Your worst nightmare. You sign on with a new marketing agency, and you’re excited to see sales soar! Instead, ad spend increases…and increases..with no additional profit insight. Email, phone, chatbot: you’ve tried to contact your rep multiple times to no avail. You can’t access your Google Ads account to make changes yourself, and that’s the final straw! But when you go to cancel your contract, you see that you’ve been roped into a year long nightmare.
Don’t let this happen to you. Guarantee your next agency experience is like a dream, and not a nightmare, with these 8 ways to spot a trustworthy digital marketing agency!
1. They Give You A Timeline for Results
A trustworthy digital marketing agency should give you a projection of added value before you start working with them. How much more profit can you expect to earn with your new agency? If they can’t give you an estimate, move on. Even a basic projection will work – as long as they can provide you with an idea of the value they expect to add.
If they do, it’s time to ask, “How did you get that estimate?” If they show their work and give you a solid reasoning for their prediction, this is a good indicator of an honest agency. The final question you should ask is, “When should I expect to see these results?”
It’s great if they give you a high projection of added value, but what if you’ll have to wait 2 years to see that turnaround? Is it worth it? How soon do you need to see results? A trustworthy digital marketing agency should be up front with the timeline of your success. That said – understand that good marketing does take time! You shouldn’t expect results immediately, but within the first 90 days or so you should be seeing some return on your investment.
2. Your Account is Managed by an Actual Human
Do you have a support line or an actual representative you can contact about your account? It can be frustrating to try and contact a support line who knows nothing about your businesses’ goals. It’s better to have a dedicated analyst who learns your business inside and out, and who works with your campaigns specifically.
If an analyst is managing your account, try to uncover how many separate accounts they manage. If the number sounds too high, then your campaigns definitely will be neglected, as one person simply doesn’t have enough time to look at that many accounts every week.
3. Automation is Kept Under Control
Automation can be a great tool for any digital marketing agency. At Omnitail, we’ve automated a number of our more tedious processes to allow our analysts more time to perform the strategic analyses that really improve performance. However, automation can go too far. If the agency you’re looking at is primarily an automated campaign management system, you may be disappointed by your results. Often, we find these automated systems don’t manage campaigns with the same level of expertise as a human representative, and can’t respond well to changes in an account or strategy. Check out our ebook for more on the downsides of automation.
4. Their Pricing is Not Tied to Ad Spend
Ideally, a trustworthy digital marketing agency will have a flat rate fee. If pricing is tied to ad spend, then the agency will have an incentive to increase spend, even when it doesn’t benefit your business. Likewise, it removes their incentive to lower spend when it does benefit you – if your products are out of peak season, for instance.
Often retailers with these agencies see ad spend go up and up, without seeing an equivalent amount of profit in return. At Omnitail, our fees aren’t tied to ad spend, which allows us to spend at the most efficient level: never too little ad spend, and never too much.
5. A Trustworthy Agency Measures Profit
Measuring profit allows you to spend at the most efficient level! It also will give you the full picture of your account performance because it incorporates your costs into the equation.
Metrics like ROAS, CPO,CPA, and A/S are good measures of efficiency, but fail to account for the impact of sales volume. If you’re looking at these metrics as an indicator of success, revenue might look great, but you won’t know if costs outweigh the gains. You’ll have no way of knowing if you’re making the most efficient investment – or if changing your strategy will yield bigger dividends. Learn more about why we track profit here.
6. You Always Have Access to Account Data
A trustworthy digital marketing agency should give you access to your campaigns. You should be able to look at your Google Ads or Google Analytics data (after all, it’s yours!) Also, how do they present results to you? At Omnitail, we provide our clients with a live KPI Sheet. This means the numbers are kept up to date, and you get to look at the exact information we have. It’s all right in front of you, so you don’t have to wonder how we drew our conclusions. Make sure your agency does something similar!
7. They Tell You When Something Isn’t Working
Does your agency whitewash the results – or are they upfront when something is wrong? A trustworthy digital marketing agency will take the time to explain both success and failures. They will tell you when a strategy isn’t producing profitable results, and work with you to change directions. Likewise – they should be very open with you about their strategies to drive success, as well!
8. They Care About Being Transparent
An agency that checks all of these boxes most likely values transparency! Take a look at your prospective agency’s mission statement and values. Do they mention transparency as a core idea? This may not sound like a big factor, but values seep into everything a company does. If they are dedicated to transparency, they will seek to always be open, and clear with their clients. One of our clients put it best, “Complete transparency, No Smoke and Mirrors”. At Omnitail, we always aim to be on the same page as our clients. We don’t have any secrets—we just want to see your business succeed.
Do you have any agency horror stories? We’d love to hear them!
We incorporate transparency into everything we do at Omnitail, so you’ll never feel left in the dark. Reach out to speak to an analyst today!