Four Steps: How CMOs Can Help Marketing Agency Partners During COVID-19

Whether you’re a CMO or just a junior marketer, the effects of COVID-19 is being felt across the world. Businesses of all sizes across all industries are feeling the impacts. This includes your marketing agency partners. Here are the top four ways CMOs and marketers can help their marketing agencies and suppliers during this challenging time.

We believe these steps are critical for small and medium business partners. While a CMO or marketer may not be able to do all four, there are at least one or two steps everyone can do. Remember, building strong marketing partnerships and helping those endure helps you professionally and your company as well. Upon review, we hope leaders around the world will consider all four of these steps the right thing to focus on during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Four actions CMOs can take to help their marketing agency partners during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1) Shorten Payment Terms

We highly suggest that you shorten your payment terms to Net 30 days. Currently, many suppliers are waiting 60 to 90 days to get paid after work is completed. If you are able to pay a portion up front, especially for services work, it could save a small business. At a minimum, we recommend changing your payment terms for the rest of 2020 to be Net 30.

If your just a marketer and can’t influence company policy, you can probably help accelerate payment by contacting finance and having invoices expedited to help your marketing partners. If an email or call to finance can keep a partner healthy, it’s a small effort with big return that can take your partner relationship to a new level.

2) Give Most Impacted Alternate Work

Identify the most at risk marketing partners and evaluate how you can help. Marketing agencies in events, experiential, sports, media, and other service areas have just seen their healthy yearly budgets evaporate in front of their eyes. For many companies, these partners are very important to their growth strategy. Can you repurpose them to still add value for you and help keep stay viable so all of the talent they bring doesn’t evaporate come next year? Can they spearhead virtual events or influencer conversations for your brand?

3) Encourage Everyone To Post An Agency Review

Give all your active marketing agencies and suppliers a positive review on a relevant platform like G2 (for Martech) or Agency Spotter (for agencies and design firms). Encourage your teams to leave positive public reviews for partners they enjoy working with. Writing a review costs your team member 5 or 10 minutes, but can help a small business continue to earn during this downturn.

COVID-19 marketing

How To Leave A Review On Agency Spotter

To leave a review, make sure you’re logged in to Agency Spotter. Then visit the agency’s portfolio page and look for the “Review Agency” button in their Ratings section.

Once client reviews are submitted, the Agency Spotter team verifies the identity and credibility of each reviewer, and only allows those that meet strict criteria to remain published. Please note that only clients of an agency can review them. This can be former or current clients.

4) Let Them Name You As A Customer

We also suggest you loosen restrictions around your marketing partners ability to say they do work with you. Many Fortune 1000 companies arbitrarily force 60 to 70 percent of their marketing suppliers to never reveal that they work with you. However, almost all of those same companies allow their biggest, most strategic partners, like agencies of record, to announce when they win your business.

This has always disproportionately hurt small businesses. It has also caused many suppliers to break those agreements, which are almost never policed by brands. So, why do they really exist? If there was ever a time to tell your suppliers it is okay to say they work with your company and use your logo on their website, now is that time.

A Special Note

During this unprecedented time, our thoughts are with those across our marketing community who have been affected by this virus. We just wanted to take a second to address that, while you may not be thinking about Agency Spotter, please remember that we are here to serve as a resource for you and your agencies during these uncertain times.

There’s no denying that many of your partners are really struggling during this time. Show your agency partners just how much you appreciate them by, at the very least, considering the four actions brought forth above. Even if it’s just spending some extra time giving reviews, that will really show your partners just how much you appreciate them. 

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Brian Regienczuk
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