6 Steps to Finding the Right B2B Agency Partner

If you are in a B2B marketing role, there is a solid chance you are a team of few but mighty. In the fast-paced world of B2B marketing, brand and marketing managers often find themselves juggling numerous responsibilities while striving to demonstrate tangible results—results that may then be dissected by internal sales, product teams, leadership and ownership.

If this sounds familiar, keep reading.

Today, B2B leaders say that creative solutions and skills are needed more than ever to make waves in the industry and succeed, according to LinkedIn’s B2B Benchmark Report. But it can be hard to dig deep into creative strategy and problem solving in a straightforward category like building products, especially when you have little time to spare.

We get it. The pressure is on to navigate evolving technologies, shifting trends, new brands entering the market and the swings in how your audience ultimately perceives your brand, the value it brings to their day to day and how often they need to hear from you and where. Not to mention the steady drumbeat of internal partners that rely on marketing to fill the lead pipeline and deliver on the brand promise with every new product launch, trade show, thought leadership program and sales meeting.

With so much on the line and so little time in your 50+ hour work week, it might be time to seriously consider engaging with an agency partner. Whether all-in on head-to-toe branding with marketing tentacles to execute your vision or folding in a specialist to tackle one business challenge at a time, working with an agency empowers you to get more people in your corner to creatively problem solve and innovate for your brand, protecting and building its reputation in the process.

And as any leader will attest, your brand’s reputation is important—and in the B2B, increasingly so. Roughly 6 out of 10 B2B marketing leaders say their C-suite has increased the importance of brand building in the current economic climate. They’re also spending more on growing awareness with an emphasis on a full-funnel approach.

So, how can you ensure that your agency aligns with your goals, that they will do what they promise as expediently as possible, and effectively lift you up as well as your business without breaking the bottom line?

Here is a pragmatic way to approach selecting the right B2B agency partner. And spoiler alert: It may not be what you think.

1. Select an agency that doesn’t know your business …

… the way you think they should know it.

Choose an agency partner that understands all facets of your business in the way that your audience and customers see your business not necessarily the way the C-Suite sees it. Shocking claim, I know, but hear me out.

For example, a roofing company needs roofing supplies, but they want a roofing supply company that can deliver on time and off hours when their business needs it. So, while you may be manufacturing roofing supplies, you are actually in the customer service business. Knowing the ins and outs of how your product goes to market, how it is received and considered by your audience, and what the mindset and business partnership goals customers have will best inform how you brand and market your business and offerings.

2. Choose a partner agency that answers to no one …

… but you and your business.

Independence. It’s key to how agencies work and serve today. Your agency partner should possess the autonomy to offer unbiased perspectives and strategic recommendations tailored to your unique needs, not what is driving their shareholders. Independence ensures that their focus remains solely on delivering results aligned with your business objectives, devoid of any conflicts of interest.

3. Get involved with an agency partner that doesn’t think about data …

… but rather reports on the outcomes of the efforts that directly impact your data-driven approach.

In today’s digital age, data reigns supreme. A proficient agency partner leverages data analytics to unearth actionable insights, enabling informed decision-making and targeted campaign strategies. By harnessing the power of data, marketers can optimize their efforts and achieve measurable outcomes.

4. Look for an agency that isn’t committed to process …

… so it can be flexible and pivot as needs shift.

Nimbleness and flexibility should be high priorities on the list of “Why work with us” as B2B marketing landscapes are dynamic and require agility and adaptability to respond to evolving trends and consumer behaviors swiftly. A nimble agency partner is adaptable and can pivot strategies, seize emerging opportunities and navigate challenges with ease, ensuring that your brand remains agile in a competitive environment.

5. Choose an agency that doesn’t want to be your friend …

… as much as they want to be your propeller to success.

Yes, having fun together, mutually respecting how we each bring expertise to our roles and enjoying the chit-chat before our meetings is important and necessary to building a true partnership. But an agency that is dedicated to your brand, finding creative solutions and doing what they promise as expediently as possible without breaking the bottom line—well, those are the kinds of partnerships that can lift you up—both your business and your own career—to new heights.

6. Don’t go with an agency that has experience in your sector …

… go with a B2B agency partner that has built its business around knowing the ins and outs of your sector.

To know is one thing. Having a deep understanding of your path to market, your audiences and the nuances of B2B communication is another. It’s non-negotiable. Your agency should possess comprehensive knowledge of industry trends, competitor landscapes and buyer personas, allowing them to craft tailored campaigns that drive engagement and foster meaningful connections.

Navigating the complexities of B2B marketing requires a strategic approach and the right partners by your side. By aligning with an agency partner that embodies independence, data-driven insights, nimbleness, flexibility, strategic prowess and extensive market knowledge, marketing managers and directors can navigate the maze of B2B marketing with confidence.

Together, let’s embark on a journey towards accelerated success, where collaboration paves the way for transformative outcomes in the ever-evolving landscape of brand-building and client engagement. Reach out today to get started.

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