Without a doubt, every small business owner and marketer will run into this situation. You are using a marketing agency to handle some aspect of your marketing, and performance is just not where it needs to be.
So what do you do?
After exhausting all other options and trying to work with them to improve performance, it might be time to let them go.
Here is a quick checklist for when you have to fire your marketing agency:
- Have a heart to heart with someone at the executive level. Let them know that performance is not where you need it to be. The goal of this discussion should be to give them once last chance to improve and make you happy.
- Start to look around for an alternative solution. You never want to be left in a situation where you let your agency go and there is no one to pick up where they left off. Either you need to find and retain another agency or hire someone to manage the work internally.
- When you find an alternative you are happy with, assuming performance with the old agency is still lacking, it’s time to pull the plug. Give them the news over the phone, and let them know what your plans are moving forward. Most agencies, knowing they still have a reputation to uphold and thinking that they could one day win the business back, will do everything in their power to make the transition an easy one.
- Prepare for a temporary dip in performance. Anytime you move from one agency to another, or bring work in house, it will take a little time to get everything up and running at 100% again. The first few months might be dedicated to getting all your ducks in a row, and performance may not improve as quickly as you might want it to.
- Don’t burn any bridges. You may find that poor performance gets even worse. In some cases, you might want to return to the original agency because they know your account and can get you back on track, at least to where they had it before.