Hiring a digital marketing company is a lot like forming a partnership.  The more closely you work together and the more freely you communicate, the better the results.

(If you’re not sure if you’re better off hiring an agency or doing digital marketing in-house, then go read this article first. )

However, there is one catch…

To get the best results, you or someone on your team needs to know enough about digital marketing to have meaningful conversations with your agency.

If you know nothing, then your agency may struggle to explain and get buy-in for new marketing initiatives.  Or worse, if you have misconceptions about how digital marketing tactics work, then you’ll constantly butt heads with your agency.  In both cases, your marketing suffers as a result.

What’s the solution?

Phil Frost, Main Street ROI founder quote

Your Business Needs a Marketing Liaison

For many small businesses, the marketing liaison will be the owner.  In larger businesses, this will be a dedicated in-house marketing position.

Regardless of who it is, this role is critical because the marketing liaison is the linchpin that holds the agency and company closely together.  When there are communication breakdowns with the liaison, then again, your marketing performance will suffer.

Think of the marketing liaison like the football player that used to run from the coach on the sidelines to the quarterback on the field to relay the next play.  If that player didn’t know enough about football and wasn’t familiar with all the plays, then there was a good chance the wrong play would be communicated to the quarterback.  Trust me, this happens more than you realize, especially in youth football.

The marketing liaison ensures that the coach (in our case the agency leading the marketing) can effectively communicate with the quarterback (the decision maker in your business).

What Does a Marketing Liaison Need To Be Effective?

The marketing liaison does not need to be an expert in digital marketing.  Instead, this person needs breadth of knowledge across many different digital marketing tactics. In other words, we’re talking about the “jack of all trades” versus the expert.

Or, if you’re familiar with the concept of T-shaped people, then your marketing liaison should be an expert within your industry (the vertical line of the “T”) and also have breadth of knowledge in digital marketing (the horizontal line of the “T”).

Now, you may be wondering…

How Much Do You Really Need to Know?

Everyone follows a fairly similar process when traveling from beginner to expert with any new skill.  It looks something like this:

  1. No experience and not sure how it works
  2. No experience, but familiar with how it works
  3. Some hands on experience, but still a beginner
  4. Lots of experience, but not yet an expert
  5. An expert

The most effective marketing liaisons have reached the 2nd level above in all of the core digital marketing tactics, and the 3rd level in some of them.  In other words, they are familiar with how SEO, digital advertising, email marketing, social media, and Google Analytics work, and they have some hands on experience with some of them, but they are probably still beginners.

Again, you don’t need to be an expert in any of the marketing tactics.  After all, that’s why you’re hiring an agency!

How Can You Increase Your Breadth of Knowledge?

I’m sure you already know the answer to this…

To increase your breadth of knowledge, you must invest in your marketing education.

And if you need help, then I have some great news. It’s the 4th Anniversary of Main Street Inner Circle, our subscription service where we share our best marketing advice every month across all the core tactics.

And to celebrate our anniversary, we’ve put together a special offer for you…

When you sign up today, you’ll get 21 marketing guides for $1.

Click here to get 21 marketing guides for $1 when you try Main Street Inner Circle today.