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The problem with digital marketing agencies

Digital marketing agencies are very good at selling. Or they should be anyway – otherwise how can you trust them to sell your product or service? Let’s be honest, if you are not advertising in the digital marketing space at the moment can you even say that you are a business?

Digital marketing agencies are very good at selling. Or they should be anyway – otherwise how can you trust them to sell your product or service? Let’s be honest, if you are not advertising in the digital marketing space at the moment can you even say that you are a business?

However, there is a lot of room for improvement for digital marketing agencies. Here are a list of things to keep in mind when finding a marketing partner to take your brand to the next level. 

Best of breed talent is often a marketing tactic

Marketing agencies are keen to advertise that they employ best of breed talent but the honest truth is that in a digital world best of breed talent are often freelancers. You will never find a marketing agency that is good at every face of digital marketing. If they proclaim they are – trust me, they are bullshitting you. If their pitch involves truth around what they are exceptionally good at and what they are working on you can find trust in their ability to deliver authentic service to you.

If agencies that are experts in the marketing field literally employ best of breed talent in every department no agency would be profitable enough to survive. This is why the “all marketing services are in house” conversation are often misleading. Although there are benefits to having an agency employing the staff that work on your brand under one roof, the downside is definitely that you will get juniors working on your business. Often. (Read more here: Link to )

Marketing agencies want to be profitable. Being profitable means employing young talent. Young talent means cheap. Cheap means junior. Junior means inexperienced. You get my point.

Retainer pricing is subjective

It is very difficult to accurately quote on digital marketing service. Ask any marketer and they will tell you what a big discrepancy exists between “scope” and “cost estimate”.  The biggest mistake you can make in searching for an affordable digital marketing agency is looking at price alone. It will never give you a true reflection on what they can offer.

Due your due diligence and search for a marketing partner. Someone you can trust. This will result in value. And value is always more important than cost.

Client service is a department

One of the biggest problems I’ve come across in my career is the absolute lack of human understanding. It’s almost impossible to find service and creative in the same sentence. For years agencies were measured by how reachable they were after 20:00 at night. How many over hours your agency would put in for your ridiculous deadlines.

If you want to know how strong an agency is, look at their client service or account management department. Ask them what the client’s to account manager ratio is. Look for bags under the AM team’s eyes and whether their smiles stretch to their eyes. Find a digital marketing agency that understands boundaries but true human connection.

Marketing is about telling stories. And telling stories about the humanness of brands articulated in digital form. Find that connection in your single point of contact.

Communication, communication communication. It’s not only about keeping to deadlines. It is definitely more about communicating that deadlines won’t be reached.

Their own digital marketing presence needs work

Finally, the shoemaker’s children go barefoot analogy is (in my personal view) an excuse. Sort your house out first. Analyze your marketing agency’s house. Look at the rooms (the social media channels), the kitchen (the website), the guests (the clients). If they can’t keep their own house in order how can you expect them to give yours a refreshing new look?

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