When you lose trust in your agency
Trust is key in any good relationship. When an agency and brand have worked together for years, it might be hard for them to look at their partnership objectively. Ask yourself this; do you trust your agency? Do you trust them to accomplish your goals, meet deadlines, or provide you accurate (and real) results? If the answer is no, then you need to find a new partnership. There is a prevailing problem in the marketing world of marketers making friends and then hanging on to those friendships for years despite several signs that the working relationship may not be working anymore. The biggest sign is trust, and if your agency has lost yours, you need a fresh start.
When your agency gets defensive when you try and work with publishers/vendors
Publishers and vendors are not evil or malicious for wanting to work directly with brands. It is the responsibility of the brand to keep the agency in the loop when they do decide to have a straightforward partnership with a third-party company. While an agency may have its concerns, a good agency will not be offended or get defensive if you choose that road, it will want to help you. Your agency should want you to get the most support from all different sources, not just make sure you're only working with them. If your agency is making a fuss because you've decided to work with a publisher or vendor, it's time to rethink that relationship. Who is your agency really protecting?
If you think you can get better value bypassing your agency
It's the little signs that add up which might make you rethink your choice of representation. One of them is if you find yourself looking beyond them every time you want to launch a new campaign or implement a strategy. If you find yourself trusting a third-party company (and yourself) more than your own agency, then it's time to fire your agency. Whenever you have a creative idea that needs execution in the market, your agency should be the very first place you call. Your mind should not be wandering elsewhere.
Charlie Ray, President of Broad Street Co., speaks to iMedia about the signs every brand needs to recognize when it might be time to find a new agency.
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