Do I even need an agency?

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of articles on how to “manage” agency relationships – but surely the key question for brands should be “do I even need an agency?”

To find the answer, it’s important to have a conversation with an agency (or several) and see what value they can really add. Because agencies, like everyone else, must earn the work they deserve.

Equally, the cleverest people are the ones who accept what they don’t know. As such, one of the key benefits of employing an agency is to get a different perspective.

“Are we asking the right questions?”

“Do our consumers think the way we think?”

“Are our metrics for success correct?”

“Do clicks really result in sales?”

“Should I be in this market?”

We came across a great example of how perspective can make all the difference while working with a client who appeared to be doing well. They were getting better and better at recruiting consumers, so much so that all of their marketing metrics looked brilliant. But  they were recruiting the wrong kind of people and had a potential long-term disaster on their hands because these new recruits had little Lifetime Value.

This sort of issue is very difficult to identify when you are so close to the everyday problems and delivering what looks like efficient and effective advertising. In these cases, a simple slice of objectivity is the best thing an agency can add.

The other thing to consider is the type of relationship you want with an agency. You don’t have to jump in and aim for an exclusive or “forever relationship”.

In BPL’s case anything is possible, as long as everyone is clear what is required of them and the scope they are expected to deliver. It could be one specific job or even one piece of one job, or it could be a much bigger remit. Flexibility is as key in this area as it is with most successful commercial relationships. We find the best way to get more work is often to start small and prove your value.

So, the keys to understanding if you need an agency and then managing that relationship successfully are simple – honesty, openness and communication.

It’s a simple thought – but we believe these are often the best.

If you’d like to have a chat with an agency to see what they can do for you, we would love to help.