5 Signs Your Digital Marketing Agency is Ripping You Off

Finding a reputable Digital Marketing agency for your SMB is like stepping into the Wild West. Any cowboy can hang up a sign and say he’s open for business. Unfortunately for you, like the Wild West, there’s no governing body for Digital Marketing agencies or how they manage accounts. Sifting through the dust to find a diamond in the rough is not an ideal use of your time.
So how do you know if you’re working with an experienced, reputable Digital Marketing agency and not some cowboy operation that’s just looking to make a quick buck?

1. Vague Campaign Data

We created a successful Digital Marketing campaign with no data…said no reputable marketing agency ever. Strategy follows numbers and not the other way around. Without a proper understanding of how your marketing dollars are performing, you cannot gauge your campaign’s effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.

A reputable Digital Marketing agency will be more than happy to share this data with you. If your agency is not forthcoming with this information, or worse, if they are trying to hide it from you, this is a red flag.

2. Minimal Communication

Good communication is critical in any relationship, and this is especially true when it comes to working with a Digital Marketing agency. How often do they contact you? What kind of updates or reports do you receive? How much input do you have into the campaign?

An agency that is ripping you off will likely be very secretive and frequently avoid communication. You should expect regular communication from your agency, whether it is through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings. It’s their duty to keep you in the loop and share details about the ongoing work they are doing for you.

3. Failing to Follow Industry Best Practices

Digital Marketing best practices change faster than a Cowboy fan’s hopes at making it to the play-offs. Following industry trends, algorithms, and changes will help you remain at the top of your game and gain a competitive edge over your competitors.

You don’t want your agency using out-of-date tactics that may cause more harm than good. A reputable Digital Marketing agency will stay updated on the latest tactics to help you achieve your marketing goals.

4. Over Promise Under Deliver

I see it all of the time, an agency will promise a client the moon and the stars only to end up getting peanuts. Always do your homework and look at an agency’s credentials such as:

  • Qualifications and certifications
  • Awards
  • Positive reviews, testimonials, and references
  • Case Studies and white papers
  • Portfolio

Any reputable agency would be happy to provide this information if it’s not already listed on their website.

5. “Set it and forget it” …and other agency money savers that could cost you

Certain money-hungry agencies will stop at nothing to improve their bottom line. While this can come in the form of over-charging, it more often comes in the form of cutting expenses – at your cost. Here are three ways an agency can rip you off by not investing appropriately in your effort.

  • Set it and forget it. All is good at kickoff but after that, the changes and proactive communications go silent. The agency is basically running your campaign on auto-pilot which leaves your performance flat or worse.
  • Automation. Lots of agencies looking to save a buck on personnel turn to automated optimization tools. A.I. may be good at making mathematical decisions but nothing replaces a skilled digital marketer who understands the all-important creative and human side of marketing. A machine can’t come up with new ideas, give subjective feedback or ask, “why?”
  • Newbie account managers. We hear it all the time, my account manager kept changing or didn’t really know what he/she was doing. Account turnover means unhappy managers and usually new, underpaid managers that skip out to find the next best thing.

An excellent digital marketing agency will offer highly educated, experienced account managers who love what they do and who work hard to optimize your campaign on an ongoing basis. They enjoy their work and what they do, and take pride in delivering continued improvements in your account performance over time.

Looking out for these common red flags will save you time and money. At AdEdge Digital Marketing, you can count on us to create outstanding digital marketing campaigns that generate results through outstanding people, thoughtful campaign development, continuous analysis and performance optimization. Contact us if you’d like to chat.