What You Need to Know & Do Before Hiring a Retail Marketing Agency
1. Planning Phase Before Hiring a Retail Marketing Agency
Your agency should have a clear, consistent and scalable communication structure, process and platform for your in-store team. Communication through this platform ensures consistent distribution and audit capability to ensure that people have received, accessed, and when required, confirmed receipt of communication.
Scheduling, data collection and compliance should be geofence enabled to ensure that individuals are seamlessly tracked and accounted for. This tool allows total flexibility in how to create, manage and deploy schedules all the way down to the individual. Moreover, the ability to track, collect and report back all of the information gathered around these events should be available to you. The platform must be fully mobile-enabled (including Android and iOS), ensuring tremendous flexibility and agility for users. Individuals should be able to easily manage their visit commitments, record visits and track travel activity in real-time, streamline their data collection efforts and report easily, maximizing their time to focus on sales. Full audit and activity history around each visit should also immediately available to managers, support staff and analysts. With a wide range of scheduling methods available, and a focus on optimizing performance efficiently, options range from automated push scheduling capabilities to autonomous self-scheduling and everything in between, all while maintaining adherence to wage & labor requirements, and controls for managing labor and travel costs.
The business intelligence reporting platform should provide you with direct, real-time visibility to planned schedules and execution elements that can be customized to audience (e.g. account managers vs executives).
2. Transition and Switching of Field Marketing Agencies
To ensure a smooth transition, it requires openness and proactive relationship building with key stakeholders with both agencies. The transition needs to be managed deliberately and purposefully, with clear and transparent progress and adhering to strict timelines that are agreed to upon initiation of transition
Below is a top level view of the program transition process:
Roles and responsibilities during wind-down
Create a transition team that represents key functional areas.
Estimated 6 - 8 weeks of transition time to enable all tasks to be completed.
Relevant documentation and training assistance to facilitate knowledge transfer to deliver services from the new locations/provider
Documentation required would include:
Current Job Descriptions
Organization Charts by Division
Current KPIs & performance by Expert
All store personnel CRM histories as applicable
Review of all systems & support with transition
Talent Data: Salary, Bonus, Employee Reviews, Tenure, Benefits
Review of all current logistics including assets requiring transitions, planned events/travel
Provide a plan to migrate all data stored on the suppliers' IT infrastructure (if any) to the new infrastructure, along with any other third part of proprietary systems and tools as necessary
Cross-training for a reasonable period of time to enable the successor to take on the services
Assume a 4 - 6 week transition plan depending on additional system information.
As it relates to transitioning an existing program, key risks include:
Non-complete clause: This can generally be navigated, but may incur some fees should retention of talent is preferred.
Talent Loss: Where retention is desired, communication with key talent is critical. Executing a communication plan for these types of transitions and high emphasis is placed on the critical players that should be retained.
Data Disruption/Retention: Depending on existing agreements, consider all data it wants to transition over and gain access to.
Technology Integration: May have to transition off certain platforms or products owned by an independent 3rd party.