​Brands must come to the table with their own ideas even when working with third-party marketing agencies.

​Have a business? It’s important to market it online, but not everyone understands how to generate desirable results. After all, the goal of any small-to medium-sized business is to make money online, but too frequently marketing teams don’t align their efforts with sales departments. This miscommunication minimizes content ROI and reduces website conversions.

According to a survey of 400 small business owners by marketing agency Cargo, approximately 21 percent cited a lack of responsiveness as their main frustration when working with creative partners. SMBs may fear bringing on third-party services to help promote core values, products or services for a variety of reasons. Cargo’s survey found that “not understanding my business” (17 percent) and “poor customer service” (12 percent) were two commonly cited issues about marketing partners.

While the Cargo report exposed a rift between SMBs and their creative counterparts, there’s likely a bigger problem at hand. Brands must do all they can to understand their clients’ true needs and messages, but they can’t be expected to acclimate themselves without the proper guidance. Practices like content marketing only succeed when writers and strategists work together to communicate the right points to the right people at the right time.

In a recent interview with CapWest Mortgage, CEO Monte Robbins explained an important aspect of working with a third-party agency that many SMBs may overlook or be unaware of before they sign a contract. Robbins says, “You have to get together with your team and outline your vision. If you plan to use an outsourced team of marketers, you must come to the table knowing what you want.”

In working with a team of external marketers, brands and clients must improve the lines of communication in order to succeed. Clients know the culture and personality of their brands, and it’s a matter of effectively verbalizing those core values to marketers. Then the responsibility of amplifying those props to the masses relies on marketers’ execution of unique campaigns.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.