In the dark about your current agency?

Want to know how well your incumbent agencies are really doing?  Curious?  Contemplating an agency search?

Well maybe an agency evaluation can help define and resolve incumbent agency issues, helping you save time, money and potential internal disruption instead…

In cases where perceived agency shortcomings have got to a point where you feel the need to pull the trigger on an agency search, you should ask yourself and your teams whether they really understand what’s going wrong and whether they have taken appropriate steps to address the issues.

If you come up short on really being able to pinpoint what’s driving discord between your teams and your agency(s), chances are you’d be better off pulling the trigger on a defined agency evaluation process, rather than an agency search.

Here are five signs it’s time to shine some light on your current agency relationship:

You’ve never done undertaken a formal 360° evaluation process with your incumbent agency

Whether or not you’re having challenges with your incumbent agency, it makes good business sense to evaluate your agency(s) on a regular basis. Think about it. Your HR team is likely on your back about annual performance reviews for your staff. Why wouldn’t you evaluate your agency assets in the same way?

You’ve got multiple agencies on your roster

Seamless collaboration between agency resources can make a world of difference when it comes to improving marketing performance. A true 360° evaluation can help identify collaboration challenges and areas for improvement that would do way more for you than inserting a new agency into the mix.

Responsibilities between agencies and / or client aren’t clear

It’s natural for agencies to want to show their capabilities across multiple disciplines or brands as it’s much easier to grow existing business than pitch from scratch. So if you’re frustrated by agencies encroaching on your (or each other’s) turf, think about an evaluation process that encompasses redefining scope, boundaries and expectations.

Emails have replaced dialogue

Sound familiar? Well, let’s be really clear: Email is a relationship killer. Imagine if you replaced all conversation between you and your husband / wife / significant other with Email! The relationship would very quickly disintegrate. So why would a professional relationship be any different? If you’ve not got dialogue with your agency(s) and / or most of your communication is via Email, you need an evaluation process to find out why and how to change it.

Results / performance aren’t in-line with expectations

OK, this might seem like a no-brainer and reason enough to move forward with an agency search. But do you really understand why results aren’t where you want them? Doing a true 360° evaluation can pinpoint issues within your own organization that may be hindering the results you expect – just as much as issues within your agency(s).

Evaluation can be extraordinarily powerful when it comes to improving collaboration, define goals and boundaries, improving performance and understanding your own organization just as much as your agency(s). And perhaps just as important, agency evaluation just makes good business sense.

Want some help conducting a proper agency evaluation process?  We can help.

STEPHAN ARGENT

Stephan Argent is Founder and Principal at Listenmore Inc offering confidential advisory to marketers looking for truly independent insight and advice they can’t find anywhere else. Read more like this on our blog Marketing Unscrewed / follow me @StephanArgent

Photo: Timothy Vogel
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