The relations between companies and marketing agencies are getting shorter every day. According to a Bedford Group study , the average length of these relationships has dropped from 7.2 years in 1984 to less than three years today.
As the marketing environment has become vast and complex, few agencies now offer a full range of services sought after by businesses. The need for specialization forces them to call on several agencies, but it becomes difficult to bring them together on a common goal.
The solution may lie in freelancers. A team of freelancers is easier to assemble and manage than a group of agencies. However, how do you know if it’s time to give up your marketing agency and hire a freelancer? Here are 6 signs that never fail!
A lack of collaboration
Whatever type of agency you work with, it is essential to be on the same page about the nature of your relationship. Both parties must have a clear vision of the goal or result they are seeking to achieve. They should feel free to contribute their ideas and not go it alone without letting the other know what is going on.
Here are some signs that your collaboration with your agency may be bad:
- Poorly defined responsibilities
- Poor alignment between the achievement of objectives and the achievement of missions
- No emotional connection with your agency and the team that takes care of your projects
The freelance’s missions are clearly defined from the start of the collaboration. As you have a single interlocutor, a relationship is necessarily created between you and him, which facilitates exchanges and improves collaboration.
Lack of reliability
Failure to meet deadlines is an important sign of the unreliability of the agency, and this has consequences for your business. If you notice delays, an irregularity in the quality of work or difficulties in contacting the team, it is time to change provider.
The freelancer is paid on the job. Generally, he ensures the quality of his work in order to benefit from recommendations, or even additional assignments. If the agency often requires a long-term commitment, the freelance worker offers testing phases that secures your decision.
Continuous staff turnover
Marketing is an area known for its high staff turnover, with young creatives moving from agency to agency in search of clients and bigger salaries. However, constantly changing people can hamper the growth of your business.
Each newcomer must take his marks, which sometimes penalizes the service.
With a freelancer, the risk of turnover is almost non-existent. If he wishes to end the collaboration, he usually gives notice allowing you to find and train a replacement so as not to lose fluidity.
Results that do not comply with the rates
Your marketing agency surely has objectives to fulfill so that your return on investment is positive. It is therefore important to take stock regularly and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you clearly know what services you are billed for?
- Do you know what results were generated by these services?
- What are the key performance indicators monitored and how do they relate to your objectives?
- What are the concrete financial returns made by your agency?
If you don’t get a precise answer, despite several reminders, it’s time to change partners.
You feel like you’ve passed your agency
Remember, this is a partnership. The real value of working with a marketing agency lies in its ability to bring new ideas, surf trends and support you in decision-making.
As your business grows and your needs change, you may feel like your marketing partner isn’t growing with you. You may find that his ideas are limited or that his strategy does not take advantage of new market opportunities.
If this is the case, it is time to find an enlightened partner, with modern expertise, in line with your values and those of your clients.
Little or no listening
Does your marketing agency take your ideas and expectations into consideration? Or on the contrary, do you have the impression that you are not being listened to, that your emails or calls are filtered?
The marketing agency doesn’t have to accept all of your suggestions, but they should be able to explain their rejection. Without forgetting to make counter-proposals to find out how to integrate your idea into the strategy.
Again, talking and listening is easier with a freelancer because the bond is closer. He will therefore be more receptive to your proposals.