Episode 3 - Why Companies Have Different Relationships with Different Agencies


On Episode 3 of Advice From The Hart, Chris helps us to understand what variables impact the relationships between an agency and an organization. 

He shares insights into what a business should be paying attention to in order to allow the relationships to thrive. 


[:30] Why Companies Get Different Experiences With AN Agency

The problem you described is multifaceted as everything is in our world, right?

As a person who was in-house and a person who was at an agency for a very long time, I have a bit of a unique perspective here, but also (and I’m gonna reference a conversation I just recently had with one, our, you know, larger name brand organizations, but I’m not gonna name the brand) Um, there’s a few things here:

  • Not all agencies are equal, even if they’re selling the same stuff.
  • What other kinds of projects have they worked on? Have any of them been in house? Have any of them been agencies?
  • Just because an agency looks good online does not mean it is.
  • Reputation is huge.

[3:55] Internal Issues

There are many people on the in-house side that just don’t know what they need.

  • Org. not set up correctly to encourage, incentivize, and deal with digital marketing properly.
  • Brands hire or promote  people in places that truly don’t have the skillset to do the work that needs to be done.
  • Changes in their environment (Recession, COVID, etc.)
  • They haven’t centralized their resources.

And if you haven’t done that correctly, you are expending more money because you’ve got multiple technologies running at a different time. You have to constantly fix and upgrade and deal with them. You haven’t planned for how they need to work correctly, moving forward. Right?

So the, the two part problem here is:

  • People in organizations, many times don’t know what they need
  • They get on calls with people and people sell them what those people think they need.

[7:33] Expertise AND TRUST

Anybody that gets on the phone with you and goes, “I’m the expert, and this is my guru”

And they know everything. That’s like 10 alarm bells in my mind to say, whoa, I need to put some distance here and think, and look at this a bit more. 

And in fact, anytime I’ve been called an expert or a guru or someone just cause I’ve been around the industry for a very long. I’m like, there’s always somebody else that knows more than me.

I’m always learning a lot from new people that come into the business because they don’t have cemented perspectives. If the person who you’re talking to, doesn’t have that candid empathy about their reality. Then, you’re buying a resume and you’re buying an ego.

[9:02] Word Of Mouth Referrals

You know, W-O-M is always somewhere in a conversion funnel, right? Because it’s really real, right? Like, why wouldn’t I take it, but here’s the caveat:

If your word of mouth reference comes from a person that is equally unknowledgeable about what is needed, it’s like you’re buying the next shiny ball, right? Like you don’t always need to be doing the greatest cutting edge thing, right? Sometimes you are gonna get in your initial phases of solving problem.

Not to just happenstance catch lightning in a bottle, but to repetitively build a thing and scale it and scale it in a way that helps to insulate them from the ever changing environment in the marketplace.

[12:36] Understanding Your Resources

Our project trackers have a dial in there that show how much of what you’ve implemented to completeness and whatnot. And as we’re, in evolutions around reporting, we’re putting in our reports on dashboards:

Here’s where we sent you the document, five months later, you finally read it. Two months after that you know, like, and then you’re saying, why haven’t you seen a result yet?

Right? You know, so those, those conversations really, really do happen. And really, you know, are issues we have to overcome.


  • Know the value of your ask
  • Know your budget for the project
  • Don’t buy solely based off cost of service

Christopher Hart

Title: Executive Director of Client Strategy at iPullRank

Bio: Interactive marketing veteran specializing in strategy, operations, business development, client services, project management, and leadership of Search Engine Optimization “SEO” for digital/social/mobile/content marketing campaigns that enable clients & organizations to drive measurable returns while consistently exceeding expectations.

Leveraging 20 years of interactive experience, he has optimized integrated programs across all channels in the Publishing, Entertainment, Insurance, Finance, Banking, Energy, Legal, B2B, and B2C industries.

Host: Garrett Sussman

Title: Demand Generation Manager

Garrett loves SEO like the 90s loves slap bracelets.

Every other week he interviews Chris about the world of enterprise brands and their agency relationships.

Enjoy this series? Check out Garrett’s video show round-up of everything search engine optimization: The SEO Weekly

Garrett Sussman

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