The Problem With Digital Marketing AgenciesOct 24, 2023
There is a major problem with the Digital Marketing Agency Model, and the real losers are everyday business owners who are seeing their hard-earned money wasted on Google Ads and Meta campaigns with no results at all. Instead of blaming the digital agencies, unfortunately, channels like Google Ads and Meta get blamed.
It's clear that Google Ads and Meta work. The reason we know they work is that not only is spending in these marketing channels growing every year, but we also see countless success stories where business owners' businesses skyrocket thanks to successful Google Ads campaigns.
This happened to me in my own journey when we started our first business. We enlisted the services of a "so-called" expert Marketing Agency in our field, and we received zero, yes, that is right, zero leads.
After three months of frustration, we terminated the contract and started our own Google Ads campaign. After 30 days, we were getting 2 leads a day, which is what we needed to grow our first business.
So, the issue wasn't with Google Ads; the issue was with the Digital Agency running our ads.
Does this mean that all Digital Agencies are bad? No, of course not. In your country, there would be hundreds of Digital Marketing Agencies that are professional, passionate, and a perfect fit to grow your business.
This leads us to the important question of how to find the right Digital Agency for you and your business.
Because in this game, there are large agencies that are terrible, and other large agencies that are amazing, just as there are small agencies that are amazing and small agencies that are a nightmare.
In this article, I want to outline the main differences between successful and unsuccessful Digital Marketing Agencies. By success, I mean that they create profitable campaigns for your business.
If you stick around to the end of the video, I will provide you with three questions you need to ask your agency to determine if they are worth the money you are paying them.
Let's start with the three core pillars for success that are needed for any successful digital marketing agency, and you need to ensure that any agency you hire has all of these three factors.
First, they need to love Digital Marketing, and not just be in it for the money. Sadly, starting a Digital Agency has become the new get-rich-quick model on platforms like YouTube, where you see a flood of videos promising that you can start a digital agency with no experience.
This really makes me angry because it sets up both parties for failure - the person starting the agency and the first clients they sign.
Think of it like this: would you hire an electrician with no experience to install the light switches in your house? Yes, you might save some money, and the electrician with no experience might make some money, but you could also both be at risk - so it's not the wisest decision.
This is why I say that the owners or management team of the digital agency need to love Digital Marketing because this love usually stems from success stories with some of their first clients.
For me, it comes from running Google Ads campaigns for our first business, and I loved taking on larger companies with coffee budgets larger than my marketing budget, but I was able to beat industry standards in terms of conversion rates, sales volume, and AOV through a targeted strategy of targeting smaller volume keywords with aggressive ad copy and quick-to-market pricing and client service response times.
The key here is that if you find a digital marketing agency that truly loves digital marketing, they will put in overtime to find the strategy that works for your business because they love the challenge.
In contrast, if you are using a Digital Agency that is just in it for the money, they will always be looking for ways to outsource and save money because they signed you as a client to increase their monthly management fees.
To summarize this point, the first non-negotiable in finding the right digital agency for you is finding an agency that has a desire to help you and your business, seeing your success as their success.
Second, they need to continually upskill and train their staff. Digital Marketing is a constantly evolving and changing industry, especially now with all the new AI technology and tools coming into the industry.
For example, in Google Ads, some core strategies like SKAGs, pull back and focus shopping ad groups, max CPC, just don't work the same way as they did 1-2 years ago. So, if you enlist a Digital Marketing Agency that does not focus on constant training and upskilling of their staff, you will soon find that your campaigns and profit margins will suffer as they use old and outdated strategies.
The final pillar of a successful digital marketing agency is this: they need to have a systematic approach to optimizing your campaigns and managing your account. To be clear, this systematic approach needs to cover not only the optimization of your campaigns but also the full management of your account. Firstly, for the optimization of your campaigns, they need to have a systematic approach that covers all the individual optimization actions they will complete every month and how often this will happen.
For me, I have a Google Ads Optimization checklist, and my team goes through it for all the campaigns we manage to ensure we complete all the important tasks at the right time. An additional benefit is that it also ensures that if the person assigned to this account gets sick or leaves, we have a monthly record of what was done in the account. This is a problem with many agencies because when a staff member leaves or takes time off, the new person managing your account has no idea about your account history. This is why it's important to ensure that your digital agency takes a systematic approach to optimizing your campaigns and managing your account. If you want access to the Google Ads optimization checklist I just mentioned, follow the link in the description below.
So, what is the solution, or should I say, how can you make sure you are choosing the right Digital Marketing Agency for your business?
As promised, here are the three questions you need to ask your digital marketing agency:
How long have you been in Digital Marketing, and why? This question helps filter out people who have just started an agency purely for monetary gain. If the answer is a short time, like 1 or 2 years, it's not necessarily a bad thing as long as they have a compelling reason. For example, they grew their own business using Google Ads and love it, and want to help others.
What do you and your team do to stay up to date with the current changes in the digital marketing industry? You want to see a genuine desire for learning, demonstrated through attending conferences, completing courses, being part of paid communities, getting external trainers to train their staff, etc.
What are your internal systems for managing my account, and what happens if my account manager leaves your company? The agency should have an established system for onboarding your account, managing your account, and a schedule for internal communication among the team members who will be managing your account.
My final encouragement to you is that even if you are going to engage a digital marketing agencies for the marketing of your business my encouragement to you is to learn the basics of Google Ads. I have an accountant for my business but I still take the time to learn how to read financial reports and have a general understanding of the tax laws in my country.