Ideally, any agency you bring on board will treat every day like the first day of a new relationship.

They’ll be strategic leaders for your business.

They’ll forever be bringing new ideas to the table.

They’ll be passionate and enthusiastic about your success.

And they’ll develop great work that moves the needle further than you had ever hoped.

That’s the ideal.

And there are many agencies out there that live by these values.

I see it all the time.  Relationships with marketers that span decades.

While length of the relationship isn’t necessarily a perfect predictor of an idyllic relationship, it does suggest that things are pretty darn good.

If your agency isn’t doing this, I would suggest that you suggest to them that they do: create a performance tracking mechanism that can measure your level of satisfaction with their performance across different areas on-going in the relationship.

Initially, you might want to provide input after the first 3-6 months of the relationship.  Then after that, once a year might prove appropriate.

Have them measure performance of things such as:

  • Account management
  • Creative output
  • Level of service
  • Strategic leadership
  • Idea leadership
  • Operations
  • Billing

Key is getting things out in the open if there’s a problem.  Have the agency address challenging areas with a plan of action and discuss with them how things will resolve themselves.

Ideally, the reviews will prove uneventful and you’ll need to do little talking to your agency.

But the ideal is a hard thing to always come by – particularly as the relationship matures and newer and potentially more exciting things come the way of your marketing firm.