5 Indicators You Should Be Searching for a New Digital Marketing Agency
So, you have been working with an outsourced digital partner for a while now, and are starting to question if you are getting the maximum return on investment possible. At Snaptech, we have worked with many companies who have previously been burned by a marketing agency. Here is our list of some of the most common red flags that many business owners tend to miss until late in their partnership:
1: The Scope of Their Specialty is Limited
The world of business is constantly evolving. Your company’s position, an agency’s ability, and the digital world have likely changed immensely since you last reevaluated your marketing partnership. While your business fights to keep up with the changing demands of your industry, it is important to ensure that your digital agency is doing the same. Some questions to ask during your next meeting may be along the lines of:
- How do you keep up with digital trends as an agency?
- Which emerging platforms might benefit my company this quarter?
- Why do you think our existing strategies are still the best strategies for my business?
While a lot of these questions may seem high-level, it is important to realize that your agency should remain “your digital partner” and not just “the people who make our Facebook ads”. If the company you are working with sold you on one type of advertising three years ago, and hasn’t provided any indication that either a. the original strategy is still the right choice or b. we should be switching up our approach, then they may not be able to provide you with business insights at the scope that you require to beat your competition.
2: Results Are Not Directly Attributed to Campaigns
An article in Forbes states that “. . . while 78% of marketers believe that data-driven marketing is embedded or strategically a part of their organization, 70% believe they have poor quality or inconsistent customer data.”
Could you tell us right now exactly how much revenue, leads or applications came from each of your digital campaigns? Can your digital agency tell you these numbers? If not, then this should raise a huge red flag.
On an ongoing basis, you digital agency should have all of the following in place:
- Tracking for actions a customer takes online, which may include purchases, phone calls, contact forms, email interactions, page likes, and more.
- Relating the above conversions as directly as possible to specific marketing channels, campaigns and ads.
- A procedure for ensuring and evaluating the future protection of your data integrity.
- Extrapolating how the digital campaigns are contributing to an overall lift in your business’s performance.
3: Results Are Not Regularly or Accurately Communicated
While tracking the results of campaigns is one thing, being able to accurately communicate them is another. You should have a relationship with your digital agency in which you receive campaign results at a predictable time, for a predetermined time period. If your digital partner is sending you reports for random lengths of time on unpredictable dates, they may be trying to work the data in their favour.
Receiving results is crucial, but having the data churned in the most effective way to give you business insights is just as important. To do so, ask yourself if your agency has thought of the following:
- Reporting Frequency – Should results be summarized quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly or weekly? And, why?
- Reporting Comparison – Should results be compared to the previous period, same period last year, or not compared at all? And, why?
- Reporting Metrics – What results should be reported for each given campaign type? And, why?
The key to this above phrase is the “And, why?”. Most agencies have their preferred method of reporting that they use. For example, at Snaptech we tend to prefer monthly reports, with year-over-year comparisons to take seasonality into account. While this is often the right choice, we have many clients that receive reports at different frequencies and with different comparisons given what is best on a case-by-case basis. If your agency did not take the time to discuss this with you, they likely didn’t think about it themselves.
4: Only Positive Results are Highlighted
Do you ever get a report where every single metric and effort you put forth was successful? We have, and we have to say that it’s a pretty good feeling. But, if every report you receive from your agency is rose-coloured, then it is time to take the glasses off.
Creating a transparent and honest relationship with your agency is one of the key factors that will determine the success of your partnership. We would highly encourage watching for signs and signals that your agency might be just like your high-school crush that led you on and turned out to be far from what you expected.
5: Efforts Have Become Stagnant
This last point on the list is by far the most serious. The presence or combination of an agency with limited knowledge, poor tracking, and inaccurate or lack of reporting will ultimately hinder the growth of your business. If your relationship with your agency has become stagnant for a long period of time, you may be missing out on substantial business opportunities.
First off, we would recommend figuring out which of the two categories you fit into:
- Campaign results are great, but have plateaued.
- What are the next steps your agency recommends to take your business to the next level? Do they have the knowledge, expertise, and time to effectively service your next step?
- Campaign results are slowly declining, and I don’t know why:
- Sometimes campaign results decline for reasons such as increased competition, a change in the advertising platform backend or a shift in business strategy. But, if your agency hasn’t made your aware of both the reason for the decline and the action plan to get back on track, it is likely time to look for a new partner.
Looking to learn more about if you should be researching a new agency? Drop us a line today at (604) 677-0742!