7 Biggest Headaches When Working With a Digital Marketing Company And How To Avoid Them
Marketing is vital to business. Digital marketing has become a necessity with the rise of the internet and proliferation of social media. When done well, digital marketing is an investment in the stability and growth of your company. However, when you put your trust in an agency and they drop the ball, it can mean stalling growth and plummeting sales that you can’t afford. You shouldn’t have to clean up after your marketing team’s mistakes or wait around for them to put out (yet) another fire they caused. So we’ve compiled a list of red flags to look for when looking for a digital marketing company, so you can avoid the headaches.
1) They Didn’t Do Their Research
Any accomplished agency must be equipped with the necessary analytical tools to understand your demographic. Such as customer’s likes and dislikes, why their attention shifts between brands and products; as well as external influences. This fundamental understanding will enable them to create the right content mapping and delivery programs, including the right engagement plan.
Mere delivery of ads in digital platforms will not bring desired results. Successful online advertising requires more than just starting with a basic plan. A good campaign involves ongoing analysis, strategic refinement, and timely delivery. Like in any business relationship, a lot of it comes down to communication and coordination. Get involved with your digital marketing, exchange information freely, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. They’re the experts on marketing, but you’re the expert on your business.
2) There are Communication Gaps
Business to business communication is as much translation as transmission and marketing is no different. You need to understand the impact of what we’re doing and we need to know what your needs and plans are. A lot of issues arise from a difference in perception and need. A good marketing company can obtain and organize every aspect of a clients’ unique needs conversationally, and on an ongoing basis. They should be able to bring you up to speed on what they’re doing and explain the impacts that those actions should have. Working closely stops either side from dropping the ball on whatever is needed for the performance of a task or achievement of a goal.
3) You Don’t Have Content Ready for Them to Build Around
You can’t, and shouldn’t, expect an agency to be an expert in your field. Afterall, your brand is your voice, and they’re just here to uplift and amplify that. To that end, they should be working with ready content from you, even if it’s just enough to get the ball rolling. Consider giving them any information that you would want a prospective client to know, including what that client might be bringing in with them from their background. It will ensure you’re on the same page about messaging and save both of you time. You can take charge of your brand’s future by preparing a basic workup of what’s important in your niche and to your customers.
4) They focus too much on people-pleasing.
A good marketing agency is a business partner in an on-going venture. They understand the mutualistic value of working together and the growth opportunity that presents. Integrity and vision are necessary for success here. Your digital marketing partners must come to understand your brand, its possible futures, and the steps on the road ahead. Not only that, but they have to be able to help you understand the shifting realities of digital marketing. Beware any company that promises incredible results in a short or even medium timeframe. There is no magic to be had in this space. Campaigns take time, adjustment, and careful attention to detail. PPC has to be tweaked and ramped up, websites usually have to be restructured, content rewritten, and everything needs to be optimized. Neither paid nor organic marketing are instantaneous, and it’s never wise to aim for short-term booms at the cost of long-term growth.
5) They Aren’t Exclusive in Your Industry
Due to the mercurial nature of the industry, trends often lead to certain strategies becoming dominant. Those dominant strategies become popular until they become cookie-cutter, then they become ubiquitous. Their ubiquity leads to dilution in effectiveness. Then a new set of strategies rise or return. This can drive up prices and labor-hours required to keep up.
This is why it’s important that a digital marketing company doesn’t over-employ any standard or template.
If a marketing firm works with too many companies in the same sector, or copies their competitors’ marketing solutions, they are effectively competing with themselves and undermining client success. A firm should balance their priorities between results-oriented thinking and people-pleasing, striving for efficiency without sacrificing a creative, personal touch. A custom plan, tailored to your business, is the best way to avoid wasting time, effort, and money.
6) The Agency Said it Would Do Something and Didn’t,
or Was Late, or Did it Wrong … or Poorly.
Unexpected or unavoidable delays happen in every job in every industry, as do mistakes. We’re only human. There can be any number of reasons, but if it happens consistently, something has to change. Agencies should be structured so they can hit deliverable deadlines. Unfortunately, it’s a common issue in digital marketing and development.
To avoid errors and delays, good communication is key. Clear expectations, the parameters that define them, and consequences for failing to meet them need to be understood by everyone involved. This can’t be achieved sustainably with a list of demands or periodic agency reports. It needs to be a conversation, and both sides need to be responsive. Goals might be unrealistic, especially at first, and that can lead to burnout, mistakes, and communication breakdown. Of course, clients can’t know that if agencies don’t communicate their availability and capability readily. This is true both internally and externally. Every team member needs to weigh in and efforts need to be coordinated, it only takes one error in judgment to gum up the works. This is where organizational task-management software is critical to agency and client success.
7) The Agency is Giving You the Runaround
No agency should waste your time. Professionals of any stripe should be mindful of their clients’ needs, their time and money most of all. Clear, clean organizational structuring and accountability should eliminate most opportunities for runaround. Points of contact between entities should be routine and sensible. The agency should communicate effectively within itself, and train well enough, that employees always have direction and tasks are always accounted for and planned for. Sharing operational facts openly and planning regular communication with clients can help ensure the reliable flow of information and meeting of goals. Ultimately, it comes down to organization, communication, and accountability.
Avoiding Marketing Headaches
Working with another business should always be a professional, amicable, and respectful experience. Good actors practicing honest and fair business should prioritize mutual growth if they are working with clients or businesses. In brief, the things that make any relationship thrive are important in business, especially marketing.