02 Sep Is your marketing agency the One?
7 tips to decide if you should commit to your marketing agency or call it quits and move on
My fiancé proposed on a blustery beach near Charleston, South Carolina, in February 2015. Even though we’d been dating for four years and the heat was on, the proposal was still a surprise. I didn’t have to think twice.
I knew he was the One a few months into our relationship when he diffused a fight by hugging me tightly (when anyone else would have escalated the fight further). He supposedly knew I was a keeper when I made him from-scratch crab cakes on our second date.
Either way, we both were sold.
What I didn’t realize when I said, “Yes,” was that he wouldn’t be the only One. As we now plan our wedding, we’re confronted with an endless stream of smaller propositions.
“Is that dress the One?”
“Is this caterer the One?”
“Is this venue really the One? Does it sum up you and your beloved in one, happy, fun-loving place where you can celebrate your relationship for 10 to 12 happy hours before you’re (more often than not) booted off the premises?”
As a marketer, the torturous wedding-planning process has me thinking about what makes a marketing agency the much-sought-after One. The Internet is rife with “articles” (I use that term loosely) with tips to tell if your significant other really is the One. You should be looking for much the same things in your marketing relationships.
Here are just a few tips to consider before you sign that long-term marketing retainer with your agency – because it may just be time to divide your DVD collection and search for another.
You know where you stand.
The One will never leave you wondering about the status of your relationship. Your marketing agency shouldn’t be like that guy you dated in college who wasn’t comfortable being called your boyfriend (and who was only into you when you were playing hard to get). Successful marketing agency relationships are built on rock-solid communication. Your agency should get you without you having to extend a ton of effort on your part. They should be as committed as you are.
They bring out the best in you.
The One excels at making your gifts shine. The same should be true for your marketing agency. They should be bringing out the best in you and your company – both internally and externally. They make you look good (while making it look effortless). And then they give you all the credit. Yes! Yes! Yes!
You work as a team.
The One knows you’re always working together. There’s never a petty “you” versus “me” mentality. It’s always “us” and how you can overcome challenges together for the best results. Any marketing agency that views you only as a client and not a true business partner is for the birds.
The One is a great listener. The same should be said of your marketing agency. Did you ask for an ad with a purple cow and you got a billboard covered in yellow daisies instead? Do you ever feel like you’re talking to the wall? Your marketing agency should always deliver on what you asked for and then some.
They’re not afraid to offer constructive criticism.
The One isn’t a dishrag and has important insight. While your marketing agency should listen to your desires, they also shouldn’t cave to every idea and offer you whatever you ask (if it’s a bad idea). The best agency will always show you what you ask for and then show you something even better. They also should be pros at analyzing your current efforts and what can be done better.
You have the same priorities and goals.
The One is heading in the same direction you are. Your marketing agency shouldn’t have any hidden agendas. Every campaign should tie to your overarching strategy. At every turn, you should be able to measure – together – how your marketing efforts are feeding back to your stated goals.
They make you happy.
The One just has a gift for knowing what makes you happy. Your marketing agency should consistently deliver measurable results that please you, your leadership and your bottom line. The right agency knows you well enough to anticipate your needs before you even express them, most of the time, and over-delivers on promises.
If your current agency has all of this going for them and then some: Congratulations! You have a keeper!
If your agency can’t stack up or you’ve just undergone a bad breakup (or are considering making the move), give us a shout. We’re really good listeners.