Let’s face it. Marketing agencies don’t enjoy the best reputation. Just shy of being grouped in the same category as used car salesmen, the image of an arrogant marketer in a three-piece suit à la Don Draper has endured for decades.
It doesn’t help that many marketing agencies seem hellbent on reinforcing the stereotype. We hear horror stories from many of our clients about the issues that caused them to nearly lose faith in marketing agencies…until they started working with us.
If you’re not seeing results from your marketing agency, it may be time to have the break up conversation. You don’t want to waste any more time and money with a partner that doesn’t help you grow your business.
Warning Signs That You Should Break Up with Your Existing Marketing Agency
1. You’re wasting your time with tire kickers
Ultimately, your marketing partner should be responsible for generating qualified leads for your business, meaning leads who are ready to buy from you.
Be suspicious of reports that focus on vanity metrics instead of conversions and actual ROI. Higher traffic to your website or more leads do not mean a great deal if they don’t translate into a higher sales volume. While it might be nice that your online ad reached 20,000 people, it doesn’t impact your bottom line if no one took a desired action, like making a purchase.
If your marketing agency is consistently delivering tire kicker leads month after month, it is time to part ways.
2. You have to constantly explain your business or industry
A keen understanding of your industry is essential to designing a customized strategy that will drive your business forward. Ideally, you should have established your partner’s credibility in the early stages by asking the right questions. If you feel you were misled, you may need to have a frank conversation.
Here are a few warning signs that your agency does not have a solid grasp of your business:
- They have not made the effort to understand who your ideal client is.
- Their marketing plan was created using a cookie cutter approach.
- They are unfamiliar with your competitors and their product offerings.
- Their recommended products and software are not relevant for your business.
Selecting an agency that has a proven track record of success in your industry is a big step in the right direction. At Intrigue, we specialize in helping businesses in the home services and landscaping industries earn a minimum 5:1 ROI on their marketing.
3. You’re the one managing the relationship
Your marketing agency should be the one keeping you updated on your campaign, not the other way around. If you’re the one prompting meetings, initiating discussions, and following up to make sure things get done, that’s a huge red flag.
Here are a few signs that point to poor communication on your agency’s part:
- Deadlines are missed.
- The project scope is not clearly defined.
- Meetings and phone calls feel unproductive.
- Emails aren’t responded to within a day or two.
- Your agency contact doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it.
You should take a “three strikes, you’re out” approach for any of the above transgressions.
4. You’re not exactly sure what you’re paying for
At the end of the day, you’re paying your marketing partner to alleviate the stress and time commitment involved in marketing your business. It’s therefore important to check in on a regular basis and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you clear on what services you are being billed for?
- Do you know what results have been generated from those services?
- Are you shown which KPIs are being tracked and how those metrics relate to your goals?
- Do the numbers add up and make sense vis-a-vis your initial agreement?
If you’re left in the dark about any of the above questions, you should voice your concerns. If little changes, it’s time to cut ties.
5. You feel like you’ve outgrown your agency
Remember that this is a partnership. The real value in working with a marketing partner lies in having someone bring you new ideas, the latest best practices, and a fresh perspective to make informed decisions.
As your business grows and your needs evolve, you may feel like your marketing partner isn’t growing alongside you. Perhaps you find their ideas too limited, their strategy misguided, or they aren’t capitalizing on new opportunities. If that is the case, then it’s time to make the switch to a new marketing partner that is better suited to meet your new growth goals. Otherwise, you are doing yourself, your employees, and your clients a disservice.
If you would like to see how your current marketing partner stacks up, download the free ‘Rate Your Marketing Agency Checklist’. You’ll be emailed a scorecard to measure how well they are doing their job and help you decide whether it’s time to move on.
Finally, if you’ve decided to break up with your current marketing partner and you’re curious about other options in the market, contact Intrigue for an honest appraisal of what a Marketing Action Plan (MAP®) could do for your business.