6 Warning Signs It May Be Time to Review Your Marketing Agency
The ever-jaded character Roger Sterling declared in Season One: “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing it.” Unfortunately, this is an all-too-familiar situation in the advertising business. Turnover in agency-client relationships has always been high, but never more so than in the current landscape, driven by technological innovation, cost-cutting and a stubborn resistance on the part of some of the largest agency networks to adapt.
According to Thomas Stringham of Ad Age, “The average client-agency relationship now lasts approximately two years, an incredibly short period of time when you consider the resources and effort required to go through an agency search.” In many ways, these agency wounds are self-inflicted.
A marketing executive at the typical Fortune 500 brand, let’s call him “Charlie,” has a lot on his plate. Charlie is pulled into six to eight meetings each day; has countless progress reports and status trackers to fill out weekly; staff to train, mentor and evaluate; a superior who is most likely demanding of progress and tangible business results; and the need to navigate what is most likely a complex internal bureaucracy. That last thing Charlie needs? An agency that makes his life more complicated and less productive.
Here are six warning signs it might be a good time to take a closer look at your agency relationship:
1. It’s All About Them — If your agency is more interested in winning awards than growing your business, this should be a red flag. Some agencies are motivated and excited by winning recognition from industry peers at awards shows. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being proud of one’s creative output. The problem is there are only so many hours in the day and companies can’t afford to engage firms that focus on the greatness of their OWN work rather than tangible business results for their clients.
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