Firing a marketing agency is an unsettling process, yet essential to keep a business moving forward. There are cases when it is the fault of the marketing agency, who fails to communicate or produce results effectively. Sometimes, it is the fault of the client, who holds the marketing agency to unrealistic standards or has unrealistic expectations about the outcome of the partnership.

 Like all personal relationships, not all professional relationships last forever. So, how do you know when it’s time to quit a partnership with a marketing agency ? Here are just a few signs that you need to look out for:

1. You Haven’t Set a Specific Goal

It’s very important for a marketing agency to understand your goals and the supporting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) needed to track them. If you don’t have these, then you should not be hiring a marketing agency in the first place.

A marketing agency can help you better visualise  goals and objectives, but as a business leader, it is your job to have a firm idea of what you are trying to achieve. A difference in perspective about success can impact the overall partnership. For marketing agencies, success might come in form of new logo, more intuitive website, better messaging, and so forth.

However, if you’re just looking to double your sales, the marketing agency might reassess their methods. Goals and objectives should be communicated early so that the agency can deliver on what’s expected . Remember: misaligned expectations are the greatest killer of a relationship.

2. The Return on Investment is Relatively Insignificant

Simple: if the outcomes of every marketing activities you have undertaken have brought little to no ROI, then you should definitely put an end to your partnership with your marketing agency. ROI can mean accountability – meaning that the marketing agency is doing a good job in all facets of the project to ensure positive results.

In order for the partnership to work out, the marketing agency should put the best interest of your company in mind. By getting a strong ROI, it means that the marketing agency is doing the best to make your business more successful.

3. There’s a Lack of Trust

If there’s no mutual trust between you and your marketing agency, then you are not in a partnership at all. When you enter into a partnership, it means that you and the agency are ready to face what may come along the way. It means both of you can rely on each other in times of victory and defeat.

Trust makes a relationship flourish. It fosters innovation and constructive criticism that are crucial to your success. Make sure that your partnership with a marketing agency is based on trust and your business will surely reach greater heights.

4. They Accept and Use Your ‘Bad’ Ideas

In relation to the previous point, if you don’t trust your marketing agency to filter out your disagreeable ideas and all you have are nods of approval, then you should definitely fire your agency.

Why? Because even if you know the nitty-gritty of your product and services, there are finer nuances of marketing that you are yet to learn. Marketing agencies make their living by mastering the ins and outs of marketing landscape and already have seen what works and what doesn’t .

With that said, it is their job to evaluate their client’s concern and advice in relation to the industry’s best practices. In the field of marketing, things and ideas can change rapidly, and something that might work for you in the past may need to be reanalyzed by your marketing agency to see if it’s still effective.

So, we can say that it’s time to say goodbye to your marketing agency when they no longer give honest feedback about your idea, let alone provide you with a better and more effective one.


5. They Lack Long-Term Strategy

The most common place a marketing agency fall the shortest is in long-term planning. Most marketing professionals are very good at executing on a complex task, but only a few are able to translate business goals of a company into a long-term strategic plan. Part of this challenge arises from the inherent and almost unavoidable bias marketing people has against pushing boundaries and taking risks.

Why? Because it is rare for a marketing agency – especially small ones – to do adequate research for new projects. And the downside of experimenting with a new idea and risking making an expensive, embarrassing or disruptive mistake is too great. As the marketing agency becomes more strategically inconsistent with the overall direction of your company, their value will slowly diminish and wither and your investment into marketing will decline to zero.

Depending on your situation, there are a lot more reasons why you should fire your marketing agency. Just be mindful of these signs, and when you’ve noticed that your partnership with your marketing agency is going down this path, don’t hesitate to cut the ties immediately.