March 11, 2016
When you hire an agency to run your digital marketing initiatives, you analyze how they go about their services, what they can offer, and if it’s a match for what your company is looking to achieve. While that decision is based mostly on the business side of things, the decision to switch agencies always feels a bit more personal.
Over time, all the calls and emails working towards a common goal helps to not only build trust but a personal relationship with the people at the agency. It’s typically not as easy to make the decision to switch agencies, but you should always try to take a step back and analyze the current situation from a business perspective.
It’s not always as clear-cut as strictly looking at performance. Sure, if performance is slipping it could be a good indicator that the agency isn’t living up to expectations, but they could be underperforming and you may not be fully aware. In this article, we’ll dive into key areas to help you remove the personal aspect and analyze your current situation in a healthy way.
Slipping In Communication/Lack Of Optimization
One good indicator that the relationship has slipped or the agency has put it on the backburner is within the communication department. Ask yourself these questions.
- Is your agency still coming to you with fresh ideas to improve or expand the account?
- Are you going to them asking about a new platform to test or ways to improve?
- Are they still emailing you regularly to update you on performance and/or improvements?
It’s easy for an agency relationship to get stale with no new ideas to bring to the table. Your agency needs to be consistently proactive throughout to ensure the account is always moving in the right direction.
Another area to potentially review is the “Change History” report within the account. Has there been zero or minimal changes within the account lately? If that’s the case, chances are the agency is spending very little time analyzing and making optimizations. You’ll need to determine if the account as a whole has peaked or if the agency you’re working with has hit their ceiling and you’re better off looking for a new agency to bring fresh ideas. If you’ve determined the agency has slipped, at the very least you should speak to them about it and put some pressure on them to perform.
Switching Account Managers Often
Let me say this first. Having your account manager changed within an agency is completely normal. People move on to new roles within the company or take a new job at a new company. That’s not the issue I’m raising. It’s up to the agency to replace your account manager with a stable manager to put a strategy in place and carry out various projects to reach set goals. If the account manager is changing every few months, it’s an indicator that either the agency does not prioritize the account with their best account managers, or the agency has a difficult time holding onto their employees. Either way, clients and their account performance ultimately suffer.
It’s important that the agency you choose has a great training and recruitment program in place to have strong account managers that can step in and take over an account without missing a step. It’s also extremely important that the agency has more than one person involved in the day-to-day account management. Otherwise, if that one person leaves the company, the agency basically needs to start from scratch with nobody having in-depth knowledge of the account.
Unable To Explain Performance
Weekly or bi-weekly status calls with the agency is a great way to get a feel for how engaged the team is on your account. Results are important, but it’s crucial to have a full understanding as to why performance has spiked or dropped in particular areas. Are they explaining to you the why behind performance? If not, question them about specifics to see if they have solid answers behind the numbers. It’s a good way to not only see how engaged they are, but how qualified the account managers are that the agency hires. In order to ask the right questions yourself, take some time looking over the weekly/monthly reports delivered to you, identifying areas that have slipped or spiked.
Hiring an agency is a critical decision for any company. This decision will directly impact the company’s performance and may even have ramifications on your role within the company. With that being said, it’s important to always be analyzing the agency you’ve selected, looking for key indicators showing a slip in engagement and/or performance. Prepare yourself for the scheduled meetings, ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to put some pressure on the team. If you’re not getting the answers you’re looking for and performance is slipping, maybe it’s time to make a change for the better.