I know that the title sounds like click bait. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to reveal in this post that all digital marketers are members of a cult, or that we’ve secretly got a direct line into Google (I’ve had clients in the past who I’m pretty sure thought I did).
The “secrets” I’ll reveal in this blog aren’t that juicy. You might even be aware of or suspect some of this. But as I’ve recently written about, I’ve sort of had it up to here with the way some digital marketing agencies go about doing things.
With that in mind, here are 4 things your digital marketing agency probably won’t tell you (but spoiler alert: I think they should).
Who’s working on your account
As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s common with bigger agencies for your interface into them to be an account manager. An account manager is obviously just that – they’re overseeing your account and responsible for communication with you. They’re not necessarily involved in the day-to-day doing of your marketing campaigns. This means that a lot of the time, you’re probably not aware or sure of exactly who is involved execution. You can’t guarantee their experience, expertise or familiarity with your account or tactics being used. Any feedback you may give or specific questions you have could be filtered through several layers before they get to your account executive or back to you. You’re a paying customer – you deserve to know who’s working on your account and whether they – y’know- know what they’re doing.
What they’re actually doing
It’s one I’ve heard so many times before – “we’re paying this agency, but I don’t know what they actually do” or “we used to have this guy who did some website stuff for us, I’m not sure what he did”. It’s amazing how many businesses sign up with digital marketing agencies on the promise of a dream and then they quickly become just a monthly expense which is taken for granted and rarely questioned. It may sound unlikely – but if you position your services at a low enough cost, it can happen. In my opinion, you should expect nothing less than a monthly update on activity your agency have undertaken, and the relevant results this activity has led to against metrics you’ve all signed up to.
When something isn’t working
As inconvenient a truth as it is – sometimes marketing isn’t an exact science. If you as a business and your marketing agency are testing out a new tactic into an audience which is new for you, chances are there’ll be a bit of a learning curve. A lot of marketing is about trial and error, about testing, refining and trying again. Some agencies will cling to their methods and their worldview like Jack to that big door in the Titanic, and insist “this works, we just need to keep trying.” The best agencies will sit in front of you and say “x worked, but y didn’t, so we’re going to try z”. There are so many factors that can affect the success of a marketing campaign – timing, the economy, buying cycles, individual preferences – even the most seasoned marketers can’t predict everything. As Outkast would say – “you can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather”. Sorry Ms Jackson, It’s about accepting that just because something hasn’t got the results you expected, doesn’t make it a failure, it makes it something to learn from and refine for better results next time.
That something isn’t the right fit for you
Sort of related to my point above, this is something we’ve learned over time at Inflowing is a very important conversation to have. Both sides can very easily go into an agency relationship thinking that they need to pursue a certain strategy or tactic – which when in actual fact, when you all sit back and review it, isn’t right for you and probably won’t get the results you want. Blinded by the opportunity to win a deal and make a bit of money, an eager young agency might try and wave shiny, exciting sounding products and services in front of you that they know you’ll respond to. Three months down the line, when you’ve both discovered that isn’t the right fit, it’s too late and a lot of time has been wasted. For example, account based marketing (ABM) is a powerful marketing strategy that incorporates some next level personalisation. It’s easy to sell – people love the idea of being able to address big companies and marquee prospects directly with their messaging. But it’s not the right fit for everyone – you have to have a very clear idea of your ideal customer, and a very tight link between sales and marketing. Again, the best agencies will recommend a marketing approach that works best for you, not for them.
You got where I was going with this, didn’t you? As a multi discipline agency, Inflowing places massive emphasis on transparency, and we’ll tell you all of the above. We can also recommend the best programmes to watch on Netflix, give you any information you ever wanted to know about Harry Potter, and fill you in on the nutritional benefits of walnuts. Whatever your marketing need, let’s work together to help you be successful – get in touch to start getting the truth about your marketing.