When Is It Time To Leave Your Digital Marketing Agency?
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When Is It Time To Leave Your Digital Marketing Agency?

When Is It Time To Leave Your Digital Marketing Agency?

The number of businesses looking for a new digital marketing agency is at an all-time high. It is estimated that more businesses have switched marketing agencies in the first half of 2019 than in the entire preceding year. While some of this turnover can be attributed to the increase in businesses using digital marketing, there is an underlying trend of dissatisfaction that has become hard to ignore.

Deciding to leave your marketing agency can be a difficult choice. Often you have an established relationship with an agency, money invested, time spent. For those reasons, some people are more prone to "give them another chance" to produce the results they're looking for. But as marketers turn increasingly to statistical analysis to drive decisions, throwing more money after bad results makes decreasing sense.

Business decisions should not always be made based solely on an emotional or "seat of the pants" analysis of the situation. When it comes to digital marketing - a very statistically-based business - the focus should be placed on whether an agency is providing you with the services you need. If they aren't checking off enough boxes, it is time to leave your marketing agency and find one that does.

Common concerns with marketing agencies

The following is a list of 8 common concerns businesses have with their current marketing agency.

  1. Deliverables not being met - Often this starts with setting expectations too high from the start and overpromising what can be achieved for a client within a given timeframe. Marketing is not always a quick process. It takes time to research and create campaigns, and then those campaigns need to "brew" before they produce effective results. Some agencies focus on the work produced, rather than on the outcomes, which may not be affecting any meaningful metrics - for example, showcasing the "great content" the agency created and distributed, while ignoring the lack of engagement or clicks it produced.
  2. Transparency and Reporting - Transparency and understanding the ROI should be very clear between an agency and client. A client is paying for services, therefore the service provider should demonstrate that they are getting what they paid for. The results and ROI should be aligned and provided to the client without conflicting results, such as the client seeing evidence of one thing while the agency says something else. All products and services being offered should provide objective, measurable value. All reports and performance indicators should be accurate and verifiable, and there should be no hidden fees or surprise costs to the client.
  3. Responsiveness - A general lack of ongoing, regular communication is concerning. This includes non-genuine responses and a neglect of any and all client concerns. When an agency responds on their terms, they are not meeting their client's needs.
  4. Communication - Aside from responsiveness, there also can be numerous concerns about an agency's ability to communicate professionally. This can include changing objectives, unclear expectations, items unaddressed or ignored by the agency, not fully understanding the client's needs, operating under erroneous assumptions, and not clarifying the best solutions to solve problems.
  5. Skills and expertise - A full-service digital agency should bring a lot to the table, such as up-to-date technical skills with current software and apps relevant to the client's goals. Rather than just "trying to keep up," an agency should be a leader in both tactics and technology. There must be a clear understanding of best practices across numerous platforms. The agency should have the expertise to understand the client's culture and adapt to meet its needs, and not expect the client to conform to the agency.
  6. Marketing in the dark - This relates to when an agency launches marketing efforts without taking the time for a detailed analysis and without providing a solid and transparent plan. There should always be a plan in place with clear points to stop, measure, analyze, and adjust to provide the best results. Marketing in the dark is a shotgun approach that can occasionally provide results, but is not data-based and often not repeatable.
  7. Poor project management - This can affect projects and results in many ways, such as underestimating costs and schedules, failing to address changes, lack of communication on progress and expectations, and failing to consistently meet deadlines.
  8. Lack of stability - There should be no concerns from the client about the ability of an agency to produce results. This can happen when agencies are short-staffed, have high turnover rates, take on too many accounts, make quick rather than informed decisions, or are in poor financial shape.

The Bottom Line

While one or two of these issues might be something a business could workaround, there comes a point when it is simply a better business decision to leave your marketing agency for one that provides the services your business needs.

The marketing industry is moving toward increased levels of automation with a focus on the ability to measure ROI throughout the entire sales process. That means using a singular agency rather than segmented services; clear planning rather than marketing in the dark; and taking actions expected to produce specific results every time.

Finally, it is important to understand that every marketing effort affects the others. Having an agency that provides all the services a business needs and is current with trends and technology has become increasingly desirable to businesses in an era where marketing leaders have so many choices.

 Lounge Lizard Worldwide, founded in 1998, is a digital agency that specializes in brand development, creative strategy, and cutting-edge technology. To learn more, call 631-581-1000 or email info@loungelizard.com.

Published: October 20th, 2019

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