10 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

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According to a report by IBIS, there are over 88,000 active advertising agencies today. With so many options, it’s no wonder many people make these simple mistakes when hiring an agency that’s right for their business.

That being said, hiring a strong digital marketing agency can be one of the best moves your business can make to drive sales, build brand awareness, and get in front of your target audience. A talented digital marketing team knows what it takes to run successful ad campaigns to boost the SEO on your website, among many other essential skills. However, finding a good agency can be difficult, considering how many offer their services today while lacking the skill and industry knowledge needed to take your business to the next level.

At CJAM, we specialize in matching our clients with agencies, freelancers, and contractors who understand their industry and audience, enabling your business to reach new heights without the hassle of wasting time and money on unfit partners.

What is a Digital Marketing Agency?

A digital marketing agency typically comprises a team of specialists with varying skill sets needed to help businesses and companies boost their online presence, grow their brand, and reach their target audience.

Here are some of the common roles you’d see on a digital marketing team:

  • Copywriter
  • Content Writer
  • SEO Specialist
  • PPC Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Digital Marketing Manager

These are only a few roles you would likely see filled on a digital marketing team, but many other specialists have the skill sets that might be needed to launch a successful campaign. For example, data scientists, developers, and analysts are other important functions that could be necessary to your digital strategy.

Not Setting Clear Goals

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring a digital marketing agency is not having clear goals or setting expectations before entering into a partnership. It’s important to have a strong grasp on what you hope to accomplish when working with an agency and communicate this with them before signing a contract. Here are some examples of goals you might have:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Increasing traffic to your website 
  • Selling more of a particular product or service 
  • Ranking higher in the search results 
  • Generating more qualified leads 

A good marketing agency will take your goals and expectations into consideration when creating a strategy and provide recommendations based on their experience on how you can reach these objectives.  

Rushing to Hire an Agency

Like most things, it takes time and dedication to get the most out of something, and the same can be said for hiring a digital marketing agency. If you’re too focused on rushing through the process and hiring an agency fast, you could miss better opportunities or settle for a subpar outcome. Effective digital marketing will require precise planning and execution combined with deep knowledge of your industry and brand. By rushing to work with an agency, you’re not allocating enough time to carefully vet and overlook the agency’s experiences, services, and overall expertise. It takes time to ensure that an agency has what it takes to deliver good results and help you achieve your business goals. By approaching the hiring process with patience and persistence, you’re more likely to land a partner with your best interest in mind and the capabilities to upgrade your digital strategy. 

Waiting Too Long to Hire an Agency

In contrast, something must be said for waiting too long to hire an agency. An experienced digital marketing agency can bring many different skills to the table that will bring in more customers and profit to your business. Here are some clear signs that it might be time to hire an agency:

  • Your sales are on the decline
  • Competition is fierce, and are achieving more traction online
  • You don’t have the capacity or expertise to manage a digital campaign 
  • You lack strategy in your digital marketing 

Delaying the decision to hire a digital marketing agency can harm your business’s growth trajectory, particularly In the rapidly evolving digital landscape we face today. The longer you wait, the more potential opportunities you miss to engage with your target audience and establish a strong online brand. A digital marketing agency can help you navigate the complexities of online strategy by leveraging its expertise in developing long-term and short-term strategies that align with your business goals.

Lack of Communication

Effective communication between yourself, your team, and the hired digital marketing agency is paramount to a successful campaign. It’s vital to ensure that your brand’s vision and objectives are aligned with the predicted results of the strategy and are displayed in the methods used to reach these goals. An excellent digital marketing agency will understand the importance of communication by remaining attentive to your feedback, keeping you updated, and working collaboratively with your team. In fact, one study showed that 40% of workers claimed that poor communication reduces trust in leadership and their team.

Not Carefully Examining The Agency’s Website

A digital marketing agency’s website often provides a useful look into how it operates, the industries it operates within, and the services it provides. Before entering into a contract, we recommend thoroughly evaluating their website to look through past projects, testimonials, and any other information you can collect about them. A thorough website review can also provide insight into their level of expertise by evaluating search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting and the language used across the website, web design, user experience, and how the content is presented. With that in mind, evaluating an agency’s website isn’t enough to decide if they are a good fit but should be a priority during your vetting process. 

Limiting Your Scope to Only Local Agency

While considering a local agency can have advantages, it eliminates many other agencies that might have further experience in your industry. Geographical boundaries do not limit digital marketing but can be performed from anywhere, making it easier to work with teams and agencies from across the globe. By widening your net, you’re opening yourself up for access to agencies with specialized skills and niche knowledge pertaining to your business interests and ambitions. With online communication platforms and tools, working with partners in different locations and time zones is easier. 

Focusing on Price Over Capability

Prioritizing price over capability when selecting a digital marketing agency can ultimately lead to more expenses, wasted time, and missed opportunities if you are stuck with a subpar partner. While budget considerations are important, they shouldn’t overshadow an agency’s ability to deliver tangible results. Opting for the lowest-cost option might save money upfront but could lead to subpar performance, poorly done campaigns, and ineffective strategy. A capable and experienced agency will have a proven track record, making the investment worthwhile in the long term.

Choosing an Agency That Lacks Experience in Your Industry

Opting to hire a digital marketing agency that lacks experience in your industry can hinder the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, limiting the potential for success. Each industry is unique and requires tailored solutions to engage its audience behaviours and stand out from the competition. An agency with experience or familiarity with your target audience will have already researched and developed the skills necessary to create a comprehensive and industry-specific strategy. An agency with experience or familiarity with your target audience will have already researched and developed the skills necessary to create a comprehensive and industry-specific strategy. An experienced agency is likely to have encountered challenges and developed solutions for your industry, therefore contributing to faster problem-solving and better campaign optimization. Ultimately, opting to work with an agency well-versed in your field ensures a more efficient partnership that maximizes your investment.

Tips for Hiring the Right Agency

When it comes to vetting a digital marketing agency we’ve created a list of some tips and things to consider before settling on an agency: 

  • Decide on specialists versus generalists 
  • Ask about the agency’s workload 
  • Discuss communications and expectations in advance 
  • Compare costs between agencies 
  • Review their own marketing 
  • Consider the agency’s culture and goals 
  • Evaluate their teams and the services they offer 
  • Seek independent advice 

Let CJAM Help!

A lot goes into hiring a marketing agency, and even more goes into hiring a good one. We often hear about business owners signing contracts into partnerships that didn’t work out and caused them a loss in money and time. This is exactly why CJAM Marketing was founded; we’ve vetted over 625+ agencies to identify those with experience and expertise. If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency, don’t hesitate to book a complimentary call and gain access to our network of experienced partners. We will do what it takes to match you with an agency that understands your industry, brand, and goals. All it takes is a phone call to get started!

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Written By
Picture of Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi
Behdad Jamshidi started CJAM Marketing after realizing that most business owners don’t know how to evaluate the value of a marketing agency or assess their own needs. Since every business is different not only in their needs but where they are at in the growth process, it isn’t a one size fits all. In the past 5 years, Behdad (or Bee) has met with and assessed 800+ marketing agencies and vetted them down to a lean 100 preferred partners across all marketing niches. After pairing hundreds of businesses with the right partners, he’s found his skillset lies in the matchmaking process. Featured in MarketWatch, Bloomberg, National Post and the Financial Post, Bee’s unique background in marketing, engineering, consulting, leadership, sales and strategy, has allowed him to serve as the conduit between business owners and the marketing teams they need.
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