Many business owners suspect their marketing agencies are primarily focused on maximising their billable hours when, for instance, they suggest experimenting with video content or building comprehensive databases.
Granted, that suspicion is not always entirely unreasonable. However, it’s worth considering the possibility that your agency does have your business’s best interests at heart. Below, we’ll provide some background on five sore points between agencies and their clients.
Businesses are often advised not to spread their marketing efforts too thin across different platforms. Many time-poor business owners take this to mean they should put all their eggs in one basket. They see increased sales after creating a Facebook page, then decide it should be all Facebook, all the time. They get enthusiastic about SEO, climb up the rankings then become obsessed with staying on the first page of Google.
Unfortunately, there’s always the possibility that the basket you have all your eggs in can change shape or even disappear entirely. As we’ve previously argued, whatever the question, a single marketing channel is never the answer. Google might consider pulling out of the Australian market. Or Facebook may decide to prioritise meaningful social interactions or yank any business that looks like a media organisation off the feed.
Agencies are hyper-aware that your existing and potential customers have enormous demands on their attention in the digital age. Even if they are in the market for what your business is selling, it’s going to be incredibly hard to catch their attention when they could be playing Call of Duty, doomscrolling Twitter, posting to Instagram or watching Enola Holmes on Netflix.
In 2021, a weekly post just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Long story short, you should be investing in as much attention-grabbing content as you can afford if you want to stay one step of your competitors.
When is the last time you spent more than two seconds waiting for a site to load?
If you’re doing some online product research while walking a shopping mall, do you often decide to get back in your car and travel home to your desktop if a retailer’s mobile site is difficult to read and navigate?
If you’re ambivalent about a purchasing decision and there isn’t a live chat option, do you pick up the phone and ring the vendor in the hope there will be someone available to answer your queries?
In much the same way overwhelmed consumers now have a form of ADHD, they also have an incredibly low tolerance for friction.
The old joke about marketing was that half of it worked but nobody knew which half. If a business invests in collecting as much data as possible and commits to wringing the maximum amount of insights from it, it can tilt the effective-wasted marketing ratio from 50:50 to a much more pleasing figure.
OK, we’ll admit there’s a certain amount of self-interest at play with this one.
But, presuming the marketing in question is doing what it’s meant to, there’s rarely a good reason to reduce the amount of it during good times and it’s a false economy to reduce the amount of it during challenging times. As we shared in April 2020, as things started going south - companies that maintain marketing spend during tough times come out stronger than the others. (Read: The Recession Marketing Manifesto)
Confusingly, nobody is quite sure whether times are good or bad right now, which can make it even more tempting to put marketing on the back burner until some semblance of normality returns. But those who own or run businesses should always think carefully about the longer-term costs of reducing or eliminating marketing budgets.
If you believe your current marketing agency is more interested in padding the bill than increasing your sales, it’s probably time to see if another agency would be a better fit.
If you’re in the market for an outsourced digital marketing team, we’d love to have a no-strings-attached chat about the challenges your business is facing and the solutions we can provide.
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