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What are the top 10 mistakes while hiring a digital marketing agency?

As a client, you’re focused on getting value for your money. But when it comes to hiring the right professionals, are you making the decision? You might understand your brand and business well. You may also understand marketing very well, but are you sure you’re communicating with the right people, for the right objectives?

Below is a list of common mistakes clients make while hiring a digital marketing agency. Read through this checklist to avoid problems, and ensure you’re working with the right set of professionals who can deliver your goals, and work alongside you.

  1. Agreeing on your objectives: While it’s easy to state that you want to grow your business, it’s important to break this down into milestones against your budgets, and channels. Do you have a clear roadmap of which channels you want to use, or do you have the right recommended strategy, based on your business lifecycle, customer lifetime value, and other considerations?

  2. Choosing the right platform mix for your business: You don’t always need to run Paid Facebook Ads for your brand. There are channels such as Native Ads through Taboola, Outbrain, MGID and others which can serve a business well, if we’re able to optimize for business objectives. If people don’t know your brand already, SEO is another opportunity to help build brand awareness for a niche business such as dermatology, professional services such as lawyers, accountants, and doctors.

  3. Taking on too many changes at a time: If you’re a small business, it’s important to prioritize what marketing activity will yield results in the short term and long term. Strategy is often about saying no to things which don’t serve the business.

  4. Choosing cheap over value: It’s tempting to hire the cheapest person who comes through the door because we all love a good deal. But ask yourself: will they really be able to solve all your problems, when you don’t know all of them yourself?

  5. Not agreeing to what success looks like: It’s common to believe that some activities don’t yield any results. That’s not entirely true. Whether it’s SEO, digital marketing awareness ads which are run via Google Display, Youtube, or other programmatic exchanges: there are measurements for each type. Insist on agreeing to KPIs and what success looks like

  6. Time for results: It’s important to set milestones, and it’s equally important to understand what goals are likely to take how long. For example, it’s reasonable to expect your cost of acquisition to progressively reduce from its max to a lower amount in 30-90 days, with many factors considered. But is it realistic to expect that people will know your brand name within 1 year of launching a business–it’s unlikely unless you’re investing in the right channels, and marketing activities

  7. Hiring people who claim to be experts: The reality of digital marketing is that it’s constantly evolving. Neither Google, Meta, Snapchat, TikTok, or other companies who own these platforms claim to be experts in their systems. If someone claims expertise in a product they haven’t built and have been running ads for 1 year –something is off, right?

  8. One size fits all approach: With millions of agencies competing for business, there are many who claim to be domain experts. While it does help to have some common understanding of business segments, each business is unique with its own problems. Don’t buy into a cookie-cutter approach for your business problems.

  9. Missing a data management system: You’re ready for the new volume of customers who will come into your business, but have you agreed with a data management and data sharing system with your agency? How will your business ensure you’re passing the right data without sharing impacting your customer’s privacy?

  10. Copying your competitor’s strategy through your agency: Unless you have replicated your competitors business, operations and everything else, trying to implement their advertising and marketing strategy is risky. Don’t make the mistake of hiring an agency that works with your competition with the sole aim of replicating their plan. It might backfire