If you’re looking to work with a digital marketing agency because you need some help, or maybe you’re not satisfied with your current digital marketing agency and you’re looking for a change, you’re on the right page.
After working in the corporate world on the client side for more than 15 years and a few years of working with clients as an agency, I’ve put together this mini guide to choosing the right digital marketing agency in Singapore, as well as red flags to watch out for during your selection process which might cause you trouble in future.
(1) Poor Communication
This is probably the number 1 irritation when I was working in the corporate world. Often, digital marketing agencies failed to communicate their processes properly, didn’t bother to send over the monthly reports unless they were asked, or different members of their team provided different messages, signalling a lack of communication even within their own organization.
If your prospective digital marketing agency exhibits these characteristics, be careful. It might not be easy to work with them later on.
(2) Skipping the Initial Research Process
Ask your prospective agency whether they would be conducting market or competitive research, and whether they have a process because without this step, future campaigns might not be properly optimized. Ask for their process, and be on the red alert if they hesitated.
(3) All-In-One Digital Marketing Agency
Some agencies may say that they can do everything or is an all-in-one agency who can help you with your marketing strategy. If your prospective agency said that, start to worry because nobody can be great at everything, to be honest.
Some agencies might just be outsourcing their work to independent marketers as they might not have the capacity or budget to hire a full team or increase their headcount yet.
(4) No Customised Packages
Some digital marketing agencies will not ask you any in-depth questions about your business or ask you what you need before sending you a proposal. Look for a digital marketing agency that attempts to find out more about your business and your objectives, and then develop a strategy according to your needs.
(5) Everything Positive? Be Wary
Even with a very experienced digital marketing agency, results won’t be great every month. If your agency is showing you only the positive results monthly, beware and check that they’re submitting genuine results and not just covering up the actual ROI.
Your digital marketing agency should be happy to share and analyse any data with you – be it your Google analytics, AdWords, Facebook ads, SEO results, etc. Ask for results and reports, and always ask questions if you do not understand their data. Beware of any digital marketing agency who’s unwilling to be upfront with you on these data and analytics.
(6) Focusing on the Wrong ROI
Most of the time, most agencies focus on the wrong ROI. For instance, they might set their report to focus on only unique clicks on your website, or even impressions, when what really matters to you are leads.
If your website traffic is increasing, but most of the time, there are no leads, or even the wrong kinds of leads, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table because your new traffic is coming from the wrong visitors. You would probably find that your website bounce rate has increased too.
Find an agency that understands these problems, and can set up the correct ROI for your business, one that can effectively measure your success. If your website traffic numbers are increasing, as are the number of qualified leads, your digital marketing agency is doing something right because they are helping you to attract more of the right visitors and convert them into engaged potential clients, the most important goal of all.
(7) ‘Guaranteed Results’
Beware if the prospective digital marketing agency promises you specific results, such as page one ranking on Google, or a cost per lead of $1 for your ads. If they do make such guarantee, ask them how they are going to do it. Make sure they don’t resort to bad hat marketing in an attempt to churn out fast results, as most do. An SEO campaign, for instance, can take up to 6 months or even a year to show results, depending on the competitiveness of your industry.
There is definitely no such things as ‘guaranteed results’, because even with an experienced agency or team, every business or industry is special and you have to do many A/B testings before you know what works best for your client and his business.
(8) Ridiculously Low Prices
I’ve honestly lost business to a few agencies who charge ridiculously low prices. This is a serious red flag, and in fact, the most important red flag of all, because if your prospective agency offers you a low price, it can mean many things, such as:
- it will be saddled with many projects and won’t have much time allocated to each individual project, thus resulting in poor work quality and results;
- there won’t be customised solutions, obviously and without customisation, chances are you won’t see much results and will be just wasting your investment;
- it might be outsourcing the work to an unskilled or relatively low-cost, inexperienced vendor, who might not even understand what you need.
If these happens, you might just end up damaging your brand and your online profile, as well as any SEO rankings that you might have achieved previously, and will have to spend time, efforts and money to restore everything back.
In conclusion, don’t ignore your instincts and often look at the person that’s handling the agency business. Don’t look at the size of the business, because even a small setup may be just what your company needs to get its brand out into the world.
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