You know that the role of the chief marketing officer has changed. The onetime head communicator is now also responsible for delivering business and providing value as well. But what about the ad agency that serves the CMO? If the role and needs of the CMO have changed, has their agency changed with them? Or is the CMO getting less and less service as their role moves forward and their agency is stuck in the past?

What should you be getting from your agency, now that the future is here

A clear view of the function and value of each media platform you use.

If you’re being held responsible for providing value to your company, you need to know what you’re getting from your media spend and why. Audience demographics are constantly shifting across social media platforms, traditional media has gone digital and digital platforms are revealing new strengths and uses every day. You have to understand the strategy behind your spend and the return you’re getting from it, and it’s your agency’s job to make sure you do.

Reporting based on the metrics that really matter.

When your main focus is messaging and brand management, clicks, likes and shares are important numbers to follow. But when the marketing department is turned into a revenue center, you need to be looking at numbers that affect your ability to deliver business. Your agency should be able to identify a few KPIs that are actually predictive of your ability to reach your overall business goals. Growth rates, conversion rates, downloads — KPIs vary from company to company, which is why it’s essential that your agency understands your business and your goals.

Responsiveness, proactiveness and transparency.

The business world is moving faster than ever. The market is in a constant state of flux. “Disruptor” is a badge of honor. When you have a question, a concern or a request, your agency should be quick to address your needs and quick to take action (or not take action, if that’s the best choice). In fact, it should be keeping an eye on your environment and be prepared to address your needs before you know you have them, bringing potential opportunities or threats to your attention and suggesting solutions to strengthen your brand. That sort of fast action requires complete transparency so you can see your agency is using your resources wisely, acting strategically and staying focused on your goals.


This one, of course, is evergreen — you should always feel that your agency is your partner — but it becomes even more important as a CMO’s responsibilities shift. A good agency partner fits smoothly into the efforts of your marketing department, reinforcing weak spots and filling in gaps in capabilities. Your agency should not only understand your company and your market but the demands you’re getting from the C-suite. You’re putting a lot on your agency. It should give you the peace of mind that it will be able to carry that load, and to match your needs with their services no matter where your shifting role takes you.

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