If you are not marketing savvy or lack a hands-on approach when it comes to executing your marketing strategy, it can be very hard to detect when your agency is providing you with mediocre service (at best) and treating you as a low priority client – you deserve better!
While switching your agency can be a tough decision to make, sometimes it is exactly what your business needs to grow and evolve. That is why we came up with these key red flags you need to look out for with your agency:
1. Lack of Proactivity
The world of digital marketing is in constant motion – yesterday’s best practices could be irrelevant by tomorrow. A good digital advertising agency is always on its feet – from constantly pitching new ideas to its clients to keeping up to date with the latest industry insights (being a Partner of Google, Facebook, and other online advertising platforms is a big plus).
If it’s been a while since the last time you heard about an exciting new Google Ads beta or a new advertising format or strategy, your agency is sleeping on the job.
2. Lack of transparency
As with any partner, your marketing agency holds and controls a vast amount of data that has a substantial effect on your business and its profitability. This balance requires a high level of trust with transparency being its backbone. First and foremost, If your agency is not providing you with full and direct access to all of your online assets this is a serious red light (and possibly illegal).
Additionally, if they are sharing limited and selective information about KPIs, performance, creatives, or throwing a lot of marketing jargon your way, they are probably hiding something – most of the time their mistakes or underperformance).
3. Consistent under-delivery
Every market and vertical experience fluctuations, whether it be due to a seasonal effect, website tracking issues, or external factors (world-altering pandemics, for example). However, if your online results are consistently sub-par and you are not meeting your KPIs, rest assured that your agency, (one of the main constants in the equation) could and should be doing a better job in achieving your business goals.
4. Goal disharmony
Goals should be set in a holistic manner, meaning your online goals should be aligned with your business goals. If this is not something that has been implemented from day one (and ongoingly revisited since your business goals may change for various reasons), your agency is basically shooting in the dark and not generating optimal value for your business.
A good agency will always be in tune with your business goals and aim to harmonize them with the online goals and KPIs it is aiming to on the various online advertising platforms.
5. Lack of work
While this may seem obvious at first, you should change your agency if it is simply not working on your accounts. Even with a minimal understanding of online advertising platforms, you can easily check the change history of most of them and see how often your agency works on your accounts.
According to a recent Google study, the number one reason customers churn is a lack of reporting. if you feel uninformed as to how your accounts are performing and your Agency is not sending you ongoing reports, it’s very likely that they are either lazy or hiding poor results – not a great selection.
7. Sluggish replies
Is it taking your agency forever to reply to emails, even the short and simple ones? If your answer is yes, you are probably being shoved to the back of the line of their inbox, together with the other low priority clients – surely not a place you or your business want to be.
The Bottom Line
If the relationship with your agency isn’t ideal but is fixable, take a go at that first – work on your communication, set clear expectations, build together a goal-oriented recovery program. In many cases, it will substantially improve the service and perhaps save you the time and hassle of onboarding a new agency that isn’t acquainted with your business.
When you do feel the time has come to move on it is important to remember that while the bottom-line results are probably the top indicator for judging your agency’s performance and fit for your business, it shouldn’t be the only one. If you are experiencing some (or most) of the points above and not happy with your results, it is probably time to switch your agency.