It’s the beginning of a new year, which means a few silly (and not so silly) things:
- Your last few weeks have hopefully been spent relaxing and recharging with friends and family
- Your New Year’s Resolutions are likely still alive and well
- We once again find ourselves in what has come to be affectionately known as “Silly Season”
For those that are unfamiliar, this is a period in which a large number of marketers explore the idea of switching marketing agencies. At times, often for no other reason than because it feels like “the thing to do” when the year switches over.
In the same way that New Year’s Resolutions work by leveraging a convenient timeline to start hopping on the treadmill or reading a few more books. Companies rightfully see the New Year as a good time to take stock of processes; the trouble arises when this mindset leads to irrational change based on nothing but a perceived need to shake things up.
There is of course a right time to move on from a marketing partner. But this comes as a result of an evaluation of the key components of the partnership: things like the value added by the agency, the ideas being brought to the table, and the enthusiasm with which the agency approaches the work. If you feel that your partner isn’t delivering on their end of the agreement, it’s time to have a conversation about what is best for your company’s marketing future.
The truth is this: there is no designated season for switching an agency out of your portfolio. If a partner isn’t delivering value to your business, regardless of when this happens, it’s time to take a step back and take stock of the relationship. Is the agency at fault, or can the partnership be managed better from your side of the table?
As marketers take a big-picture look at all aspects of their company to start the New Year, it can be easy to see subpar results and make a change for its own sake. By drilling down and taking a look under the hood, however, you’ll find yourself in a better position when the time comes to change agencies, communicate potential issues to the partner, or ideally, keep a well-oiled marketing relationship rolling along.
If you feel that your agency has become an order-taker—that is to say, they offer no fresh thinking and only provide bare minimum, cut-and-paste solutions—the time might be right to move on. This decision should be a measured one, however, and based on conversations both internal and with the agency – not as the result of yet another Silly Season.