Helping with Agencies

How to evaluate, how to manage and how to leave

If you are thinking of signing with an agency, need help managing one, or want to find a way to disengage from an existing one – I can help.

I’ve helped numerous businesses to get the most from their agencies & to leave them with minimal business-impact if things don’t work out.

Deciding if you need an Agency

Start here if you are considering or about to contracting a digital agency to carry out some work for you. Whether you’re motivated by your own drivers, or whether they’ve sold you the idea of a specific service, now is the time where you need to do your due diligence.

  • Are you about to be locked into a contract for 12/24 months?
  • How can you be sure that what you are about to buy is suitable for your business?
  • How will you measure whether it is working or not?

Although agencies sell services each and every day, most business owners – their customers – are ill-equipped to judge whether what they’re being offered is good, average or just plain terrible. It can be a very expensive mistake to get it wrong. Not only might it not improve your business, but it could also make it worse.

DUE-DILIGENCE

Want to avoid locking yourself into a bad deal?

Before signing an agreement with an agency, we will review their proposal with you. Addressing all points above we’ll establish any exposure you have regarding Strategy assessment; Service breakdown; Exit strategy; Asset ownership; Reporting & KPIs; Payment terms; Business continuity; Account management; Change management and more.

We can recommend additional steps you ought to take before contractually committing yourself.

SUPPLIER ENGAGEMENT

Planning a face-to-face meetings with your prospective Agency, prior to signing?

In face-to-face meetings with potential agencies, when they’re selling their services hard, it can be difficult for those outside the industry – a business owner like you – to spot the gotchas!

If you want help seeing through the sales messages to the actual value & risks of what’s being offered, then we can help.

Have us alongside you to ask those difficult questions, challenge some of the sales promises and dig down to find the true value in what’s being offered.

We’ll give you an independent & expert viewpoint.

GENERAL ADVISORY

Just need someone to review your current & potential online marketing plans?

To ensure the greatest chance of success, it’s best to seek expert guidance in developing an online marketing strategy for your business.

However, with the expertise sitting mainly in Digital agencies, who are also keen to sell you their services, it can be difficult to get advice that you can trust.

We can look at your business, current marketing activities and future plans, to offer guidance on a suitable online strategy. All without a vested interest.

Helping you manage your Agency

Once you have engaged an Agency, you must invest time into maintaining an ongoing relationship to:

  • assess performance,
  • agree to tactical changes in activities,
  • ensure coordination with your broader marketing activities, &
  • to continually monitor whether you’re getting value for your money (or not).

By not actively managing your Agency their performance may become less than optimal, their activities may diverge from the path your business is following & you may cease to benefit from the role they perform.

Many business owners have neither the time nor the knowledge to be able to conduct this essential ongoing role.

PERFORMANCE AUDIT

Want to know if it’s working as it should be or could be?

To help you understand whether you are getting a good return on your investment, we can carry-out a one-time assessment of your Agency’s performance vs. their contract &/or against broader expectations.

From here you can decide whether to continue with your Agency as-is, whether a change of direction is required with the same Agency, or whether you should seek to terminate your contract & do something different.

SUPPLIER MANAGEMENT

Getting status updates but don’t know what they mean or what you should do with the information they contain?

Most agencies provide regular performance updates & undertake periodic face-to-face reviews.

Many business owners are ill-equipped to review, assess or respond to the information they are given.

We can help by performing these tasks for you, or with you.

UPSELLS

Need to work out whether that new service being offered is a good idea or not?

Once you are onboard, Agencies are keen to promote additional services to you to increase their margins.

These may or may not be good solutions for your business.

We can help you assess any proposed changes to the scope of your existing contract, to see whether they are as good for you as they are for your Agency.

Helping you leave your Agency

At some point, all businesses choose to disengage from their agency. This may simply be at the end of the contractual term, it may be because you are unhappy with their performance, your Agency may have gone out of business or decided they no longer want you as a customer!

Whatever the reason, it is essential to plan & execute your transition in the least disruptive fashion.

Having a website go offline; a sudden halt in advertising activities; an inability to regain ownership/control of key on-line assets; lack of knowledge of what online assets exist, are all bad consequences you want to avoid.

COOPERATIVE TRANSITION

We’ve agreed to part company

Where contracts have come to an agreeable conclusion, we work with your agency to manage your transition away from them.

If an Agency is going to cease performing some or all of its functions, then it is necessary to determine what those functions are & whether those functions will simply cease; be taken over by another entity, or continue with a different objective.

Online assets may be under the ownership of your Agency &/or an Agency may have sole access to online assets in your name.

It is essential to identify all online assets and transition their ownership & access. Assets may include – website; hosting; domain name; email; analytics; tag manager; search console; social media; email marketing; and numerous others.

HOSTILE TRANSITION

How can we leave our Agency when they aren’t willing to help?

If you have had a dispute with your Agency that has led you to parting company, they may not be cooperative in helping you transition.

We can facilitate your transition through reviewing the agreement with your Agency; liaising with third parties regarding online assets in your name; establishing what can be recovered & what will need to be reconstructed.

COMPELLED TRANSITION

Our Agency has gone broke or we can’t get in touch with them. How do we continue?

Similar to a hostile transition, if your Agency goes out of business or is unresponsive for some other reason, you need to transition without their help.

We can facilitate your transition through liaising with third parties regarding online assets in your name, but under control of your Agency; establishing what can be recovered & what will need to be reconstructed.