How to Really Irritate your Marketing Agency

Everyone, whether large corporations or small establishments, work with a marketing agency at some point. Now, some people treat their marketing agency like an advertising agency, while others think that their advertising agency is a marketing agency. Whether you think they are different or the same, well, that is not the matter of discussion today. Today, we want to teach you how to really, really irritate the heck out of your marketing agency.

What better joy can there be than to flex your client status and show them who is boss? But sadly, many people have no idea how to do this! So, here are just five simple things you can do to really irritate the heck out of your marketing agency.

Right at the start, let us begin with the Marketing Brief. Remember, the Marketing Brief is the document that is supposed to really confuse your marketing agency and make their job really difficult. Afterall, you hire only the best, and what is the point of paying top dollar if you don’t stretch them a little, right? So, make sure that your Marketing Brief contains at least several different ideas gleaned from several different industries, preferably not the same as your industry. You do not want your marketing agency people to think that you know nothing outside of your own backyard. But this is not enough. You need to include plans that span the gamut of marketing activities from PR to events, from radio to TV advertising, from print to billboards and throw in some “interactive” stuff. But just having that in, will merely make your marketing agency salivate with the potential billings. What you need to do immediately after this, is to put in a Budget that is so miniscule, so tiny that they would have to be really creative just to squeeze enough time based on your budget to draw up a proposal.

Now that you have got them into this really tight spot, the next thing you need to do to really irritate your marketing agency, is to make sure they have no access to any decision making processes. Here is where you have to get creative. You need to set up meetings where the key decision makers cannot make it. You need to get the Marketing Agency all ready to go, then cancel the meeting. You might even want to bring in a few irrelevant parties into these meetings so that you can inject “unbiased” third-party opinions. This is especially effective when it is time for approvals on creatives.

The third tactic to ensure your marketing agency remains at the top end of the scale of irritation, is to keep changing the key elements or better yet, the minor points in the overall marketing campaign. Quibble over depth of colors, afterall, details are important, right? And challenge their copy writers on every press release, every advertisement copy, every brochure; you definitely want the marketing agency to know that you are a creative writer of some talent. Remember to apply this not just to the creatives, but be sure to question every mechanics of every promotion, scrutinise and keep making changes to the online architecture and poke holes anywhere and everywhere you can. You have to make sure that you establish your reputation as a “tough but knowledgeable” marketing “guru”. Be sure your bosses understand your exercises in extremism is because you are a dedicated, expert employee looking for nothing but the best for the company.

Once the marketing agency has struggled through the entire miasma, be sure to add a sub-campaign or a derivative promotion and ask them to incorporate it seamlessly into the overall marketing plan. Make sure to repeat Steps One through Three with this new project. Afterall, your marketing agency might want to take the easy way out and simply execute this as part of one or two of the most logical portions of the campaign. You need to see this across everything. Don’t get short-changed.

Finally, once everything is done, be sure to call for a post mortem. This is a crucial step to ensure that your marketing agency is at the peak of its irritation. Question them about the many challenges faced in such a “simple” marketing campaign. Afterall, they are the experts, so why did you have to do so much work, right? Attribute any and all failings to them. Be creative in this aspect. Be sure that all credit goes to your diligence and expertise.

The above five steps are just an example of how you can really, really irritate your marketing agency. But one thing to remember after all this. If your marketing agency smiles politely, and promises to do better the next time around, fire them! You, the expert, knowledgeable executive who wants nothing but the best for your company, you will certainly not work with a marketing agency who does not believe it can find work elsewhere, away from such mindless harrassment.

3 Replies to “How to Really Irritate your Marketing Agency”

  1. may you reincarnate into a marketeer in your next life and being irritated all of your life so you lose your personal time with family

  2. Any marketing agency/freelancer who has self respect would have fired such client immediately. It may be tough if the client is unreasonable but pays well. However, I would rather keep my sanity and dignity in tact.

    Well, you may like to visit my blog at to see from an agency’s perspective.

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