Breaking up is hard to do—especially with your marketing agency.
Working with a marketing agency long-term can be beneficial for both parties. It allows you to build trust in your agency and function as a partnership. It also allows your agency to become familiar with your brand and focus on campaigns that bring long-term success.
However, a bad agency can feel more like a ball and chain, rather than your happily ever after.
Here are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to break up with your agency:
Your marketing campaign doesn’t have tangible business goals.
Your agency should have specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that show how well your marketing campaign is performing. If your agency is tracking generic KPIs that have nothing to do with your business goals, then your marketing efforts may not be delivering tangible results for your business.
Your agency should set up KPIs that correlate with your business goals. These goals could be bringing more traffic to your website, driving qualified leads, increasing sales on a new product, or driving engagement on your social media channels. If your agency isn’t having conversations with you about your business goals and how their marketing efforts can align with those goals, it may be time to call it quits.
Your agency doesn’t offer a holistic approach.
Many agencies tout expertise in a variety of service lines—SEO, content marketing, social media, paid search, website design, and more—but not all agencies are good at implementing these services in a cohesive way. Your marketing strategy should include a variety of tactics that work together to achieve your business goals.
If your agency offers separate service lines but doesn’t offer a plan to implement them in a strategic and holistic approach, your marketing campaign is probably lacking.
You don’t trust your agency.
Marketing is a big investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you don’t feel like you can trust your agency to be transparent and deliver excellent results, you may not be working with the right agency. Integrity is an essential quality for a marketing agency. You should feel confident that your marketing budget is being spent wisely and that your brand is always represented well.
If your agency posts inappropriate material on your social media channels, presents dishonest reporting, or consistently underdelivers on your budget, they may not be trustworthy. If you start to notice these red flags, it may be time to move on.
Your agency doesn’t teach you.
Digital marketing is constantly changing. With regular updates to algorithms and advertising policies, and new outlets popping up each week, our best practices are being updated constantly.
At BigWing, we make an effort to educate our clients through our blog (check out Digital Marketing Lingo: 50 Terms to Know), monthly emails, and one-on-one coaching. We even host an annual conference in Oklahoma City to educate our staff and clients.
If your agency doesn’t make an effort to teach you along the way, then it might be time to find one that does.
Your agency doesn’t push back on your bad ideas.
You are an expert in your industry, and your marketing agency is an expert in theirs. A strong agency will not run with every idea you present to them. If you bring an idea to your agency that they know is not in your best interest, they should push back.
This doesn’t mean they should reject every idea you bring to the table, but your agency should be able to educate you and your team on the best ways to turn your ideas and goals into an effective marketing strategy.
At BigWing, one of our core values is stewardship. We aim to make the most of your marketing dollars, even if that means turning down money for a new campaign that we don’t believe will be effective.
If your agency is nothing more than a “yes man”, you are not getting the excellence you deserve.
Your agency’s reporting doesn’t prove results or ROI.
Most agencies will send regular reports to keep you up-to-date on your campaign’s successes and failures. Keep in mind that most marketing strategies take time to start showing results. However, your agency should be able to show incremental progress throughout the year.
If your marketing budget isn’t providing an adequate return on investment (ROI), ask your agency why you aren’t seeing the results you want. A good agency will be able to explain how long it should take to see results and be flexible to change course if your current strategy isn’t working.
Your agency doesn’t communicate with you.
Communication is key when outsourcing your marketing to an agency, especially if you are working with an agency that isn’t local. Your agency should always be a call or email away during normal business hours. If you regularly cannot get in touch with your agency for days at a time or don’t have a way to contact them in case of a marketing emergency, you may not be working with the right team.
Of course, your agency shouldn’t be at your beck and call 24/7, but keeping in regular contact with the folks who manage your marketing is important. If your agency can’t communicate in a timely manner, they probably aren’t the best fit.
Breaking up with your agency is never fun, but sometimes it’s necessary. We hope this helps you find the perfect marketing agency to help you create a purposeful, creative, and holistic marketing strategy to achieve real business goals.