Here it is: the final segment of our Agency/Client relationship series. We’ll be covering the ever-crucial task of assessing your agency’s body of work. You can catch up on our posts about deciding if you need an agency, choosing the right agency and maintaining your marketing agency relationship in case you missed them.
Whereas we’ve previously likened the client/agency dynamic to that of dating, when it comes to evaluating, it’s a bit more… professional.
After all, it’s business we’re talking about – your business. So, set aside the emotions, and try to keep the grading as objective as possible. The following is a nice baseline to begin your agency evaluation process:
Did they hit the desired objectives and key performance metrics (KPIs)? Let’s face it: This component should be more straightforward than some others, as it’s primarily data-driven. Did sales increase by the target number? Was there a spike in revenue or e-mail open rates? Ultimately, your agency said they would be able to help you — and they should be graded accordingly.
How responsive are they? Hopefully very. But, we’re talking about more than just a quick reply to a voicemail or actually meeting agreed-upon deadlines. Are they actually engaged? Do they really pay attention to what’s being asked of the project? If something goes awry, do they make a concerted effort to hold an in-depth conference call or face-to-face meeting to address it and answer your questions? The way your agency handles everything, from the everyday to the out-of-the-ordinary, should be weighted very heavily.
Are they fiscally responsible? Yes, you came in with a budget, and meeting that budget should practically be a given. But, are they actively seeking ways to achieve the defined objectives while saving you money in the process? If so, bonus points should definitely be awarded.
Do they work well with others? It’s very common for businesses to delegate specific responsibilities to separate agencies. What’s not as common, unfortunately, is for those agencies to always “play nice” together.
Are they going above and beyond? Or, phrased differently, are they proactive in offering recommendations or letting you know of industry trends you might not be aware of? That shows they’re committed to making your campaign or tactic a success – and to achieving your ultimate goals. It shows they’re thinking of ways to make your company successful in ways that might not be spelled out in a contract.
Make no mistake, grading can be difficult. But, there’s no shame in hiring a third party to conduct the analysis. Having an objective set of eyes administering the evaluation can be eye-opening and beneficial for all parties involved. This especially comes in handy when a lot of advertising can be rather subjective in terms of creativity and execution.
Hopefully, we’ve provided you some useful information throughout this series that you can put to good use. We’re here to help answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact us. In the meantime, happy marketing.