5 Reasons Your Digital Marketing Agency Isn’t Delivering Results

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There are plenty of digital marketing agencies that love to talk a big game. And it’s easy to see why companies – big and small – opt for them. Maybe their swish new website wooed you into working together. Perhaps it was the promise of a big ROI that sealed the deal. Or it could have just been that they were lovely people you wanted to do business with.   

And when you’re new to this whole digital marketing thing, being swayed by the bluster of an agency with big plans is an all-too-common occurrence. But a few months into your relationship, something seems off, and you just aren’t seeing the results you thought you would.

If you’re still scratching your head over what went wrong, there are bound to be a few good reasons why things aren’t working out. Below, we’ll look at some of the major factors behind why your digital marketing is failing to deliver – along with what you should look for in an agency that’ll keep those crucial results coming year after year.

How to know your digital marketing agency isn’t a good fit

1. Over-promising and under-delivering

It’s easy for a digital marketing agency to wow potential clients with buzzwords and jargon. But if you’re not getting results, these choice words might have been little more than a cloaking device to cover up their shortcomings and drawbacks.

Remember, they need you just as much as you need them. Amongst all that highfalutin verbiage, they probably threw in a few unrealistic promises too. Why? Because they want you to sign the dotted line. An agency that’s more concerned with winning business rather than growing yours, and that isn’t afraid to put a cap on their claims (or spend) is a classic tell-tale sign that they’re a bad match.

man in business meeting

2. Lack of communication

From the outset, you’ll be expecting a lot from your digital marketing agency. Whether it’s the work they’ve planned, the work they’ve completed, or the results they’ve forecasted or promised to deliver, ensuring everyone is on the same page is vital. But if these elements haven’t been communicated clearly at the initial stages, then things are going to look a little suspect.

Some of this will come down to a lack of agency awareness in terms of the strategy. Any agency worth their salt will work with you to understand your strategies. Doing so ensures their efforts and your goals are aligned and in sync. An agency that ignores this in favour of pursuing their own interests is a clear sign that things aren’t going to work out.

This brings us neatly to our next point…

3. Focusing on the wrong things

In particular: KPIs. KPIs are essential, providing a business barometer that measures success and business health neatly and quantitatively. The thing is your digital marketing agency could well be focusing on the wrong ones.

Sure, these might look impressive on the outside, but they’re probably doing little for you in the long term when you look at them more closely. These are vanity metrics, and if your agency is placing too much focus on them, then you could end up missing out on some incredible digital marketing success.

It’s vital that your agency understands how their chosen KPIs and metrics translate to the bottom line, instead of being swayed by the superficial.

Colleagues going through paperwork together

4. They don’t understand your business

Every business has their own unique challenges. Talented digital marketing agencies understand this. That’s why they’ll create a strategy designed to tackle specific issues that your business is facing.

With that said, it’s common for larger agencies, who might have racked up plenty of experience working with big brands, to simply apply these strategies to smaller companies without tailoring things so they can meet their pain points head-on. If you are a small business, then it’s well worth asking your potential agency how they approach building digital strategies for small to medium businesses. Don’t like what you see? Time to look elsewhere!

5. The strategy has stagnated

The thing about strategies is that they might need tinkering with and adjusting over time. What might have worked at one point, might not be so effective anymore.

If you’ve been with your agency for a while now, and results have started drying up, it may be because they’re sticking with the same strategy. If they aren’t willing to amend or review strategies and KPIs, then it’s a sign that the agency is no longer working in your best interests.

What to look for in a digital agency

Need a little extra direction to help with choosing the right digital marketing agency? Here are a few added pointers you might want to consider before making your choice.

Are their methods current?

Digital marketing platforms update at a rate of knots. When a platform updates its features or algorithms, it can impact how you market a particular product or service in a big way. Take the following, for instance:

  • Google’s algorithm
  • Google Ads
  • Microsoft advertising
  • Email marketing platforms
  • Other search engines and their ad platforms
  • Amazon’s search and rankings
  • Social media networks
  • Social media ad platforms

Ask if your potential digital marketing company is aware of recent developments and updates these platforms are undergoing. It might be that they are, but they have solid reasons for not having updated yet.

Take this as a good sign: they may be waiting to see how these updates perform, rather than simply updating because everyone else is too. Ultimately, you want an agency that’s proactive, rather than reactive.

man and woman in business meeting

How big are they?

Your potential digital agency’s headcount can tell you a lot about who you might be working with.

A smaller agency with 10 or fewer employees will likely be more direct in their communications with you. But they may be lacking the skill set or technology that a larger agency might have.

An agency with numbers in the hundreds, on the other hand, will have plenty of services to offer, but their communication or processes may be slower and more bureaucratic than you’d like them to be. It’s well worth weighing up both things before you choose your partner.

What tools do they use?

Investigating the types of tools your prospect uses to measure things like website performance, SEO and project management can unearth a few more insights.

Ask if they use the following:

  • Google Analytics, SEMRush, Ahrefs for SEO and web performance
  • Hubspot, Marketo for inbound marketing
  • Salesforce for CRM
  • Mailchimp for email marketing

There’s a chance your agency might use technology which they’ve developed in-house that can achieve the same results. If so, enquire how they work and how they can benefit your business should you choose to work with them.

Do they have experience?

It kind of goes without saying, but an experienced marketing company with prior industry experience will be able to offer you a lot more than one which lacks that much-needed know-how.

A well-versed agency will be on hand with strategies that are custom-made to meet your goals – and stop you from implementing approaches that simply won’t work. You’ll have to do a bit of sleuthing of your own though, so be sure to ask them about their successes in achieving goals for their past and current clients.

Team of people working together in an office

Be on the lookout for case studies too. Although not every agency will be able to reveal the names of the clients and campaigns they’ve worked on, many will be able to provide the broad strokes of their results. Even without specifics, they can still go into what the work involved, how they approached things, and what they learned at the end of the project.

Scope out some reviews and testimonials too. As well as offering a few more titbits about your potential agency, they provide a chance to get in touch with these clients, current and former, to dig up some extra information on your next partner.

Are they transparent?

A digital marketing agency that is upfront, honest, and collaborative at every step is always encouraging. That’s how we do it at Banc. We take the time to get to know our clients and their wider business goals. Once we understand more about your company, we can then get to work tailoring KPIs to what you want to achieve. By working backwards from your top-level goals, constructing a strategy that helps you achieve your aims is almost second nature.

The same goes for our communication, too. We don’t like to hide things from our clients. We communicate with their delivery teams, rather than account managers who might not necessarily be so commercially minded. This means real-time views of projects and full transparency at every stage – from planning to reporting.

By tailoring KPIs, getting to know your goals and investing in effective strategies, Banc can deliver digital marketing success whatever you need to achieve. To find out more about us, swing by our homepage or call the team today on 0345 459 0558.

Avatar for Jonathan Tuplin
Jonathan Tuplin
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