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A Client’s GPS of Marketing Success

Taylor Brazell – Account Executive

In marketing, being proactive is preferred to being reactive. Working with a full-service agency can offer you the best opportunity to implement proactivity into your business model, but finding the best way to work with a third party can be difficult to navigate. Whether you are running a quick campaign or developing a year’s worth of corporate communications, following the GPS (goal setting, planning and sticking to it) model is how you can make the most of your marketing agency collaboration.

Goal Setting

Just like a road trip, the first and most important decision you will make for our campaign is the destination. The first phase of marketing involves laying out the place (or places) you want to be at the end of the road, otherwise known as the goals.

You’ve likely heard of SMART goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. These five qualities should be the building blocks of your marketing goals to give meaningful guidance to the work and allow for progress to be tracked along the way.

Before meeting with your agency team to discuss goals, make sure to get input from stakeholders within your company. Marketing agencies don’t just support marketing departments. They help people in sales, leadership, customer service, internal communications and many other members of your team reach their goals as well. Bringing everyone’s needs to the table can help find the best possible destinations for your entire organization.


If a goal is the destination, the planning is the directions used to get there, but instead of distances and turns, marketing uses strategies and tactics. These two get confused for each other a lot, so to clarify:

  • A strategy is a marketing method used to achieve our goals and objectives

  • A tactic is a specific action we do that follows our strategies

There are a few important considerations to keep in mind while building a plan. You may be tempted to focus exclusively on bringing in new customers, but retaining the ones you have is just as important. The plan needs to support every step of the customer’s journey.

Balancing multiple interrelated tactics is also critical to achieving success. The best marketing plans don’t put all their eggs in one basket, but instead focus on many different channels offered by a full-service agency, such as advertising, social media, trade shows, earned media, etc. Each has its own strength that plays into strategies in a complementary way.

To manage both these challenges and any other features of your unique marketing approach, communication is key. The more input your agency has, the better the team can plan. Even details that may seem insignificant could inspire an ad theme or an article topic, so do not hesitate to give them everything you have during the planning phase.

Sticking to it

Communication between teams does not stop being important once the plan is set. It needs to be constant and highly transparent to ensure everything can stay on track. If you have a direction in mind for a tactic, let your agency team know in as many details as possible. If you have critiques on a draft, give direct, specific feedback. These simple steps keep everyone on the same page and help save time and money by cutting extra rounds of edits, keeping both the budget and schedule in line with the plan.

Just like a road trip, marketing plans can be thrown off course by unforeseen circumstances. Though agencies can’t predict the future and avoid all these situations, a team that is well-versed in your industry and understands your goals can anticipate detours and work with you to get your plan back on track.


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