Going through an ad agency review for a is both difficult and energizing. Every meeting brings new insights. You see opportunities, solid creative and begin to see how this could help bridge some of your sales gaps.
Make no mistake, the effort involved is overwhelming in identifying and selecting a new marketing communications firm. Programs are on hold and the team is making do because the compelling new marketing theme/tagline/look is just around the corner. That’s the hope anyway.
Is it time to fire your ad agency?
Mark Mitchell and I discuss this topic in length in his recent blog Is it Time to Fire Your Agency? posted on Whizard Strategy.
While there are a few good B2B client/agency relationships, Mark has seen over and over that find the majority of them are not very strong. The result is that the client doesn’t get the results they should.
We explore 10 key situations that undermine a strong relationship.
- They don’t understand your business
- Purchase motivations are more complicated and nuanced than, “The customer will make more money selling your product”
- They don’t ask why
- They think increased spending is the only way to succeed
- You don’t have access to the leaders
- Constant turnover of your team
- What is their measure of success?
- A focus on creativity over strategy
- You feel taken for granted
- You can’t imagine the agency leaving you
More importantly, we provided you an actionable Ask Yourself tip to each one to help you better understand if that might be your situation.
There are a lot of agencies who do a good job of servicing their clients. Mark notes, “In my experience, there are a lot more who make a number of these mistakes. It’s like any good relationship, you have to work at it and not just take things for granted.”
What if the problem is you?
Mark and I also see a lot of good agencies who can’t do a good job because their client gets in the way. I know – I’ve been that client. Here are some ways this happens.
- Thinking that you are the creative person
- You hold back information
- You are cheap
Agency client relationships are the best when both groups are open and honest about the issues the business is facing and what it will take to overcome them. When these relationships are true partnerships, both companies will ultimately succeed and grow.
About The Authors: Mark Mitchell is a Sales and Marketing Consultant who specializes in helping business owners and senior executives in the building materials industry overcome difficult sales problems. Using his extensive hands-on experience, he shows them how to creative effective strategies to identify and eliminate blind spots that allow them to get past the roadblocks that keep them from realizing their revenue goals. Click here to learn more about his one-day workshop “Selling Today’s Building Materials Prospect.” Or sign up for his monthly building material marketing newsletter here.
Greg Bonsib gives his perspective from the client side. Greg has extensive experience in working with agencies in his marketing leadership positions at ODL, Owens Corning, Rubbermaid, Sentry Safe and Zenith Products. Greg also publishes an industry leading blog on Channel Marketing.
Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.