While strategic partnerships offer many benefits, there are also potential challenges to consider. Here are a few tips for managing these challenges:
1. Conflicts of Interest
It is important to be aware of potential conflicts of interest. When we work with strategic partners, we put in place clear boundaries and guidelines for how we will work together and operate. It is crucially important that there is trust between partners, and equally as important that there is integrity on both sides. If there is a conflict of interest with a particular client, we will use an alternative trusted provider.
2. Capacity & Timescales
One of the benefits of having an all in-house team is that the marketing agency can manage their time and workloads. When you work with a third-party provider you loose this benefit, as they may be working with other agencies or clients who put additional demands on their time.
To mitigate this, we have clear and open lines of communication and always hold each other accountable at the earliest stages by setting mutually agreed deadlines and timescales, and having the integrity to speak up when the odd inevitable issue affects the timeline.
We always have multiple trusted and local providers to share the workload, make sure the best person is put to task and ensure there is continuity in our projects and output.
3. Changes in Business Priorities
As businesses evolve, priorities can shift. We are always prepared to adapt and adjust the partnership as needed, and wherever it is ultimately necessary, have a grown up conversation about ending it if required.
When it comes to the quality of work we provide for our clients, no one, no matter how long we have worked with them or know them personally, gets a free meal ticket.
We only work with local (North West of England) trusted providers who we have not only worked with professionally, but know personally. We informally call it our ‘whites of eyes’ policy. We will only work with people who we can hold to account and if necessary, be able to go and knock on their front door and look in the whites of their eyes. We have never had a problem and we don’t expect to do so, but this adds an extra layer of accountability that you just don’t get with outsourcing to someone on another continent (unless you like long distance travel!).
5. Data Security
When you work with us, we will both sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and Data Sharing Agreement. This is between your business and Invoke Media. But what about third parties who sit outside of our organisation?
See the above point about accountability. Whilst we think knowing someone and being able to hold them to account is enough, your solicitor may not. That is why every provider we work with has also signed a Non-Disclosure and Data Sharing Agreement (with Invoke and your business as their client).