 3 key areas that agreements need to be clearly delineated.


This is the area that most business owners are interested in. The old question of “what’s in it for me?” is often answered by this. Many agencies will not necessarily guarantee or promise any particular result as there’s uncertainty depending on the industry you’re in, and their experience in working with you on this.

While this is understandable you’ll want to have an understanding of the results that you have to have to achieve your bare minimum to be profitable on the marketing done by your agency. The agency should understand this as well. 

If a new client spends an estimated $300 a month for an average of 1 year totaling a lifetime value of $3600 and your marketing costs you $3000 to acquire that customer then that’s not viable marketing. On the other hand, if the marketing agency is helping you to generate new clients for $600 per client you’ll be getting a 6 to 1 ROI which is usually quite viable.

If you have this information, make sure the agency knows it so that you both are aware if this relationship is working or not. 

Ideally, you find an agency that is willing to work with you to be paid based on results as you’ll find that they work hardest towards the result that you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re interested in knowing the exact metrics that you and your agency should measure I broke it down in detail here.


Setting the expectation for what information you want to hear is vital to have a successful marketing agency relationship. You, as the client, should be informed often enough that you have an understanding of what your agency is doing for you. Also, you should have enough metrics that matter sent to you so both you and your agency know that things are going well or if they aren’t why that is and what is being done about it.

So, how often should you hear from your agency? Depending on the level of service you’re receiving, you’ll hear from them daily, weekly or monthly. I find that weekly check-ins work best as there’s enough activity to have movement occur while also not being so infrequent that things can have gone wrong without you being in the loop on what is happening.

If you’re running a major multi-million dollar company, you’ll likely want to have daily check-ins as you’re spending significant amounts. On the other hand, if you’re only spending $200 a month on advertising for an email newsletter then having check-ins twice a month or monthly may make more sense.

Lastly, what should your agency be reporting to you?

As mentioned in the previous section on results, you’ll want to have defined the results that your agency should be achieving and these should definitely be part of the reporting. They should also report on the activities done, the money spent, and other key metrics showing the progress done to support your account. I’ve put a sample below to help you out. 

Hi ​,

Here’s your weekly check-in.

What we did this last week for your account


Results achieved on your account last week:

Leads Generated:

Money Spent:

Looking forward to continuing to succeed with you.



Quality Control

When working with an agency it’s important to determine what content can be published without approval, if any, or which content can go out only after approval.

While each agency has its own process for this I highly recommend you let your agency know that you’ll want to see all posts/emails/content for at least the first couple of months until the agency has been consistently only sending you content that aligns with your vision for your marketing.

To expedite the process I do recommend having a brand guide and customer avatar clearly delineated (I went into more detail here) but even with these in place, I recommend that you set the expectations with your marketing agency that they should send their content to you for review before publishing.

It’s very common for this process to take some time even if they are familiar with your industry or vertical as each company is unique however if you continue to find basic errors after a few months in working with an agency, this may indicate that they don’t have the internal processes or quality control in place in order to consistently deliver value to you and you’ll have to determine whether or not you’ll want to continue to work with them.

If you’re looking for a marketing agency that works with Business Owners to consistently overdeliver then connect with us by clicking here.