When proper roles aren’t defined in a marketing agency and client relationship, the lines tend to get blurred real quick.
Your marketing agency stops focusing on what they are great at…marketing, branding, advertising, etc. and starts focusing on things that are just out of there wheel house.
This situation happens more frequently when you have small businesses working with small agencies.
Small Agencies are Susceptible
The owners of a smaller marketing agency are still involved with the day to day client servicing side of the business. This puts them into a position where they feel obligated to stretch their overall business knowledge and expertise further than it should. If an employee was managing that same account, they would not have the motivation, knowledge or permission to wander outside of the structured operating process. Smaller agencies are also more inclined to retain customers and not disappoint them as every dollar counts and they are still fighting to build up their client base.
Small Businesses are Vulnerable
Small businesses allow this to happen as well because the smaller the business, the less specialized roles and departments that company has. This makes them more vulnerable in many areas in their business, not just marketing.
When you combine these two together, you get a marketing agency turned business consultant.
My First Hand Experience
I’ve seen this happen first hand. A while back ago, I was hired by a marketing agency to help them improve their SEO and PPC management for their clients. After consulting for them for a little while and seeing how they operated their business, I started to see a common theme.
They were constantly involved and talking about areas of their clients businesses that had nothing to do with marketing.
They would talk about their frustrations with the client’s phone sales team, ways to improve the communication inside the client’s company internally, disappointment with the way customer service treats customers on the phone and so on and so on.
80/20 Rule Reversed
They spent only 20% of their day focused on the marketing while spending the other 80% of the day focused on business consulting, operations and putting out fires for their client’s businesses.
And at the end of the day, guess who suffered?
They both did.
The agency got burned out everyday feeling like they were way over their head and unable to stay focused.
The businesses didn’t get focused attention from the marketing agency on the marketing and advertising side of the business so they struggled as well.
It was a lose lose situation on both ends.
Time to Hire a Business Consultant?
If you find yourself in this situation, where your marketing agency is starting to act like your business consultant, then it may be time to take a step back and think about if hiring a real business consultant is the right decision to make.
If you need help restructuring and defining roles for your marketing agency, then feel free to reach out to us at www.aosaudit.com . We would be glad to help.