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Why Does The Agency-Client Relationship Fail?

Tips & Tricks

Why Does The Agency-Client Relationship Fail?

A Look At Why The Agency-Client Relationship Fails

Brand new website, mobile optimized. Check.  Re-worked PPC campaigns over several different platforms.  Roger!  Brand new TV and radio spots.  In production and on the way to the stations.  This is the tug and pull of the agency-client relationship.  All of these amazing ideas and features need to be MOËT quality champagne on a Miller Light budget.  And they have to be done yesterday!

Now, on the other foot, you the agency want time to test out all the features, get the branding just right, A/B test the copy and images.  It’s only natural that digital agencies want to experiment, you want to be able to create a case study to use to secure more clients or have an outstanding reference that you can point to, maybe even win an award for your work.  

The reality of life is that your client didn’t bother to contact you about a brand new promotion because they fear that it would be deducted from the amount of hours they have contracted with you.  So now, a brand new promotion is going unheard on the air and there is no interaction on socials to help spread the word.  

This is the all-too-common back and forth of agency-client relationships.  And many times these factors add up over time and cause the relationship to fail.  The key is to emphasize value to your clients, continually.  Prosperity will follow.

So Why Do Agency-Client Relationships Go South?

Every agency has heard this before; if you ask the client, they say the agency, if you ask the agency, they say the client.  The truth lies somewhere in between.  The agency and the client both have stock in the relationship and both need to come to the table with constructive ideas and clear set goals.  A great way to head off this disaster is to have conscious reports that will start conversations about goals and how to achieve them.  We illustrate the importance of client reporting in this blog post, 4 Reasons Why Client Reporting Is Important.  It’s certainly worth a read.

Reason 1:  Agencies Don’t Have Good Packages or Offer The Right Services

This one might be a tough pill to swallow but when you think about your “product,” are you offering a comprehensive and attractive product?  There are no shortage of competitors when it comes to digital agencies, so the value comes down to your packaged products.  

Today we live in an always on world, and as a marketing agency you must be able to compete and provide in that world.  Every aspect of marketing must coalesce and work together to the same end goal.  This means paid campaigns, social campaigns, radio or tv campaigns, copy on websites, blog articles, all of it must lead to the funnel and push down to a conversion.  This type of content, collectively, should be packaged in a holistic attempt to gain more business for the client.  A clear and complete package will take into consideration all the faucets available.  An even better package will also include detailed reporting.

Reason 2:  Communication Is Broken

Communication is the easiest part of this list, but is still the one aspect that typically leads to failure of a relationship.  When you think about it, if you were your own client, you would want all the details of the campaigns that you are spending your hard earned budget on.  Wouldn’t you?  While we understand personality types play a big role in how effective communication is, we all want to know what is going on.  

Several steps to take into consideration when trying to build a better relationship through communication is to clearly define the goals in the beginning, create detailed maps on how you plan to achieve stated goals and report on the efforts and successes of these goals.  In fact, reporting is a great excuse to have monthly conversations with your clients.  Agencies that report in detail tend to have better communication and longer lasting relationships with clients.

Reason 3:  Accountability Is Missing On The Agency Side

Finally, our last reason is accountability.  There really is just one simple solution for this; reporting!  We all love to get swept up in the glory of a great idea, but we should also show that fervor towards our reporting and our bottom line; be results driven.  

There was an interesting survey in 2011 hosted by Fournaise Marketing Group, “67% think that, “unlike CFOs and Sales Forces, [marketers] don’t think enough like business people: they focus too much on the creative, ‘arty’ and ‘fluffy’ side of marketing and not enough on its business science, and rely too much on their ad agencies to come up with the next big idea.”  A well rounded agency will have both the “arty” aspect but will also support that with the “business science” aspect of marketing.  By all means, stay creative!  But don’t lose sight of everything else you could utilize to show why your creative approach is working.  Reporting can take your creative efforts and translate them into showable actions that had an impact.  

So What Is The Solution?

Well, we wish it was as easy as a magic cure all, but the truth is that there are several paths an agency must take to maintain a healthy relationship.  We recommend upgrading your reporting platform to NinjaCat.  NinjaCat can help alleviate all of the issues we spoke on.  With our Reporting system at your fingertips you can upsell and amend to your current packages.  Every client or prospect will love how in-depth your reporting goes, and it is white label so you can brand it how you need.  It will also help fix any communication problems that may exist.  Finally, it is a clear way to hold yourself accountable for the campaigns you manage.  NinjaCat can help you tell the story of your successes to your clients and open up more in-depth dialogue.  Schedule a demo here and change the dynamic of the agency-client relationship.

Scott Guttenberger

@SkotTheMarketer
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NinjaCat

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Author:
Scott Guttenberger is the Director of Marketing for NinjaCat. He regularly writes on topics concerning paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. With more than 10 years of marketing experience, Scott has held both in-house and agency positions. He provides search marketing and demand generation advice for companies and can be found on Twitter as @SkotTheMarketer.

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