Why is your agency, your agency?

Or, in the case of larger rosters, what role does each agency play in your larger plan?

If you have a readily available answer, then more power to you. But many times, the answer comes down to some form of comfort.  You’ve been with them for a long time, they made a splash when they came on and you’ve used them ever since or, worst yet, you’ve just never really thought about it.  At some point you ask the questions we asked last week in our post?

A loaded question?

Perhaps, but it’s also an important exercise in defining the pieces at play in your larger strategy.

There’s nothing inherently flawed in long agency relationships (in fact, it’s what we strive for), but those long tenured partners need to be bringing the same ideas and enthusiasm as they did when they took on that RFP or that first project.

For better or worse, marketing is a “what have you done for me lately” industry.

We often hear about agencies that begin their tenure with a bang: proactive ideas, engaged collaboration, and the kind of external perspective that leads to successful innovation. All great, and certainly reason enough to give the agency a longer leash in terms of tenure, but it’s continued production that wins the day: how many ideas are they bringing to the table a year down the road?

And it goes beyond just continued innovation – the role of analytics and marketing technology is only growing more prominent, and your agency needs to be keeping up.

We’ll have a full report coming out on that subject later this month, but a sneak peek at one stat in particular: 67% of surveyed marketers have increased their spending on these tools within the last few years, and 58% feel that their agencies are doing the same in support of their business.

With the Martech arms race continuing into the foreseeable future, ensure that your agency is making the investment into tools that enable better support for your business.

Again, we’ll have plenty more on the topic when our 2021 Tools & Technologies report goes live soon (stay tuned!), but the overarching directive is to make mindful decisions around how your agencies continue to build their support for your programs. If they’re not keeping up, your business might end up as the one that falls behind.

So what does this all mean for you, the marketer?  And why is your agency, your agency?

Bottom line, it means that your marketing roster should be full of purposeful decisions. There’s a reason that agencies spend so much time developing their positioning: it’s because they know that “full-service” agencies are a dime a dozen, and that quality alone likely isn’t enough to earn a spot with your brand. So dig deeper, ask questions that show you how they’ll bring a new perspective to your marketing, and be thoughtful about decisions you make not only during the search itself, but further down the relationship.

And above all else, be able to explain why your agency deserves to be, well, your agency.