Nowadays, business trends have been shifting rapidly and digitally, where the market for digital marketing agencies began to blossom in the past decade. There are many big names and traditional market leaders who charge a premium for their prices and are undeniably expensive. There are some who are selective on the types and scale of clients that they work with. Many smaller-scale businesses or startups are having a difficult time finding an agency that could deliver while being affordable at the same time. Yet, amongst the large pool of marketing agencies, there aren’t many top-quality ones and some are actually sharing similar problems that could potentially harm the interest of the clients. Let’s look at explore some concerning issues and how you (as the client) can avoid these pitfalls and find the best agency for you….
Long Term Commitments
Some agencies might pressure their clients to sign long term deals to secure a more sustainable paycheck for themselves. It is understandable that agencies want to safeguard their interest by making clients signing a long commitment contract so that they can ensure their clients will work with them for a long period and won’t have to fear competition from the other agencies. However, some agencies that do not have a proven record and reputation that still try to force through a long binding contract with their clients are indeed very unconvincing. With no experience worth learning from, clients would most likely refuse to cooperate with those inept agencies.
Best way is to negotiate a shorter trial period to see what the agency can offer and gauge their performance is as good as they market themselves.
Another important aspect is high turnover from both the agency and data lost client side that leads to a loss of support and knowledge. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, marketing roles had the highest turnover rate among other industries, with a 17%, much higher than the 11% global turnover rate. From this, we can see that staff turnover is a very common issue in many agencies and this could lead to loss of support to the clients when a staff quits the company and did not handle it properly.
Be sure to ask for ownership of the data and account access, they way if you do decide to change agencies, you will still have the data and marketing efforts you’ve done previously. Ensure your agency is open and willing to share some basic monitoring techniques to ensure you can learn the essentials to take over their own account when someone does leave unexpectedly.
Workflow & Communication
Agencies’ turnaround is often slower than the client’s expectations. Apart from the aforementioned issue of high turnover rate, sometimes agencies might not deliver the task or other ad hoc tasks that promptly as they might proclaim a longer-than-actual production time for their own benefit. As always, it is usual that agencies would ask for a longer due date so that they could have more time for preparation and for scheduling purposes when handling a few more clients at the same time. However, some might be unreasonably long and ultimately leading to a poor performance which clients would have to suffer for themselves. From 4HK’s perspective, clients are always welcomed to contact their staff to inquire updates about their campaigns and raise ad hoc tasks. 4HK will try their best to complete every task as soon as they can, while also making sure the timelines for each task and campaign are strictly followed and completed.
Many agencies would refuse to reveal information about a client’s account when questioned by the clients themselves. Many agencies would tend to only include and discuss a part of their findings and analysis in their daily report (usually mentioning those data that result in good performance only) and hide those with poor performance or insufficient in reaching the standard set out by the clients. Such that, client’s information became less transparent and performance report are no longer accurate as it fails to reflect the actual performance of the client’s accounts. With 4HK’s service standard, they strive to maintain constant communication with their clients and ensuring a high degree of transparency, allowing clients to gather the most accurate knowledge about their accounts and learning about the true performance. It is believed that with a true understanding of their accounts, both client and agency would come to a consensus on how to improve and thus create something better and resulting in improved performance.
To conclude, not all clients are financially capable to partner with top-performing agencies owing to their scale and limited budget. Among hundreds and thousands of marketing agencies to choose from, it is important to identify an agency that would not lie to you and actually deliver the performance they promised for.