According to Up To The Light, one of the most common complaints clients have about their marketing agency is that they don’t challenge them enough.
Now, we’re not talking about getting a client to sit a MENSA exam or find an answer to world peace! It’s about those instances when a marketing agency fulfils a client’s wishes – even when the agency knows there’s a better approach.
Herein lies a message for both agencies and clients.
For marketing agencies:
Your clients want to be challenged. They’re not paying for you to roll over on every decision. Neither are they paying for expertise you refuse to share.
They’re paying for a consultant, not a brief taker.
The relationship between a marketing agency and a client should look something like this:
- The client approaches the marketing agency for their expertise.
- The agency works with the client to identify their aims and objectives, and to clarify their budget.
- The agency then generates a number of strategies to benefit the client and their business.
- When the client identifies marketing strategies they want to pursue, the agency can implement them. HOWEVER, if the agency believes the strategy would have a negative impact on the client’s overall goals, or there is a way in which the method could be even more impactful, it is their responsibility to challenge the client.
There could be a number of reasons why some agencies resort to that role of brief taker, rather than expert.
It could be down to fear. When the client is paying the bills, some agencies feel pressured to comply regardless. But think about it – when the strategy doesn’t pay off, will the client come back to you next time?
Or, it could be that some agencies just go along with the client because it saves time and hassle. Sure, it’s the easy way out – but that’s not what you invoice for. You’re cheating your client.
So whether the reason is fear or laziness, it’s still not right. Your position is as a consultant – and as the figures show, clients are happier with agencies who prove their expertise by challenging them.
Think about why you entered your agreement with your marketing agency.
Was it to come up with the marketing strategies yourself and pay others to put them into place, regardless of how beneficial they were? Or was it to get experts on board who would advise on and implement the best strategies for your business?
Chances are, it wasn’t the first option. There are marketing agencies who will roll over and let you call the shots – whether they’re good ideas or not! And if you want an agency who’ll let you pay them for that, there are certainly a number out there to choose from!
But if you want to invest in an expert who’ll challenge your ideas – not only to make them better, but to ensure a greater return on your investment – think about whether you’re getting that with your current agency.
If you’re not, let us challenge you instead. At Garda, we’re ready to strip back that relationship between an agency and a client to what it should be: a consultant on hand to get the best from your marketing, not a brief taker.