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The Transformative Power of Effective Onboarding

The initial days of collaboration between a marketing agency and its clients can set the tone for the entire relationship. But if you’ve worked with other agencies, you know it’s not always a smooth transition into the partnership. You’re often asked to do a lot of upfront work to educate the agency team — when you can’t help but feel they should put in more time to get educated on your business. 

At GK3, we recognize the transformative power of effective onboarding — and we're committed to guiding our clients through this crucial phase without putting too much on their plates

Why Does Onboarding Matter?

Good onboarding lays the groundwork for a successful partnership, establishing clear expectations, goals, and communication channels from the outset. 

While some moments of confusion are inevitable — you may email the wrong person while typing quickly or approve something you later want to take a second look at — given the right foundation, those are easy to get through. Deeper confusion, though, can lead to misalignment throughout the partnership.  

Without proper onboarding, clients may feel adrift or uncertain: “What comes next? Are you waiting on me?” This type of confusion can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and missed opportunities for growth. 

The best onboarding does the opposite.

37394 GK3 Blog Onboarding graphic 1How Does GK3 Onboard Clients?

Before we begin work, we’ll share our onboarding expectations and needs with your team in a period called pre-onboarding. This happens during our sales process, giving you plenty of time to get into position before the starting gun. 


37394 GK3 Blog Onboarding graphic 2Once you have that in hand, you can jump right in — this shouldn’t take more than an hour total and can be accomplished any time prior to your contract start date, or in the first two weeks of our partnership, called Phase 1.

Onboarding Phase 1: Account Setup

  • What we do: Internally, we initiate the client setup process, ensuring a smooth transition into our ecosystem. This involves collecting essential assets and granting access to pertinent technology platforms.
  • Phase length: Phase 1 should last two weeks. This phase will extend until all platform access is granted to the GK3 team. 
  • What you get: A kickoff call marks the commencement of our journey together, where we outline the roadmap ahead.
  • Your commitment: Allocate approximately 2 hours for this crucial phase, laying the groundwork for our collaboration.

While the account setup phase may seem straightforward, its implications are profound. That’s why we ask for critical platform access before Phase 1 begins. Access to essential platforms is the lifeblood of our collaborative efforts, enabling us to leverage data, analytics, and marketing tools effectively to create value in Phases 2 and 3. 

When platform access proves challenging, we work tirelessly to resolve issues swiftly, minimize disruption, and ensure a seamless transition. Because these instances are fairly common (mostly due to software ownership within our clients’ companies), we are happy to get on the phone with any IT member or outsourced partner to get exactly what we need in one simple session. 

Also during account setup, we have our first touchpoint with your entire GK3 team: The Kickoff. This call helps establish a good communication cadence that works for everyone, get familiar with one another’s processes, and start everything off as a single unit, working toward a common goal.

Onboarding Phase 2: Strategy

  • What we do: Conduct comprehensive audits across various facets of your digital presence, from websites to paid ads, your CRM to your brand. This phase also involves strategic planning sessions to align our efforts with your business objectives.
  • Phase length: Phase 2 is a 30-day process; GK3 will present our findings at the end of 30 days. 
  • What you get: Engage in insightful discovery calls and regular bi-weekly touchpoints to review our progress. Receive a well-defined content strategy and a detailed roadmap based on your business goals. 
  • Your commitment: Dedicate around 8 hours to collaborate with us, ensuring alignment and clarity in our strategic endeavors.

As we’ve mentioned, inadequate onboarding often manifests in a lack of strategic alignment.

37394 GK3 Blog Onboarding graphic 3This approach ensures that your unique objectives and challenges are central to our strategic framework.

Once our audits are completed, we’ll gather to review the roadmap and discuss any new challenges or opportunities that arise during the audit period. It’s time for total alignment before we take off into Phase 3.

Onboarding Phase 3: Campaign Development

  • What we do: Execute setup and integrations across multiple platforms, gearing up for campaign deployment. We develop digital collateral, including offers, blogs, emails, and social media content, as well as a sales and marketing playbook to tell you how the full funnel fits together.
  • Phase length: Phase 3 is the majority of onboarding, lasting 60 days.
  • What you get: Campaign assets, technology setup, and a document that explains how all of it fits together. Plus, if all goes well, the launch of a new campaign.
  • Your commitment: Invest between 16 to 20 hours, actively participating in the refinement and execution of campaign strategies to ensure resonance with your audience and stay in lockstep with your internal processes. 

The campaign development phase represents the culmination of our strategic efforts. A super effective Phase 2 empowers us to develop tailored campaigns that resonate with your target audience and drive meaningful results. Without a strong foundation established during onboarding, campaigns may lack direction or fail to achieve desired outcomes. By prioritizing collaboration and communication, we ensure that every future campaign reflects your process and your goals. 

We also use the campaign development phase to create any new technological connections that must be established prior to launch. As members of our team create new assets for your first major campaign that follows digital distribution best practices, others create the backend to support it. For instance, if you need specific notifications when you get a new lead, we need to create those notifications. 

Phase 3 is about bringing everything together; at the end, we get to celebrate with a successful campaign launch. 

The Value of Strong Agency Onboarding

When it comes to developing lasting marketing partnerships, effective onboarding leads to increased satisfaction, better outcomes, and stronger long-term relationships.

That’s why the GK3 onboarding process is not just a series of tasks; it's a strategic investment in our partnership's success. By prioritizing transparency, collaboration, and strategic alignment, we pave the way for remarkable results and sustainable growth. 

Together, we'll navigate the complexities of the financial services landscape with confidence and clarity, unlocking new opportunities that don’t come from just scratching the surface. 

Ready to Elevate Your Financial Services Marketing?

Reach out to us today and experience the transformative power of strategic onboarding with GK3.

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