Last Updated on July 6, 2020 by Elevate Digital
Trying to select the right Digital Marketing Agency to work with can be a scary task.
If you find someone cheap, they could potentially end up doing more harm than good to your brand.
But if you go with a more premium agency, how do you know you’re going to make the returns you’re looking for?
Having heard some absolute horror stories from our clients over the past few years, we’ve put together a list of things to look out for when choosing an Digital Marketing Partner for your business.
Our aim by the end of this article is that you have a much better idea of How to select a Digital Marketing Agency and what things to avoid.
We’ve also compiled some common questions we hear from clients and ultimately how to make the best decision for your business and brand.
6 Warning Signs When Selecting A Digital Marketing Agency
There’s a number of warning signs to look out for when selecting a Digital Marketing Agency to work with. Here are a few things to look out for and avoid:
1. They Only Offer Lengthy Marketing Retainers
This is probably one of the most common concerns when it comes to selecting an Agency to work with.
If you’ve spoken to a Marketing or SEO Agency in the past, you’ve probably heard them talk about the focus of “long-term results” and “consistent work” as the reason to offer a retainer.
Whilst it’s true to an extent that marketing should be seen as a long-term game; that doesn’t mean you should be locked in.
We prefer to set expectations up front but give our clients the choice to leave at any time should anything change.
Another point to mention here is that retainers can sometimes be used to help to spread costs and allow for more competitive pricing. However, our suggestion would be to engage on a flexible contract to ensure you’ve found the right partner before committing to a long-term contract or retainer model.
2. They Don’t Challenge You
One of the biggest reasons to hire an agency is to have somebody who can challenge your current way of thinking and marketing.
Not because what you’re doing is wrong, but in any business or industry, it can become very easy to be blinded.
We’re so close to what we do that we can often miss small details and sometimes huge opportunities as a result.
Also, if you’re speaking to an Agency who just says yes to everything you say… you have to ask yourself; is it really worth it?
It may even indicate they are just desperate for the opportunity so don’t want to risk upsetting you.
A results-driven Agency on the other hand, will have no problem speaking up where they think something could be done differently to significantly increase results.
After all, if you’re just looking for somebody to do some manual labour, you’re better off hiring a specialist freelancer or contractor.
3. They Don’t Take Time To Understand Your Business
Imagine walking into a Doctors office with a bad back and instead of asking questions or running tests; they shove some painkillers into your hand.
You’d probably be pretty concerned right?
Unfortunately that’s what a lot of Marketing Agencies seem to do.
A good Digital Marketing Agency will take time to ask questions and get to the root of a problem before jumping in with a solution.
4. They Give Zero Value Upfront Or Have Very Little Online Presence
When choosing a Digital Marketing Agency to work with, it’s important to know they practice what they preach.
For example, are they actively advertising or publishing content on their blog?
It is worth noting however that an Agency doesn’t necessarily need to have a presence on every single social media channel or be advertising on every platform.
This will ultimately depend on their own customer avatar and business model.
However, you should at least expect to see some trace of them online and be able to get an idea of the value they can offer.
5. They Don’t Show Any Initiative For Generating Quick-Wins Or Fast ROI
There’s no denying, Digital Marketing is a long-term play and should never be seen as a quick-fix.
However, that doesn’t mean your Digital Marketing Agency should be able to use this as a “get out of jail free” card.
A results-driven Digital Agency will always make an effort to get you results as quickly as possible.
This is one of the reasons, we offer personalised Digital Marketing Reviews upfront.
It gives us the opportunity to prove we know our stuff and also give our clients some quick-wins before we even start working together.
6. They’re Not Open Or Transparent About What They Do
An extremely common complaint we hear from business owners is a lack of transparency from Agency Partners.
Let’s be honest, if someone is growing your business and you have no idea how they’re doing it, that puts you in a pretty vulnerable position.
Avoid working with an Agency who isn’t totally open and transparent about what they do and how they do it.
We made a decision early on to always empower and educate our clients wherever possible so they never feel trapped.
Things To Do Before Selecting A Digital Marketing Agency
Hopefully by now you have a much better idea of how to select a Digital Marketing Agency for your business as well as what to avoid. But before you even start making those enquiries, here’s some things to consider and prepare beforehand:
Know Your Numbers
Before you start working with a Digital Agency, it’s important you have a good understanding of the numbers in your business.
Things like your average customer value and current cost to acquire a customer are all important factors when it comes to crafting a profitable marketing campaign.
If you don’t currently have this data, don’t worry as a good quality Digital Marketing Agency will help you work this out and show you how to track with a more data-driven approach.
Define Your Goals
Be honest and open about where you are right now, but most importantly where you want to get to. The clearer your can be on your goals and ambitions, the easy it will be to find the right Marketing Partner to get you there.
Check Their Reviews & Online Reputation
This probably goes without saying in 2020, but be sure to check social media and other review platforms to find out what others are saying.
Bear in mind, there will always be some bad reviews. After all, you can’t please everyone, but just make sure the majority are in line with expectations.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals or if you can speak to a client for a third party opinion.
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