6 Ways to Avoid Costly Problems With Digital Marketing Agencies

Written by

Alejandro Grover

Written by

Alejandro Grover

6 Ways to Avoid Costly Problems With Digital Marketing Agencies

We’ve been duped. It sucks, but we can’t say it didn’t come without its lessons. Thanks to our terrible experience, now we know how to avoid a lot of the most costly problems with digital marketing agencies. Care to learn how you can avoid these terrible pitfalls too? Read on. First, let’s talk about the primary problems with digital marketing agencies.

Cookie Cutter Strategies

Digital marketing agencies are trying to sell their service, which is not necessarily what the client needs.  Digital marketing agencies have specific initiatives that they know how to carry out, and they often attempt to simply copy and paste your brand into their process. 

Just because a strategy worked for one brand, doesn’t mean it’ll work for another. This is another one of the problems with digital marketing agencies. To execute successful campaigns, the marketing plan must be customized according to the specific client’s product, service, audience, industry, and market! 

If a marketing strategy doesn’t specifically address the needs of the client, not only is it sub-optimal, it might be leaving money on the table elsewhere. For example, a digital marketing agency may offer to post on Facebook and Instagram for you every day with awesome high-conversion content, yet your potential customers might well be on Linkedin.

They Can’t Be Good at Everything

how much does a logo cost?

This is one of the most fundamental problems with digital marketing agencies. Many of them offer all kinds of services and attempt to be a “one size fits all” kind of solution. Just like any company, they specialize in something. There’s something that they’re good at, and the rest is probably being subcontracted.

Just like your company, product, or service has a specialty, so too do marketing agencies. So the idea that they could do everything with quality and generate real results for your business is unlikely.

They Are Not Industry-Specific

This is one of the most fundamental problems with digital marketing agencies. Many of them offer all kinds of services and attempt to be a “one size fits all” kind of solution. Just like any company, they specialize in something. There’s something that they’re good at, and the rest is probably being subcontracted.

Just like your company, product, or service has a specialty, so too do marketing agencies. So the idea that they could do everything with quality and generate real results for your business is unlikely.

Alienation From Your Company

Marketing is serious business. You’re literally trying to figure out how to get your product/service/brand into the minds of other humans. For marketing to be truly effective, it needs to be insightful. The only way to gain insight is to communicate often.

By default, a marketing agency is out of the loop. This is one of the most costly problems with digital marketing agencies. They don’t live and breathe your company; they only associate with it for a short while. Sales teams, marketing teams, and product teams need to communicate frequently to optimize the impact of their efforts.

6 Ways to Avoid Costly Problems with Digital Marketing Agencies

Here are the 6 ways you can avoid costly problems with digital marketing agencies by assessing them beforehand.

Assess Their Communication Style (The Biggest Tell)

From the very beginning, you’ll notice that the agency will set a tone for how their communications will be. There will be a certain level of quality and quantity. 

One of the costly problems with digital marketing agencies is how little they communicate. This is a quantity issue. If, from the beginning, they are lagging and not responding to your communications, it’s a huge red flag. You can expect that to get much worse when things are in action and there are many moving pieces. 

However, the truth is that some agencies have a lot of quantity, in other words, they call you and respond back to you regularly…until they make the sale. This is disastrous and there’s no way to know ahead of time unless you pay attention to the quality of their communication. 

In terms of quality, it’s a matter of whether they are asking the right questions. Perhaps you notice that they are doing more talking than asking. This usually means you won’t have much success with them because they are not showing interest in truly understanding your brand, product, service, or target audience. It’s probably best to turn the other way if they are not asking quality questions or demonstrating proficiency in the marketing field. 

Also, please check their grammar. If their communications have a ton of errors, it might be a reflection of what’s ahead for their marketing campaigns. 

Check Their Previous Work

Take a good look at their portfolio and make an assessment. Have they done work that looks like it transcends industries? Or is it more like a strategy that would really only work for a particular client? Ideally, you want to see a dynamic portfolio that demonstrates their ability to custom tailor their marketing strategies to various industries. Of course, it’s a huge plus if they have already done work in your specific niche. 

Know Your Goals

This part is all you. You want to be certain about exactly what your goals are because if you’re not, they’ll make it up for you. They’ll just assume you want whatever they’ve given their other clients. If they’re one of those agencies that don’t ask the right questions, it could be that they never knew how to service their previous clients either. Come into this with specific goals such as increased followers, more emails or bigger sales. 

Take a Look at Their Website

How they present themselves is a great indicator of how good they really are. If they’re an excellent marketing company, then they should have excellent marketing for themselves. That means everything from having an optimized, user-friendly homepage to some form of marketing presence online besides their own website. 

Ask Them Exactly What They are Promising

You might notice a pattern here for avoiding costly problems with digital marketing agencies, and that is specificity. You need to know exactly what they are promising to deliver, otherwise, you’ll never be able to gauge whether or not they are delivering. Once you’re disappointed, it might be too late if you never established what you were promised in the first place. 

Request Case Studies and/or Testimonials

If they don’t have case studies or testimonials, something is off. You can guarantee yourself that. If a marketing agency is not even providing basic proof that they have worked with other individuals or companies that are satisfied, chances are, none of their previous clients are satisfied!

Conclusion

There is no perfect system and there is no perfect marketing agency, but by paying close attention, you can avoid costly problems with digital marketing agencies. You can assess their communication style, check their previous work, know your goals, take a look at their website, ask them exactly what they are promising, and request case studies and/or testimonials. Do this, and you’re a lot less likely to get taken advantage of as we did.

Was this helpful? Please share your own thoughts and experiences with us below!

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