The Anchor: 8 indications when you know it’s time to bid goodbye to your agency

07 Sep,2011

By Ajay Kakar

These are the views of a person who has invested 15 years at the agency end. And for the last six years he has been at the client side.

 

These are the views of a marketer who strongly believes that the role of an agency partner is invaluable to his success and the success of his brand.

 

#1 When you have the frequent need to say all the best to exiting key members of the agency: A brand is built over years. Passion and consistency are two critical pillars in this journey. And if an agency loses/shifts your key team members frequently, that’s bad news.

 

#2 When you have many people servicing your account but you do not remember the name of any: You do need mere hands and legs. To quote David Ogilvy, you need people who know more about the brand than even the client. People who leave an impression on you and make an impact on the brand. People you can’t afford to forget. Nothing less will do.

 

# 3 When you have meetings only at times of a brief initiated by you: You need Brand Custodians and Brand Stewards. People who are thinking of your brand all the time. And not only when you have a felt need. Else you will always feel compromised.

 

# 4 When your agency only discusses advertising or 30-seconders with you: In today’s world you need to surround and engage your fickle and distracted consumer at all times. And if your agency doesn’t help you with that they may be contributing to your losing your customer.

 

# 5 When your agency does not meet you after a campaign to enquire about the results: A marketer does not need advertising. He needs advertising that sells. He is evaluated on results. If your agency is not helping you get there faster, cheaper or better, why will you value them?

 

# 6 When your agency doesn’t ask for an annual hike with confidence and more so if your agency does not propose a performance-linked incentive plan: A true partnership must be a win-win for both parties. And if your agency is contributing to your success, why would they think twice before asking for your just rewards. Is it because they are not performing?

 

# 7 When an agency doesn’t meet you at regular intervals to seek a structured

feedback/evaluation: If your partner doesn’t have a road map with clearly defined milestones, there is a good chance that you are not headed in the right direction.

 

# 8 When an agency does not aspire to win industry recognition/awards on your brand: In our business passion is everything. And if your partner is not excited to do pathbreaking work for your client work that gets noticed and talked about the brand is possibly not in safe hands.

 

Ajay Kakar is CMO – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group

 

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