Agencies get tired.
The people get tired.
So the account tires.
Why is that?
I suspect there are a few reasons why this happens:
The creative team and account team gets bored.
They might like you as people, but they’re tired of putting together the same ads in the same industry year after year.
I’ve seen this happen to agencies. The creative team longs for something other than just another ad with smiling patients or the owner of the tractor supply firm standing in front of his big piece of farm equipment.
The leadership loses direction and lacks vision.
When this happens, the agency loses enthusiasm because they don’t know where things are headed. They see leadership spending more time chasing after shiny objects and losing focus on that which is most important: the work and the relationship with the client.
I’ve seen this too. At a certain point in time as an agency grows, the loose, fun loving leader has to grow up and point the agency in a direction that makes sense for the firm. Occasionally, heads of agencies aren’t any good at this.
There’s too much empowering of the people.
Empowerment is a good thing, but when the agency principal lets it go so much that there’s no rudder and just of employees trying to collectively make decisions for the good of the agency, nothing and nobody wins.
Saw this in an old client on the agency new business side of our business. An individual took over for a retiring principal and she did everything in her power to make people happy and give them the power to lead teams and develop clients. She took her eye off the ball and the agency suffered.
The client (you) becomes too over-bearing and demanding.
Turning what might have been a smart-thinking, strategic firm into a “do-er” agency…one that only executes and doesn’t bring ideas to the table makes for a bad relationship and an unhappy agency.
So there’s at least one of these you can help control. Push your agency. Give them some rope. Test them and challenge them.
If you don’t become the demanding client and you open up the ability for the agency to bring new ideas to the table, creatives won’t get as tired, empowered people will (hopefully) blossom and grow, and the agency principal will at least have some room (have bought themselves some time) to mature as a leader.