Is your agency your partner?

At this year’s ANA Masters of Marketing conference we had a number of marketers come to us inquiring about our no-cost way to help them find better marketing agencies.

Interesting that most of the marketers that approached us about the need to look for a new firm did so because they feel like their current agency was letting them down.imagesCAKCMY6Z

No follow-through

No leadership

No forward thinking

No innovation

No strategy

No partnership

In today’s day of rapid change and thinning ranks due to cut-backs by marketers, you need a partner in your agency.

You need a firm that can not only sit at the table with you and help talk strategy, but you need an agency you can rely on for ideas, new technologies, actionable reporting, and smart thinking.

I tell our agency clients and prospects that “you all do the same s*%t”.  What separates out the great agencies from the also-rans is thinking and service, and proactive management of the client’s business.

Anyone can do creative.

Yes, I agree, there are some agencies that can’t (or maybe shouldn’t!)…but creative is only one piece of the pie.

Ask yourself, how often do you look at creative and NOT think about the brand or business strategy?  Creative for creative’s sake is nothing.  Creative that helps build, shape, advance a brand is creative that’s hard at work.

So next time you’re looking for an agency, look deep.

Ask the tough questions.  Understand how the agency goes beyond the expected to help their clients get the job done.

In the end, you’ll be better off for it – both personally (your blood pressure will be lower because you have a reliable partner) and professionally (because your business will move light years ahead).