Do you know if it’s time to start looking for a new marketing agency? These three questions will help you understand if your team is working for you; and if not, how to look for a new agency partner.
Are you getting the results you need? Most clients and agencies set goals at the beginning of their relationship or at the start of a new campaign. For example, you may agree that success is measured by an increase in website visits and conversions, a certain number of on-site traffic or customers per store, more social media interactions and engagement, or incremental sales. If your goals are not being achieved and your marketing agency is not proactively seeking new ways to help you reach them, it may be time for a change.
Are you satisfied with your messaging and creative? Over time, your competitive advantages may change as new competitors enter your space, your products evolve, or the retail environment shifts. Is the message you are presenting now promoting what is relevant for your target audiences today? Or is it stale? Does the look of your creative elements reflect your current brand or do your ads look outdated? If you are not presenting your company in the best light for right now, the time might be right to seek new ideas.
Do you feel like a priority with your marketing agency? Everyone wants to feel like they are the most important client, even if they don’t have the biggest budget. Does your account team respond to your phone calls and emails in a timely manner? Or do you feel they are always too busy for you? Does your agency provide quick turnaround, even on small projects? Or are your jobs get pushed to the last minute? If you aren’t getting the attention you need, maybe you need a different size agency.
Once you have decided to switch marketing agencies, here are a few pointers to make the process go more smoothly.
Start early. Often, clients wait until they are in dire straights to start an agency review. At that point, you are putting yourself at risk for making a decision too quickly and not spending enough time on the vetting process. If your fiscal year starts in January, you should begin the search for a new agency partner now—not in November.
Write an RFP. Detailing the scope of work in writing helps you understand exactly where your marketing efforts are lacking and what you want from your new agency partner. It also allows you to compare apples to apples when agencies respond.
Determine the selection process up front. Decide how many RFPs you hope to receive, how many marketing agencies you will meet with in person, and how you will make the final decision. Keep a scorecard to objectively compare each agency but also take notes. Often, the best relationships stem from personal connections.
Seal the deal. Don’t become complacent during the agency review and go back to the status quo. You are making a change for a reason…and although finding the right marketing agency can be a long and daunting process, once done it can have a significant impact on your business.
With 20 years of advertising and PR experience, Debbie Szwast understands the multifaceted nature of marketing. A true believer in the art of communication, she acquired an MBA in marketing and a Master’s degree in writing. Today, she calls on the knowledge she has gained over the past two decades to formulate big-picture strategies and execute comprehensive marketing plans for clients across the country.