One of the tenets of my business development system is the understanding that your advertising agency will get fired by virtually every one of your project work and AOR clients. This means that you better be out there finding your next set of clients because your current clients will sooner or later walk out the back door.
To get even more painful, we all need to get over the disastrous track record of agencies that wait till they get fired to get fired up about running a new business/sales program. The standard, awful, message is that the agency was too busy working on its current clients to run a solid business development program. You know, the horrible saying… “we are like the shoemaker who can’t make shoes for his kids.”
I’ve written in the past about why advertising agencies get fired – right here. This post expands on that review. But first, here is a key finding I wrote about a couple of years ago:
Why do advertising and digital agencies get hired and fired? A key reason for getting fired (other than the new Marketing Director’s need to look active; and an agency’s failure to keep up with the rapid pace of change) is very often the very same reason clients hire agencies in the first place…
It has a lot to do with interpersonal chemistry according to Darren Woolley of Australia’s TrinityP3, a leading global advertising agency search consultant and client advisor. I love this point: “It’s all about the relationship.”
Why You Will Be Fired & How To Stop It
There has been a bunch of research about the primary reasons that clients fire agencies. While getting fired is somewhat inevitable, I think that agency management must be very cognizant of the reasons and manage their agency and staff accordingly.
The smartest, most aware agencies get fired less frequently.
Let’s walk through the reasons you will get fired. I’ll be brief because I believe that most of these can be managed down without a huge effort.
It’s Much About KPI’s and Return On Investment
I counsel all of my agency clients that return on investment, the client’s investment in their marketing programs must yield a positive and calculated sales return on every dollar they spend. Obvious, right? That said, it is amazing to see how many advertising agencies cannot calculate ROI based on a client’s KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Some agencies do not even ask about key performance metrics. Read More