5 Tips to Part Amicably with Your Agency

Tammy Y. Allen, Marketing & Programs Director, The NIIC

Parting with your advertising or marketing firm can be difficult. That’s true for any vendor relationship. Admittedly, I’ve done this well and not so well, depending on the situation. Like most people, I seek lifelong learning and growth. So, I was intrigued by the topic of this week’s Social & Marketing Breakfast Fort Wayne (SMBFW). Kevin Mullet, Cirrus ABS, led an engaging discussion on this topic.

We all agree, when possible, the goal is an amicable parting. A colleague who formerly worked at an agency likened the relationship to dating. That’s good perspective. Here are 5 tips to help make that happen.

1.     Communicate frequently, clearly and often. A tip here, sometimes email is not the best method. Tone and expression cannot be communicated by email. Sometimes it’s more productive to pick up the phone or schedule a meeting.

2.     Set expectations early. Discuss expectations for both you and the agency early on in the relationship. Also, set expectations early for each project.

3.     Assess pain points regularly. This is basically a reality check to ensure there are no lingering issues on the client side or agency side that may impair the relationship or progress.

4.     Make it easy to exit. Start with the end in mind. This means ensuring assets (e.g., website, domain names, trademarks, etc.) are established in the client’s name. Identify a plan and timeline for transition of asset ownership. Communication and setting expectations are critical at this point. Also, do not punish the agency for perceived wrong doings. They are already losing your business.

5.     Move forward with lessons learned. Apply what you’ve learned to future experiences for you and the agencies you engage. This is a win-win for both parties.

A closing thought so well stated by attendee and community activist Anthony Lardydell “Remember to represent yourself and your company with a good attitude.”

Join us the last Tuesday each month for SMBFW at The NIIC, 7:30 registration/networking, 8 – 9 a.m. event. Learn more on the SMBFW Facebook page and @smbftw. The event is sponsored, so there is no charge to attend the event. Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC), strategically located at The NIIC, proudly serves as the sponsor of this event through September 2017.


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