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Collaboration: The Key to Successful Marketing Partnerships.


In the world of digital marketing, the relationship between a client and their marketing agency is vital. For solo and small business owners, this partnership can often be the catalyst for transformational growth and brand enhancement. Understanding the dynamics of this collaboration can ensure that both parties thrive together.


Why Collaboration Matters.

Effective collaboration between a client and a marketing agency involves more than just regular meetings and status updates. It is about building a foundation of trust, communication, and mutual respect. When a marketing agency aligns closely with a client’s vision and goals, it becomes easier to craft strategies that resonate with the target audience and drive meaningful results.

It’s not just us saying this here’s another good article on collaboration from 2023 from Entrepeneur.

For small businesses, this means working with someone that not only listens but also understands the nuances of your industry and the challenges you face. A collaborative relationship like this can act as an extension of your own team, bringing expertise and innovative solutions that you might not have in-house. Not to brag but this is where Rawmarrow shines and how we are different than other offerings. We ditch the image of a faceless agency making decisions for your brand. We don’t even like to use the word agency as for lots of small business owners that has negative connotations. We see ourselves as part of every business we work with. Regardless of who you choose to help your small business there are some basic must haves.

The Process of Collaboration.

Initial Talks/Emails

This is where the journey begins. The key to success lies in a strong collaboration between you, the small business owner, and whoever you have chosen to help you with your marketing. Have a heart-to-heart with your agency. Discuss your business goals, target audience, and budget. If you aren’t up front about this you not setting the agency/freelancer with the information they need to get the best outcomes for your situation. Transparency from the get-go builds trust and ensures the agency aligns their efforts with your vision.

At rawmarrow we do ask a lot of questions as we don’t assume anything. Small businesses come to us at varying stages, some know their business inside and out – the target audience, unique selling points, brand voice. Others do not, or have uncertainties around them so those things may need some work before we move to the next stage. An outsider with experience will bring fresh eyes, marketing expertise, and a toolbox full of creative ideas. Together, you can craft a marketing strategy that truly resonates with your customers and works for you on a practical and budget level. It’s an opportunity for you to express your vision, objectives, and expectations.

After consultation, the agency will typically conduct thorough research on your market and competitors. In addition we look at where you are at across your business. The agency will then propose a custom strategy that addresses your business goals or problems raised.

Execution and Management.

With the strategy in place, the focus shifts to execution. Whether it’s launching a new branding initiative, rolling out a social media campaign, or creating content, the agency may handle the complexities of execution, allowing you to focus on your business operations.


Feedback and Adjustment.

No strategy is static. Regular feedback from both sides is crucial. What’s working? What isn’t? Adjustments are often necessary to ensure the  strategy continues to align with your evolving business landscape and market conditions.

The Challenge of Unactioned Recommendations.

An often overlooked aspect of client-agency relationships is what happens after strategic recommendations are delivered. At rawmarrow, we once faced a puzzling scenario where thorough audits and detailed recommendations were provided, yet these were not acted upon the client.

This can be due to various reasons:

  • Some small businesses may have found the process eye opening,  implementing new strategies can be daunting. Making significant changes can be intimidating, especially if it involves doing something new or a cost is involved.
  • Sometimes the amount of feedback can be overwhelming, making it difficult to know where to start.

To address these challenges, we ensure our recommendations are not only clear but also actionable. We prioritise them, often suggesting small, manageable steps rather than overwhelming overhauls. This approach helps small business owners feel more in control and less daunted the tasks ahead. They also know we are there for advice and support to implement. If this is you request a phased approach with your agency, or prioritise the recommendations that are likely to create the most impact.

collaboration agency surfing

Agency Hopping/Internet Surfing.

Some solo and small businesses find it difficult to let go and trust an external party. There is sometimes the feeling of “I should be able to do this myself”. Some start questioning themselves and or the external party.

For example they may have ear about another agency’s success story and think, “Maybe I’m with the wrong agency!” This can lead to what you agency hopping where they never stick with one agency long enough to build a strong, collaborative relationship. Or it can lead to trying to find free solutions on the internet. (although most try this before coming to an agency).

Here’s why agency hopping and internet searching hurts in the long run:

Lost Momentum-Every time you switch agencies or find an “internet answer/course etc there’s a learning curve. If you switch to a new agency they need to understand your brand, target audience, and marketing goals. This initial phase can be slow, and you lose valuable momentum in your marketing efforts.

If you are constantly looking at internet solutions, you have the learning curve of different views/strategies that you have to try and figure out how they will or won’t work in your business.

Inconsistent Strategy-Flitting between agencies means your marketing strategy lacks continuity.  A good strategy takes time to develop and refine.  Jumping ship disrupts this process and weakens the overall impact.

Wasted Resources- There’s a cost associated with onboarding a new agency, including fees and lost time.  Building trust and a strong working relationship takes effort.  Constantly starting over wastes those valuable resources. There’s a time cost associated with internet searching for solutions as well.

Find the Right Fit.

Finding the right agency is like finding the right pair of shoes – it should feel comfortable and work for your specific needs (eg. not high heels!).

Don’t chase the latest trends; focus on an agency that understands your business and target audience.

Open and honest communication is key. Share your frustrations and concerns with your agency. A good agency will work with you to address your needs and adjust the strategy accordingly.

Give it Time!!! Marketing isn’t a magic bullet. Building brand awareness and attracting customers takes time and consistent effort. Trust the process and the expertise of your chosen agency.

collaboration path rawmarrow blog post.

The Collaboration Path Forward.

The essence of a successful client-“agency” partnership lies in the continuous loop of communication, action, and feedback. Actively engaging with the strategies and solutions provided will yield best results. For small business owners, engaging with your agency should feel empowering. You paid them for a reason. It’s about making informed decisions together and watching your business grow as a result.

Ready to unlock the power of collaboration for your small business? Contact Rawmarrow today for a chat and see how we can help you.