why clients fire digital marketing agencies

I’ve been working in the corporate world, as a client of many digital marketing agencies for some time. I’ve networked, participated in panels and ran digital marketing workshops for quite a few departments, students and organizations. I’ve spoken with VP’s of Comms, Directors of Marketing, Marketing Managers and right down the chain of command with Digital Marketing Coordinators while collected a ton of feedback as to why company’s fire their digital marketing agencies.

First, just let me say that from a branding standpoint and creative standpoint, Digital Marketing Agencies have become a powerhouse of innovation for companies and pushed them forward with their online initiatives. Some of the brightest minds choose to work at Digital Marketing agencies, and some of the hardest workers devote their lives to client work. After many years on the “client” side of things, I decided to see how much value I could bring to an agency recently. And so far, I’m loving every moment of it. It’s pushing me to think out of the box and in ways, I haven’t before, and at-the same time leverage some of my skill set I’ve obtained over the years of managing digital marketing agency relationships and project execution.

But that being said, there are a couple of common things said out there in the world right now… And they are that there are simply too many agencies out there doing the exactly same thing and that agencies have to be “fired” regularly and it is a huge pain the arse to do so. Onboarding Agencies seems to be the happiest part of the stage for many clients, the follow through seems to be lacking.

So what gives? Why are Digital Marketing Agencies fired?

I’ve narrowed it down to a few things that I believe are the reasons.

  1. Sometimes, not always, but just maybe sometimes, the staff at some agencies just don’t seem to give a sh*t about their client’s bottom line or projects.
  2. Agencies are just too expensive and don’t provide enough results.
  3. Agencies oversell and underdeliver consistently.
  4. There is always another agency around the corner, so there’s no need to stress about keeping them around.
  5. They all do the same thing.
  6. Agencies provide no transparency.
  7. Agency staff acts as they know more about the business their clients are in than their clients do.

I’d like to highlight number 7 as I think this is critical. You may be a brilliant online advertiser or web developer, but if you are working for a business that has been around for over 10 years you definitely do not know more about their current customers or business than they do. One of the most critically lacking aspects of agency support is that an agency needs to not only bring new ideas to the table and execute efficiently, but they need to empower their clients to assist in the execution of any digital project.

There’s probably a ton of other reasons, but for the most part, I believe it truly comes down to transparency and passion.

The agency has-to have staff that is passionate about providing your company value. Real value. Real, transparent, passionate, value. I believe it’s that simple.

If you want your client’s business, you need to care about your client’s business. Not care about them in the sense of giving them a Christmas Card every year, but care by actually caring. If you aren’t able to care about the projects you take on, maybe you are in the wrong business.

It’s one of those things. If you aren’t motivated by creating tangible results and making people happy by providing unbelievable service, maybe you shouldn’t be in the service industry?

As I mentioned, I recently made the switch to Agency life full time. I’m working with passionate digital marketers and content producers that are executing brilliant content on an ongoing-basis. I”m excited that my journey has brought me here.

Just my thoughts.