40% of brands may change agencies in 2021
Yep. You read that right. According to an Adweek survey, 40% of brands say they’re thinking about making a change in 2021—hiring a new ad agency.
And that makes a lot of sense.
With the tighter budgets, furloughs, and uncertainty 2020 has dropped on most of our doorsteps, it’s a good time to evaluate every part of our businesses—internal and external—to see if we can do better. Are we getting enough value for the dollars we spend on our businesses? Can we improve our ROI? Our creative? Our customer service? Our branding?
These questions are top of mind for a lot of people—with good reason.
So, if you’re one of them, how do you know if you should make a switch? How do you decide if it’s time to bring a new agency on board? We think the answer starts with asking these questions:
Is your agency bringing you new ideas?
A huge benefit agencies bring to the table is a third-party perspective. New angles. New questions. New ideas.
If your agency isn’t bringing you new ideas? It’s probably time to let them go.
Does the creative stand out?
When your agency delivers a new design, a brand pitch, a video, how does it make you feel? Are you constantly wowed? Are they hitting the nail on the head, knocking the designs out of the proverbial park? Or are the designs mediocre, the concepts just average?
If it’s the latter, you deserve better. You deserve an agency with truly killer creative.
Are they digital marketers?
In 2020, nearly 2021, you’d think this was a given. But nope. No sir. Some agencies still aren’t quite as digital as they should be, even though most marketing these days is.
If you know us, you know we think direct mail and other non-digital forms of marketing have their place. But the most compelling marketing opportunities are online.
From account-based marketing to email and organic search to Instagram, you need an agency full of online natives who are savvy about all things digital.
Are they on board with virtual events?
In 2020, events went virtual by necessity. But in 2021 and beyond, we think you’ll see a lot of them staying virtual by choice. Because there are a lot of perks to taking events online. No travel days. No pricey flights and even pricier hotels. A wider audience. Lower costs.
If events are on your radar, you want an agency that understands the pros and cons that come with both in-person and virtual events. Look for teams with experience not only drumming up excitement before your event, but also keeping people engaged during and nurturing leads after.
Do they love data?
Websites. Marketing automation. CRM. Intent data. Audience tracking. Email opens. Virtual event attendance.
These days, we have access to a lot of data. And that data has the power to drive real marketing results. In fact, marketers who use data to drive personalization report five to eight times as much ROI as marketers who don’t.
So, it’s a no-brainer that you need an agency that loves data. That lives it, breathes it, understands it.
Are they making your life easier—or harder?
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my long career, it’s that not all agencies and contractors are created equal. Some require hand-holding, need tons of direction, and while they deliver what they promise, there’s no surprise or delight.
Others genuinely make my life easier. They bring ideas to the table. I can trust them to take major things off my plate. I know they’ll consistently deliver something that meets or exceeds expectations.
If you don’t feel that way about your agency, I’m sorry to say, it’s time to give them the boot. Working with an agency should feel like a relief. They should alleviate some of the burden on your shoulders. They should make you look good to your bosses and feel good about the work you’re putting out together.
Are they account-based marketing (ABM) experts?
If you’re in B2B, your agency should know ABM like the back of their hand—from the right tech stack to how to reach the right audiences and from the right lead magnets to the right reports that keep your team on track.
On average, these days, B2B decisions pass through 16 different decision makers. Which means the tactics agencies use for B2C single-decision-maker sales aren’t going to cut it in the B2C space. And agencies without ABM experience probably aren’t getting you the best results.
Finding an agency that wows you
Okay, so you are thinking about making a switch…Now, how do you find an agency that hits all the points above?
First, look at their track record. Do you love their past creative? Do their clients love them?
Second, reach out. Ask the hard questions. Find out what kind of expertise they have. And check in with your gut: Did the conversation make you feel relieved? Can you trust this agency to make your life easier?
If this all resonates, we’d love to chat about our own passion for data, virtual events, strategy, and—perhaps most important—making you the hero in your marketing efforts.