Digital Marketing is an effective way to promote your business. It is definitely a smart move to outsource your digital marketing to an agency. Even if you have the experience and expertise, your time is best allocated to managing key business functions. Digital marketing agencies not only have the experience and the expertise. They also have the right people to get the job done right. However, the industry is not insured against scammers. How do you know if you are getting ripped off by your Digital Marketing agency?
If you keep buying new hardware from the computer technician and your PC still does not run well, chances you are getting scammed. If your car continues to break down one week after getting it back from the shop, the car repairman could be milking you of your month’s salary. Other than the cost, getting ripped off by supposed “professional” service providers can be a very infuriating experience.
All you want to do is earn an honest living. You put in the time at work so you can generate enough money to pay off your bills, support your family, and live a comfortable life. Sadly, there are people whose business it is to live off your hard work.
They pass themselves off as honest, working-class people; proprietors of an honest business just like you. However, what we don’t see behind the beautiful website home page, the office signages, and the welcome, “sunshine smile” is the ulterior motive.
These are scammers; people who want to make as much money off you through deceptive business practices.
Scammers lurk in every industry, including digital marketing. The people who do this are not beginners. Most of them have been doing this all their lives. How else could they pull it off without remorse or guilt?
They know how to scope out their victims. Just like a shark that nudges its prey before devouring it, these scammers have ways to find out if you are ready for the taking.
If you are not careful, you could end up becoming a statistic. You may become the new notch on their belt and several thousand dollars poorer.
5 Signs Your Digital Marketing Agency Is Ripping You Off
Marketing is an essential component of a business development strategy. This is particularly true for startups. You cannot expect your business to gain traction if you do not promote it through multiple channels.
The process of marketing does not end once the cash registers start ringing. On the contrary, you will have to step it up. Now, you are part of the industry-wide race for customers.
However, you must be smart about your approach to Digital Marketing. Success isn’t contingent on the size of your marketing budget. It comes down to designing strategy, implementing it, and making sure there are contingencies in place to keep the campaign on the right track.
The fact of the matter is, you are at the mercy of your Digital Marketing agency. They are the experts. They have the experience, the knowledge, and the manpower to manage an effective Digital Marketing campaign.
The harsh reality is not every Digital Marketing agency can be trusted. This is a burgeoning industry that creates opportunities for growth for both the client and the service provider. If you are not careful, the success of the Digital Marketing agency will come at your expense.
Here are 5 signs that you are getting ripped off by your digital marketing agency:
1. No Numbers To Support Digital Marketing Campaign’s Performance
In view of all of its advantages over traditional marketing, there is one benefit of Digital Marketing that stands out above the rest. This is Digital Marketing’s ability to track the campaign’s performance and provide you with accurate numbers in real time.
Having numbers allows you to monitor which strategies are working; which ones are contributing to your targeted goal and generating ROI. Real-time data also gives you a better idea of your audience demographics and their online behavioral patterns.
Who are reading the blogs? Where do they come from? How do they access your content? Which time of day and night are they most active? How many of my targeted audience has pushed through with my Call-to-Action?
The Digital Marketing agency should provide you with numbers as the basis for assessing the performance of the campaign. A reputable agency is one that is willing to take you through the entire process. And part of the process is realizing that results take time to achieve.
An honest Digital Marketing agency is not afraid to show you that every campaign goes through growth stages. That even the best agencies in the business make mistakes.
However, the advantage of Digital Marketing is that the availability of analytics; these numbers being presented to you, makes it possible for the agency to implement changes in the campaign.
Remember the old saying in business development, “Strategy follows numbers; not the other way around.”
2. The Digital Marketing Agency Does Not Discuss Worst-Case Scenarios
Who wouldn’t want to have a Digital Marketing campaign that generates thousands of dollars from the get-go? However, the harsh reality is that like all ventures, Digital Marketing is a process and all processes take time to bear fruit.
Spurious Digital Marketing agencies will prey on your natural tendency to view only the rosy picture. As a matter of fact, you should be able to spot them as early as the initial presentation.
They probably used a lot of flash and fluff in their PowerPoint; presented big, extravagant keywords and industry buzzwords to convince you that success is guaranteed.
Agencies that focus only on the upsides of the campaign during their project presentation without mentioning the downsides are probably out to scam you.
There is no such thing as the “Perfect Plan”. Especially not in this age of the Internet where every consumer has immediate access to information. People’s tastes and preferences can change without warning. The demographics that were used to create your Buyer’s Persona could change during the campaign.
A trustworthy Digital Marketing agency will discuss the risks in the campaign. They will not paint a rosy picture but instead, they will present a real picture of what you should expect or anticipate. Instead of hyping up results, they want to moderate expectations.
3. Contingency Plans Are Not Discussed
In line with discussing with you the downsides or risks of the campaign are the contingency plans. These are the alternative courses of action that you can take should the initial plan’s performance turn contrary to expectations.
The best way to counter unpredictable markets is to adopt flexible business strategies. This applies to marketing as well. Rigid or highly-structured, tightly-organized strategies will not give you the mobility needed to change course.
Honest Digital Marketing agencies know the importance of having flexible marketing strategies in place. They have prepared contingency plans that can be implemented at any time during the campaign.
If worst-case scenarios were discussed beforehand, the contingency plans are there to assure you the Digital Marketing team will know what to do should any of the undesirable scenarios take place.
4. Digital Marketing Agency Pushes You To “Go Big” Right Off The Bat
If a Digital Marketing agency tells you to “Go big or go home”, or passes this line by you, “Digital marketing is an investment; the larger the investment, the higher the return”, terminate the meeting right away and tell the ad agency to go home.
Another great thing about Digital Marketing is that it is scalable. You can easily add new processes to its framework once analytics validate that results are becoming more consistent. Likewise, you can remove processes that are not generating significant ROI.
A Digital Marketing agency that pushes you to do a massive, ambitious campaign right away with all the bells and whistles, is only thinking about their company’s interests.
There is a direct relationship between the size of your campaign and the needed investment. Put simply, you will need a larger budget to pull off an ambitious campaign.
Every process that is added unto the initial Digital Marketing framework only guarantees one party in the agreement of sure-fire earnings: The agency. You will be footing their bill while the fate of your campaign remains shrouded in uncertainty.
The truth is you don’t have to go big with Digital Marketing right away.
Social media marketing is one of the cornerstones of a sound Digital Marketing strategy. At Mountaintop, we advise our Digital Marketing to choose only 2 to 3 social media marketing platforms to start out with.
Having only 2 to 3 social media platforms to monitor makes it easier to track performance. We also lessen the client’s exposure to risk. With regular analytics and campaign benchmarking, we can determine with greater certainty if we should add or remove processes to the campaign.
5. Your Approval Is Sought On Every Decision
As the client, it is within reason for the agency to discuss any change in plans with you. That is, after all, professional courtesy. However, be wary if your Digital Marketing agency always seeks your stamp of approval in every decision.
Isn’t the Digital Marketing agency the expert in this arrangement? Even if the client funds the campaign, he/she will not be in the best position to give the right call every time.
When the agency seeks your go-signal before implementing a plan or course of action, it may only be doing so to pass accountability to you. If something goes wrong, the agency can just tell you, “Well, you approved it.” On the other hand, if the plan is a success, the agency will bask in the glory and take credit for it.
The keyword in Digital Marketing is collaboration. The agency is the architect of the campaign. The client trusts that his/her best interests will be served by the agency.
The agency should exhibit transparency even before the campaign gets rolling. While no one can predict the outcomes of a Digital Marketing strategy, the agency is responsible for setting expectations. This includes discussing scenarios that run adverse to the campaign and the alternative courses of action.
Because of the popularity of the Internet, mobile technology, and the influence of social media, digital marketing has assumed a more prominent role in the advertising budget. Companies spend millions; even billions, to run the best digital marketing campaigns through the Internet.
A successful digital marketing campaign will give you significant returns on your investment. In contrast, a poorly managed one will result in huge monetary losses.
It can happen to anyone. Even major companies like Procter & Gamble which in 2017 terminated more than $100 Million in ad agreements with agencies that needlessly wasted the company’s money.
For a company like Procter and Gamble which makes $16 Billion in a quarter, $100 Million must feel like a drop in the bucket. The same cannot be said for small to medium- sized businesses that go through unpredictable streams of income and have limited access to capital.
Digital marketing provides small and medium- sized businesses the most cost-efficient marketing option to promote their products and services.
Content such as blogs and videos can be distributed through social media and other Internet-based channels which can reach a wider audience at minimal cost. Pay-per-click (PPC) digital ads target a specific audience. You will only pay for the ad whenever someone clicks on them.
Likewise, content is reusable and therefore, sustainable. The content that you post today can be published 6 months later and still elicit positive results.
For the reason that small and medium scale businesses have limited capital, they should be more careful when dealing with digital marketing agencies. Not only will they fail to achieve their marketing goals, but they will be ripped off and lose hard-earned money.
Have you ever experienced being ripped off by your Digital Marketing agency? Please feel free to share your thoughts on the comments section provided below.
If you want to know more about our Digital Marketing services, please give us a call or drop us an email.