It’s not easy to dedicate an entire department to digital marketing in house, if you’re a small-scale business. The challenge is still insurmountable even if you’re a flourishing enterprise. This is because the cost of hiring qualified professionals outweighs the intermittent payments made to a third party for exponentially better services.
Even though third-party service providers specialize in digital marketing, their services may not always be the best fit for your requirements. It’s already difficult to spare money that’s tied up in other things and invest it in outsourcing digital marketing services. The least you can expect is for the investment to pay off, if not be exceptional. But this is still the best part of the worst that can happen.
Your digital marketing agency may start showing signs that raise red flags. From service quality, financial complications, and lack of professionalism, anything can urge you to consider switching agencies. But it’s important to be aware of their performance quality at all times and not accept everything without checking first. Any third-party which doesn’t have direct stakes in your company can lack commitment to quality if you compromise on your supervision. Unless it’s an agency you can trust blindly, you’d always have to be on your toes.
Here are all warning signs that you need to acknowledge and take necessary action.
1. Your Agency Isn’t Transparent
Every third-party that’s performing under a contract signed between both parties is liable to submit regular updates about campaign performance, additional expenses, budget division and new trends. These are rules that go unsaid and if your agency is failing to comply with these rules in any way or form, it’s a red flag. No relationship can survive if there’s no trust between both sides and that’s what lack of transparency does: blemish the trust.
At a time when the digital marketing industry is stooped in a crisis of trust, it’s hard to find an agency you can rely on. While business clients continue to audit their respective agencies for verification of transparency, agencies keep evading such regulations. According to a poll by Digiday, loss of transparency from the digital ad industry is a primary concern for media buyers.
If you’re noticing similar patterns in your own digital ad agency, it’s time to look for alternative parties.
2. Your Agency Fails To Meet Goals
The sole reason why any business decides to outsource their digital marketing requirements is for better service that can be achieved in-house. This mandates that your agency is able to understand your business goals and competent enough to deliver them. Unless it’s able to fulfill this requirement successfully and satisfactorily, hiring its service will only be an unrewarding liability for your business. In order to ensure that your agency is performing up till and beyond the bar you’ve set, you need to establish performance metrics and keep a strict check on deadlines. It’s important to make sure these metrics are realistic and comprehensive.
If the agency consistently displays poor performance according to your criterion, this should be a cause of concern. You can begin with discussing your issues with them and if they still fail to see where and how they’re lagging, it’s better to invest your time and money elsewhere.
3. Your Agency Fails To Report In case of Success or Failure
The performance metrics you set are supposed to measure how well your agency is delivering results as promised whereas the measures they set for themselves should check how well they’re doing. This two-tier assessment criterion will ensure that only work of the finest quality is produced and released in the market. This also strengthens the accountability criteria against which you can assess whether the agency is doing the needful.
Your agency is bound by certain contractual responsibilities which is why it’s expected to report to their clients regularly. Since it’s a joint effort, regular reports will help devise marketing strategies that are better aligned with your business and make adjustments as you go along. On the contrary, sparse communication on these grounds will only prove that the contract is only a money-making venture for the agency.
Since the personnel dealing with the agency directly is also answerable to higher authorities, performance reports also make it easier to make a case for the agency expense. A third-party involvement is only beneficial as long as it offers high ROI and if it fails to provide substantial proof of their performance, there’s no way to calculate ROI. It’s a more viable idea to outsource to a more professionally responsible agency instead.
4. Your Agency Doesn’t Strategize Adequately
Even though businesses only approach digital agencies that showcase a promising set of individuals with guaranteed professional expertise, they can’t exclude themselves entirely from it. As mentioned above as well, outsourcing digital marketing services is still a joint effort which thrives on consensual planning and strategizing. By this rule, your agency is supposed to conduct monthly, quarterly and yearly meetings with you to get your approval on future planning.
Even though their opinion on the subject holds precedence over your knowledge as they’re specialists in the field, they still need your input to ascertain that it’s aligned with your business ideology. Despite their professional expertise, they’re not privy to the most private details about your venture and need your guidance on this. You need to assess every idea on strategic and tactical levels. You need to balance your goals for the coming year between realistic and idealistic, and your agency is supposed to guide you on how to actualize them.
If you feel your agency is incompetent to accomplish all that is said above, switching agencies will be a better idea.
5. Your Agency Employs Exclusionary Policies
The greatest risk with hiring third parties for your digital marketing is your brand name which will be at stake if even the slightest error is made. The most effective way to avoid such mishaps is to remain actively involved with your agency and make sure that your vote holds veto power in the most crucial matters. Even though you might be tempted to submit to their opinion since they’re masters of their trade, but you know your business better and need to restrict the autonomy they get.
If you notice that the agency is employing exclusionary policies towards you and trying to seize the reins, you need to set matters straight. The first thing to identify is whether you’re asked for feedback promptly. No campaigns should go out without your approval and for that it’s important that you’re consulted before making a major move. Any agency attempting to exclude you from your own business is not worth engaging with.
If you’ve had bad experience in the past with digital marketing agencies, we’re here to reaffirm your faith in third-party service providers.
Our team of experts is trained to attend to all your business requirements on priority and deliver the needful in the most apt way possible. We’re a marketing company in Edmonton which also offers web development and best & affordable SEO services. Don’t think twice before entrusting us with your business responsibilities.