I’ve heard people say that the agency’s best day with a new client is the first day. And, the agency’s stature steadily declines in subsequent weeks, months and years. It’s as though the new car smell wears off and all you’re left with is a monthly payment.
This worldview is a head-scratcher for me. In my experience, relationships with clients grow stronger over time as you face adversity together and successfully overcome business and marketing challenges. Your clients come to trust and respect you and defer to you as their advisor and go-to. It’s always been my mantra to make our clients look good to their boss, whether their boss is shareholders, the CEO or CMO.
If your client-agency relationship isn’t getting better with time, like wine, then it’s time to re-evaluate. Have your needs changed? Has your marketplace changed? Or, have you simply outgrown your marketing agency?
Before you reach out to new marketing agencies, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have the marketing strategy nailed and need help executing? Or, do I need a marketing strategy to pull our disparate marketing activities together?
- Do I need an agency that can both strategize and execute?
- Which marketing skills do I need to grow my business? Which of those do I already possess in-house and which ones do I need to outsource?
- Does the marketing agency need to be located close to me?
- What marketing and industry experience are important to me?
- Do I need a large agency or is a smaller, more nimble team a better fit for my organization?
- How often would I like to meet with my marketing agency to feel like an important and cared for client?
- Am I open to learning about and investing in marketing technologies that will increase efficiency and improve marketing performance? If so, how important is the agency’s knowledge in martech to me?
- How will I define the success of my agency relationship, quarterly and annually?
- What do I feel comfortable spending in order to meet my marketing objectives? Are my revenue goals on track with my marketing budget?
Once you answer these questions and start to outline your requirements, create an evaluation guide you can use when vetting marketing agencies. Be sure to identify which considerations are more important to you so you can weigh those responses more heavily. If you’ve done your due diligence, your client-agency relationship will stand the test of time–and adversity.
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