Why does my agency keep missing deadlines?

I was running a course for digital marketers last month, and one of the attendees mentioned that their video agency constantly missed deadlines. That surprised me, as did the comments from others in the room who agreed that it was a common occurrence.

What was most surprising was that these people told me they were still giving repeat business to the agencies that had let them down! I understand that sometimes it’s ‘better the devil you know’, but there are plenty of top quality agencies out there to choose from – if your agency isn’t delivering, then it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.

If you do want to try and improve your existing relationship, then start by having a chat, making sure they understand how you feel about the missed deadlines and the impact on you and your organisation. Ask them to change their processes to ensure deadlines are met, and insist on progress reports throughout.

Of course, there are issues on both sides that can cause delays, and it’s important to discuss these so they can be addressed and resolved in advance; as a client, the onus is most certainly not on you to maintain momentum and deliver, but there are things you can do to help the process along such as delivering timely feedback on approval versions, and being clear about the brief from the outset.

If your agency is a reasonable size (with a degree of redundancy in the system), and have the right processes in place, it should only be in exceptional circumstances that there is even a chance of not delivering on time.

Simon Crofts
Client Services Director