As a marketer, you probably don’t wake up in the morning and think ‘Hey my agency could be doing, this, that or the other better’. These things normally come to light when something ‘big’ goes wrong – or even worse, when you are getting heat from above about the lack of results.
The problem many marketing managers have is that they quite ‘like’ the agency they work with. The account management is good, they feel valued, and they like the person they deal with on a day-to-day basis. However, they are normally aware that the agency is not great at certain things and take the view that no agency can be great at everything, and settle with their lot. It is like when dining out and the menu has so many mouth-watering dishes to choose from, you need to take stock and think, how can the chef possibly cook all these meals perfectly?
However, putting the relationship to one side and looking purely at the numbers, you have to realise that this attitude is leading marketers to waste over 40% of their marketing budgets. They are paying for a variety of marketing activities, and only getting full value on some disciplines.
How to select the best marketing agency to work with and questions you SHOULD be asking!
To avoid wasting your valuable marketing budgets, it's worth asking your agency to be honest about where they really shine. I am sure that the answer won’t be entirely news to you. Ask what services they have won awards for, or what they get excited about? Perhaps they will rave about design and social media campaigns, but what about content and PR or digital disciplines such as SEO or PPC? (which can be costly, and should be your biggest lead gen source). Just because they list it on their website, doesn’t mean they do it well. Find the 'award-winning' answer and use them for that service.
I know this seems obvious, but it is easy to become complacent, and dare I say lazy, because we are all busy being busy. To choose an agency to handle all your digital marketing needs because you really like the websites they design, or the social campaigns they run, is a bit like asking your friend to do your wedding catering because they make a good lasagne!
Marketing disciplines are continually evolving and you need experts to work together bringing their own expertise and experience. You want best-in-class capability for each and every channel and by definition, no agency can be best-in-class in everything.
A recipe for success
Awareness is the first step towards change, and this doesn’t mean you have to sack your existing agency who know your brand style and tone, and understand the way in which you like to work. Simply make them your lead agency and ask them to work with specialist agencies to deliver the best results possible for your campaign.
You may even be doing your agency a favour by reducing the budget you spend with them. They wouldn’t want to lose your entire account because they could not deliver to a high enough standard on a particular discipline. Get specialist agencies working together, combining expertise and sharing ideas on your behalf.
Working with multiple agencies doesn't have to be a nightmare of managing ego’s and relationships and the results can be phenomenal. They talk to each other, they each manage their own specialist disciplines and you get not just one agency, but several promoting your business and making it grow.
Why not challenge your agency to make you their next award winning case study?