It is a New Year.  Time for a New Plan?

Don’t look now, but we’ve reached the final month of 2020.  As we’re hurtling toward year’s end, you’re likely in the midst of looking ahead to what the New Year will bring for you, your brand, and your roster of agencies.

In a year unlike any other, it’s easy to lose sight of the basics; there were times over the last 10 months when it seemed that the rules had gone out the window, and marketers (surely not you, though!) were scrambling just to find their footing again.

But as 2021 brings with it new optimism for the road ahead, I urge you to step back, take stock of your planning process, and ensure you’re not abandoning the fundamentals when evaluating your agency roster.

The hallmarks of a solid marketing partner are still the same as ever.

The best agencies are proactive, providing solutions instead of just taking direction. They’re constantly seeking new ways to connect with your audience in creative ways. And they give answers that are specific to your business and your objectives – not just cookie cutter responses.

In other words, they rise to challenges and partner with you to solve them. And in 2020, you got a good look at their ability (or inability) to do just that.

This year called for flexibility, communication, and creativity unlike anything agencies have seen in the past, and in many ways it was a look into how these teams look with their back against the wall.

Certainly every situation is different, and part of your year-end planning will come down to determining your agency’s part in 2020’s successes and shortfalls, but don’t let the chaos of the year cloud your judgement when it comes to which agencies are driving value for your company, and which are simply there to take direction and clear the bar.

When it comes to agency evaluation, the criteria for your year-end planning hasn’t changed.

In fact, the challenges your agencies have faced this year make them more clear than ever.

The pandemic was a blow to everyone, but the agencies that have fought through it are the ones that best exhibited the qualities that have defined success in marketing for centuries.

We always tell clients that what you see today is what you get tomorrow, and an agency that proved a valuable partner in the worst of times is one that can take your business to another level in the best of times.

If you’re looking for some help in finding a new agency that meets these criteria, and can help build a solid foundation for your 2021 marketing plan, shoot us an email (msneider@rswagencysearch.com).