Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency? Beware Of These 3 Red Flags

Updated: May 26

If you own a business with any kind of web presence, likelihood is that you could really benefit from utilizing a digital marketing agency. A well-organized, professional and reputable creative marketing agency should be able to offer the following services:


  • Increased site traffic

  • Improved Google ranking

  • User-friendly, responsive design

  • Curated, optimized content

  • Increased social media presence

  • A killer, brand strategy that makes your brand stand out

  • Photography

  • Marketing analytics + insights that work


Sounds like a dream come true, right? It definitely is if you’re working with the right agency. Unfortunately, though, not all digital marketing agencies are created equal.


Working with a digital marketing agency costs money, so you want to make sure that you’re working with a reputable service that actually cares about your business and its own reputation. How do you know you’re working with a reputable digital marketing agency?


Are there warning signs to be on the lookout for? Here are three red flags compiled by our team at M&P that will help you determine whether your digital marketing agency is worth your time and money.


Red Flag #1: Lack Of Transparency


Transparency is pivotal in any relationship, and business relationships are no exception. The digital marketing agency you’ve hired should be up front about all of their policies and costs. There shouldn’t be any hidden additional fees that you’re not aware of.


They should also be open about how they’re spending time from one project to the next. Review your contract carefully before signing to ensure that they’ve been transparent about the financial side of your mutual agreement.


In addition to financial transparency, the agency you’re working with should be transparent about the brand strategy they’re creating for you every step of the way, so you can give your input. No one knows your company better than you, so you want to ensure that the creative decisions that your agency is making reflects your wants and needs for the business.


Red Flag #2: Poor Communication




If your digital marketing agency isn’t communicating with you well, it may be time to move on. Of course, agencies are busy, and you’re not their only client, but any emails or questions you send should be responded to in a timely manner. A creative marketing agency works for you, so you should be able to communicate what parts of their marketing plan work for you and what you think needs adjusting.


A reputable digital creative agency should communicate how and why they came to the creative decisions that affect your brand. If they’re not communicating with you or presenting you with accompanying market research, it could be a sign that you haven’t met your agency match.


If your creative agency is communicating poorly, they may be overstretched on the number of clients they’re actually able to handle. There are plenty of boutique agencies who would make you a priority and communicate openly about their process, so don’t settle for less.


Red Flag #3: The Agency’s Services Aren’t Personalized


Your business is unique and a good digital creative agency should make it known to the world! If you’re not getting a personalized strategy based on your goals, your target audience, your website design, and your existing web presence, then your agency is sleeping at the wheel.


The content published on your website to boost search engine optimization should be evergreen and built for your target audience. If you’ve hired the agency to run your social media you should expect personalized posts from the social media marketing team.


Photography should represent your brand strategy and the goals of your company. Brand strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all and a good digital creative agency knows that. Advocate for your company. The more personalized, the better.


Your company deserves a personalized, transparent marketing strategy. You’re busy running your business and building your brand, so ease of communication should be a top priority when you’re looking for and working with a creative marketing agency. If any of these red flags are present, it’s definitely time to look elsewhere. Keep them in mind and you’ll be able to thrive in your partnership with a digital marketing agency.





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