How to Break Up with Your Marketing Agency

How to Break Up with Your Marketing Agency

We've all been in a toxic, inescapable relationship. When it's with your marketing agency things are 100 times more difficult!

We all know the feeling– the sparks between your business and your marketing agency just aren’t flying anymore. Maybe you’re not ready to be tied down. You don’t see a future together. You want to see other agencies (AKA you’re probably seeing other agencies). Stop fooling yourself, it’s time to break up with your marketing agency!

Your behavior during these next few weeks will dictate the potential for an amicable friendship in the future. It’s essential to keep the discussion professional and respectful otherwise, next thing you know… reputations get damaged, there’s a lot of tension, the kids won’t want to come home for Thanksgiving anymore, etc.

Consider Timing!

You wouldn’t just end your relationship mid-cuffing season (translation: fall/winter months when the cold draws singles inside…right into the warm arms of another otherwise-would-be-single-human). Similarly, don’t push off the inevitable for too long but also don’t end a relationship in the middle of your busiest quarter. Plan ahead for a good time in your business cycle to break it off.

Plan Ahead!

Have a system in place for a smooth transition. Know what information your new team will need, be it in-house or for a new agency, so you know what to ask for. Planning ahead will allow for the smoothest transition possible.

Don’t Ghost!

“Ghosting” is when one party in a relationship decides he or she isn’t quite enjoying the direction of the relationship and begins ignoring all attempts at communication from the other person. It’s an attempt to completely avoid harsh emotions but people often get hurt. It may sound obvious, but handle business communications with care! Don’t text or email regarding delicate information regarding your future business relations and treat the other party with respect.


Whatever has driven you to terminate the correspondence probably has you feeling generally negative about the entire business relationship. Don’t fall into this trap! Reflect on the experience holistically. Check out some KPIs and commend the agency for the projects you feel they handled successfully.

Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice!

Another reason to reflect is to ensure your own business won’t make the same mistake twice. I once received the sage advice that if you keep having bad luck with roommates then you’re probably the bad roommate. If you feel like you keep having the worst luck with marketing agencies then it may be time to look inside your own business and your own team. Peering back on a business relationship and assessing the positives and negatives will improve your relationships in the future.

Breaking up with your marketing agency can be a stressful and delicate process for a number of reasons. Doing it the “right” way is essential for all parties involved. The most important important thing to remember is to stay positive and stay respectful!

Be on the lookout for our sequel, “So Your Agency has been Dumped”…