Being a certified Google Partner means quite a bit to us and we take a bit of pride in being a good partner. For those of you that don’t know, Google has a partner program whereby agencies must certify with Google by passing a set of exams each year to demonstrate their proficiency on the platform, but the accounts they manage must also meet performance standards. Now just like any other industry, not all agencies or companies are the same.
For us at Factor One, we approach the partnership with our clients as a relationship, not like other agencies. We want our clients to value our relationship and view us as a partner and not a vendor. What’s the difference? In our view, a vendor will tell you what you WANT to hear, whereby a partner will tell you what you NEED to hear.
In a vendor/client relationship, I’ve always found that the vendor is always pushing you to buy more because it’s in their best interest so there is often this feeling of pressure I find and it can sometimes feel like I’m buying stuff I don’t need. Whether or not that is the case it’s the nature of the relationship.
A partner/client relationship I find to be one of equality in that to work successfully there really needs to be a two-way communication. Our most successful campaigns with our partners are the ones where we get constant feedback from the client but sometimes we’ll give them homework to do as well. As marketers, we can’t always see what’s happening on the front lines but this information is invaluable to us in maintaining a successful campaign. At the same time, our clients appreciate the insights we share about what we’re seeing in the campaign data and why we may recommend a course of action.
Most of all, we love the partner/client relationship because we enjoy learning about the businesses we help. If you think two businesses competing in the same local market and industry are the same you’d be totally wrong. Each business has its own culture, values, and operation and a good marketing partner not only understands this but seeks this information out.
In the end, we have seen that this builds long-term relationships built on trust and understanding which translates to successful online marketing campaigns. This is what it means to be a Google Partner to us.