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Top challenges of working with an agency [#ChartoftheDay]

Author's avatar By Alexander Clark 23 Aug, 2016
Essential Essential topic

A good relationship with your agency is key to creating solutions to your marketing efforts, both yourself and the agency are happy with.

As an extension of yesterday's post, today we are looking at the top challenges of working with an agency.

The work comes from Clutch who surveyed 500 respondents all of whom work in companies with over 500+ employees for their 2016 Enterprise Marketing Survey. They asked marketers, "What is the biggest challenge of working with an outside agency?”.


Unsurprisingly "communication" came top of the list, with 18% if respondents claiming it to be the toughest thing about working with an agency. Whether there is a lack of, or complete miscommunication, it is something that has to work for a successful business relationship. On the agencies behalf, it can be tough to juggle multiple clients emails and phone calls, whilst actually trying to implement the work being discussed. As a client, it is paramount that you communicate well with your agency allowing them to understand exactly what you're looking for.

Other challenges clients have had to overcome when working with agencies include limited understanding of company strategy and history, and project management. Clutch suggest these may come from a lack of "soft" client skills as opposed to a lack of technical or creative skills.

Fortunately, it appears agencies are still able to think outside the box a little, with the only 6% finding their agency have a lack of practical ideas, whilst only 8% found their agencies had a lack of innovative ideas.

A quote taken from the survey is from Natalie Staines, Director of Marketing for R2i who said...

“[The best agencies] are transparent up front in their sales cycle about everything from their capabilities to their deliverables and the teams who will work with the client. Executive sponsors are a typical role to hold the client team accountable and help ensure client satisfaction along with dedicated account managers responsible for serving as a daily point of contact. At the end of the day, it’s about relationships, and all great, successful long-term relationships are built upon adjusting and shifting during the challenging times, not necessarily maintaining status quo during the good times."

  • Data: Survey of 500 respondents who work in a marketing role at companies with at least 500 employees. About half come from companies with 1000+ employees. 88% are manager level or higher
  • Source: Clutch Enterprise Marketing Survey
  • Date: Aug 2016
Author's avatar

By Alexander Clark

A former member of the Smart Insights team, I’m always on the look out to collaborate with the finest minds in Digital Marketing. Currently working at Silverbean, I have a distinctive interest in all things outreach, content, strategy, and measurement. If you’d like to get in touch, you can do so through my LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. When I’m not planning new campaigns and content, I love playing the Bass Guitar and Drums (not necessarily at the same time) also racking up as many hours as possible on Football Manager and the Rugby pitch.

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