Even though many of us don't own or run our own businesses, we know that times can be pretty rough in the business world. In order to stand out and compete, businesses will take on the services of an advertising agency so that while the business focuses on having a solid product or service to offer, the advertising agency can focus on making the business a consumer juggernaut.
In practice, this sounds great. In fact, the argument can be made that this is the way to go for businesses looking to stay ahead of the game versus their competition. Far more often than you'd think, businesses will try to take on advertising internally, figuring that no one knows their business better than they do. The problem with this is that at some point, you're too close and drawing conclusions on advertising strategy is being done based on emotion rather than analysis & assessment. In the same way you can't really tickle yourself, it's hard to handle your own advertising.
But, sometimes the job isn't getting the job done. What was once an exciting partnership isn't quite as productive, and you wonder what the future holds. Moreover, you hope you see the signs of decline before it starts affecting your bottom line.
How can you tell it's time for a new advertising agency? Well, that be harder than you think. Here are a few tell-tale signs it's time to part ways:
You Encounter Nothing But "Yes" Men – A business owner may find the idea of uniform agreement pretty nice simply because it makes you feel as though you've got all of the answers. The problem is that an advertising agency needs to be able to challenge their client to think differently.
You Lose Track of the Numbers – How advertising dollars are spent weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly helps a business know where they stand financially, where they need to re-group, and how best to move forward. Transparency is key, but if an advertising agency isn't keeping communication about these numbers open, the business who hired them is flying blind.
Your Advertising Agency is Missing in Action – When things are new & exciting, the advertising agency you hired for your business is maintaining regularly scheduled communication, providing a breakdown of all that is happening with your account. Over time, though, the communication becomes less frequent, and the business starts feeling left out and less important. Tension can fester, making subsequent meetings with the agency feel forced and uncomfortable. Both sides may dread appointments. It's time for a change.
The one thing businesses need to keep in mind when working with an advertising agency is that in order for plans and strategies to play out, it takes time. Each side plays their part in achieving goals & milestones along the way. However, keep in mind that an advertising agency works for your business, and if they aren't cutting it anymore, you have to find an agency that will.