4 Ways to Tell If Your Digital Marketing Agency Is Ripping You Off

4 Ways to Tell If Your Digital Marketing Agency Is Ripping You Off

Digital marketing can be one of the most cost-efficient and effective ways to market your business. When done right, modern SEO, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and social media advertising help businesses target their marketing with precision at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

However, as with any business, services don’t always perform as advertised. The relatively new field of digital marketing has attracted many opportunists more interested in making a buck than helping clients.

Without studying digital marketing yourself, how will you know if your agency is delivering what they’ve promised? Here are a few tell-tale signs your agency might be taking you for a ride.

1. They encourage you to spend big right out of the gate

With digital marketing, spending more can bring you more clicks. However, if your agency suggests you spend big right away, consider finding another agency.

One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that you can experiment with variables such as demographics, geographic targeting, ad content, and more – all to get detailed feedback on performance. This key performance data can help inform your future marketing decisions.

Dollar bill digital marketing budget
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A reliable digital marketing professional will take the time to test different variables. Then, they will identify your best-performing content and strategy with a small budget. Only after they’ve dialed in your best-performing audiences will they suggest you increase your spending.

2. They use digital marketing buzzwords without explanation

Every industry has its jargon, and marketing is no exception. If your agent starts throwing around terms like “soft bounce rate” without explaining what they mean, they could be trying to confuse you.

Take the time to learn core digital marketing vocabulary. For example, Skillcrush has a useful glossary of essential vocabulary.

Don't let digital marketing agencies confuse you with buzzwords.
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Terms like conversion rate, CPC and CTR are essential to tracking performance. Understanding them will help you assess your marketing campaigns’ performance and spot unprofessional marketers right away.

3. They don’t discuss what could go wrong

Digital marketing is not a perfect science. You can assume that some things can and will go worse than expected.

If your agency doesn’t discuss what could potentially go wrong with your campaigns, they’re likely more interested in selling you their services than helping you market your business.

4. They don’t provide you with (lots of) digital marketing data

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that you receive tons of feedback on your campaigns.

Whether it’s paid search marketing, social media marketing or your site’s SEO, you should have a world of data available to you. Best of all, that data is usually presented in easy-to-understand charts.

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If your agency agency doesn’t give you the original data sets, that’s a huge red flag. It can only mean one of two things — they don’t want you to see the data, or they don’t know how to pull and analyze the data properly.

You should not accept either one of those from your marketer. Nor should you accept any of these smoke-screen services from an agency. Your business deserves better service, so that you can give better service.

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