There are over 100 agency selection consultants in the US helping companies conduct agency reviews. Yet, some clients keep their agency for decades without ever conducting a review, even in the face of procurement department mandates to review all business regularly. What causes agencies’ relationships to fail – causing setbacks, delays, missed goals, and lost budget for health brands? We’ve identified three things:
1. Agencies are often not good at project management.
While many agencies are very good at being idea-driven, they aren’t always the best with project management. However, today’s marketing requires lots of technical implementation from tracking all the way to reporting. Whereas agencies used to just interface with the head of marketing as clients, they must now invite and communicate with IT, finance, and web development for campaigns. This level of complex project management is a separate discipline from coming up with great ads, and it isn’t something that your business signed up to take on either.
When you are interviewing agencies, make sure that you understand how their teams are set up and who is responsible for what so that neither of you is chasing down the other to keep up with projects that are ongoing or need to be completed.
2. ROI, not just branding, is mandatory.
Getting help branding your business is obviously extremely beneficial. But that alone is not enough to help you reach your marketing and client acquisition goals. Most agencies in America don’t understand the intricacies of tracking, measuring, reporting, and optimizing, and how these efforts play into meeting your goals much more efficiently than branding.
This means your advertising efforts are too far removed from generating predictable ROI. To overcome this challenge, you may want to have a superstar analyst on your team or make sure that you fully trust the agency you work with to understand how ROI works and how to report it to you for transparency.
3. Agencies are aligning to their billing method.
When agencies are too stuck to their hourly billing method, this requires cycle times of estimating, signoff, etc. This causes mass amounts of friction and delay. The new world of digital marketing requires speed and nimbleness. Timesheets and “job orders” are too old school for today’s agile marketing methods. Clients will get frustrate with their agencies due to this friction. An agency that is more flexible and understands that today’s digital marketing may require a bit more leeway will help ease these tensions.
BONUS: Agencies are tactic-focused.
There are specific marketing tactics in which agencies have special expertise. Focusing only on search, social, or direct mail doesn’t help your overall marketing strategy.
There are only a few agencies that have focused on the industry. Such as Travel or Health that allows them to see lots of clients. This gives them more customer knowledge to help their client in a more relevant way to their specific business.
Stop frustrated with your agency.
We understand the frustrations with certain agencies and that the agency-client relationship needs to change with the times. If you are aware of these cons and know how to effectively communicate your needs, then you’re a step ahead of the gang, and you will have a better chance at finding an agency that can truly help you succeed with your health marketing.