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We’ve been there. Misunderstandings creep up on you, you don’t feel your partner understands you. You see their Snap story and feel a sting of jealousy as soon as they are around someone else, while you are miles away.
When all communication go via text, short phone calls and maybe a quick Skype so you can see each other’s faces for a minute, it is easy to feel like things are not great.
If you feel that a long distance relationship with the love of your life is hard, think about what it can be like between a company and an agency….?
Well, it can be though, we’re not going to sugar coat it. But if you have a good strategy, clear communication and the right agency to work with, it can be way easier than you think.
So what is really the key to success when working with an agency a little further away?
1. Set clear deadlines for tasks, activities and goals
Clearly defined milestones for all marketing activities, specified deadlines and a fool proofed strategy is essential. This is why Inbound Norway, together with your marketing department, create a publishing plan for your blog and website, as well as a plan for any campaign work. This is always kept up to date and everyone can use this as a tool throughout the project.
We also plan quarterly workshops, so that we know what the plan is at all times and where we are heading next. This also gives us some leeway if there are any changes in the industry.
2. Delegating tasks and roles
Everyone needs to know who is in charge of what and who will get what done. This makes it easier for both parties to communicate with the right people to ensure efficiency. Assign responsibility for design, content, social media and strategy. Is it all the same person for all the departments that are getting started with inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing can run like clockwork if everyone knows what they are doing and gets it done.
Nothing works without clear communication. Luckily, this is really not that hard. Our strategists like to keep in touch with the people we deliver inbound to. We often talk in Slack (a popular direct messaging system). We also have a weekly status meeting and monthly analysis and strategy meetings with our clients. This can be done by phone, video or in-person, depending on how far away we are from each other.
We also include support in our retainer. This means that our clients can get in touch with us if anything happens, if they need any extra training, or just want to bounce some inbound ideas around.
4. Virtual meetings
Modern technology has made long distance a breeze for companies, both internally and externally. By using video services such as Videxio, we connect with anyone, anywhere. We can hold one-on-one meetings or conference calls, sharing both our faces and screens.
5. Building relations
Even if you’re not in the same city, it is possible to build great relations. The people in Inbound Norway come from all over the country (Narvik, Trondheim, Odda, Moelv, Tønsberg) and often travel to meet companies where they are. We host breakfast seminars in both Bergen and Oslo to share the inbound message and welcome anyone who wants to stop by our offices in Oslo city centre.
How often do you see other suppliers? We are guessing not that often. Most people communicate by email, phone or video. We are a huge fan of the latter.
So focus on finding the right agency for you, regardless of where they are in the country.