Agency Ghosting 101

Charlene Coughlin 21.10.21

Agency Ghosting 101

Ghosting: When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding friend’s phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public.

No one likes being ghosted — whether while in the “dating” or “talking” phase or during the agency pitch process phase. Agencies have all been there — you’ve discussed a project, or many projects, you’ve shared your capabilities and worked on projections. You’ve even submitted a Master Services Agreement and Scope of Work. And then? The emails aren’t replied to. The calls go unanswered.

You’ve been ghosted.

And it feels the exact same way as when you are “talking” to someone.

You feel rejected.

You question what you may have done.

Maybe you didn’t understand the scope?

Maybe you came on too strong?

Maybe you over communicated? Is that possible?

Should you reach out one more time? How many times is too many? Do you wait until after that first cup of coffee to check in just in case they missed your other emails?

To the brand managers and marketers that are working with agencies – please give your agency contacts a reply! It doesn’t have to be long or in-depth but something is better than nothing at all.

There are three important reasons why:

  1. Common courtesy. It doesn’t take long to hit reply and explain that you went in a new direction or chose another agency. That quick email helps the agency that’s on the other side feel more at ease and know where to be spending their time moving forward.
  2. It gives the agency areas to improve on. Everyone wants some feedback. It could be something as simple as a change in the structure of the agency’s capabilities presentation or something larger – maybe around what team members are needed or how the contracts are set up. But without feedback agencies are left wondering and unable to move forward in a way that benefits them and their potential clients. And as agencies improve, so do our brand marketing counterparts – we all grow together.
  3. You never know when you may need that particular agency again. Sure the agency may not have been the right fit for that particular project but what if in a few months you need a new partner or someone to execute quickly on your behalf. If you ghost the agency it’ll be much more difficult to go back to them. You also never know where that agency may end up – they may end up being your agency partner in another life.

Next time you are “talking” to a potential agency, just remember that quick email or call can help make that team feel so much better in the long run – and maybe make them a better agency in the future.

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