If marketers want communications that drive business results, they need to be able to orchestrate the work of multiple agencies and other partners, according to two industry figures.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to Work Most Effectively with Multiple Marketing Partners, Deb Giampoli and Karen Adams, co-founders and partners of Stone Soup Consultants in Chicago, stress the importance of a collaborative mindset, which may require a different way of working to the one marketers are accustomed to.

“The first step for marketing leaders is to imagine the agencies, not as separate specialized teams, but as one team in service to one brand,” they say.

“The next step is to ‘orchestrate’ the work of these diverse team members so that the team is performing at its best, most creative and effective self, and delivering better work than each could deliver alone.”

Which is easily said, not so easily done. Crucially, marketing leaders will have to scrap any notion of operating in siloes and ensure people aren’t sidetracked into turf wars: “competition between the agencies will no longer be tolerated”.

There has to be clarity about the role of each partner – which should extend beyond the individual agency to all others involved.

“Create a team of agency all-stars, not simply a roster of siloed agency teams,” Giampoli and Adams instruct. All members of this team need to then be immersed in the brand, from its history to the marketer’s vision for its future.

A well-written brief, “best initiated by a senior level marketer and in collaboration with one or more agency planners”, is essential before deciding on the “rules of engagement” – the roles allocated to each team member and how they will work together.

As part of this process, the authors recommend a clear, written, agreed scope of work for each partner, with a clear description of deliverables, timing, milestones, measurement, and compensation.

“Define what success looks like for the campaign or project, and share it with all team members. Communicate progress early and often,” they advise. And celebrate success together.

Sourced from WARC