Hiring the right digital marketing agency to push your product or service is vital to your success. When the right agency gets behind your growth strategy, it could result in unprecedented and far-reaching success for your company. The wrong agency can result in the polar opposite of that situation, which in turn has the potential to sink your battleship.

Not all digital marketing agencies are created equal.

So how do you know if you’ve hired the right agency or not? There are telltale signs to watch for once they’ve gone to work. If your digital marketing agency engages in any of the following behaviors, it may be time to make a change:

  • The numbers dropoff- New agencies are trying their hardest to impress when they first win your business, but some of them fail to keep up the pace. It’s common for a new agency to come out of the chute with some killer marketing stats, but after a while (and after they’ve taken lots of your money), they don’t try quite as hard. They get lazy—and numbers get soft.


  • No one is home. Response time is everything, since many marketing materials/initiatives are time-sensitive. In some instances, literally every second counts. When you call, text, or email your account manager, you should receive an immediate response. If you don’t, that may be a sign that their level of commitment to you is not where it should be.


  • Confusion all around. It’s up to your agency to clearly communicate their recommended strategy to move the marketing needle and map out a logical course (i.e. timeline, budget, and resources needed) to get you where you want to go. If there is a strategy in place and you don’t know what it is, your agency may be falling short in the communication department.


  • They are “yes” men (or women). When your agency agrees with every single suggestion you make, this could be a red flag. A good agency will “push back” at your bad ideas. You may know your products, services, and your industry, but your agency has the marketing experience in a variety of industries and they know what works and what doesn’t. You want to have open discussion with your agency that includes their candid feedback—that’s often how the best marketing strategies are crafted.


  • Revolving door. High turnover rates are another warning shot. You want some stability in your agency. That’s why if you have a new contact person more than once a year, then run for the hills! It simply takes too much time to bring the new person up to speed—for them to learn your business, understand the marketing strategy, and gain access to your accounts. The learning curve is too great. Your time is money, and the ramp-up time for a new contact person is costly. The price you pay is the success of your marketing initiatives.


Something just doesn’t add up. The old saying is true—the only good surprises come on Christmas and your birthday. If there are any billing discrepancies, that is another sign that things aren’t quite right. A good agency not only will clearly communicate costs to you, but will get your approval for any additional costs so that there are no surprises when you receive an invoice from them.

“To use a sports analogy, you want your agency to “keep their eye on the ball”—i.e. be always aware of what’s going on and be prepared to “make the play.” If they’re not prepared and they “take their eye off the ball,” the consequences could be drastic—and it’s going to be you who loses.”

You want to make sure your agency has the resources that you need for your marketing initiatives to be successful, such as great writers, great designers, a great strategy, etc. You may run into cases where either the staff lacks experience or the agency lacks the technical expertise to get the job done. Or perhaps the agency lacks experience in your space. This could make or break you—if your agency doesn’t know your industry, they might have a difficult time reaching your target audience.

Consider yourself warned. If you notice any of the above happening with your agency, then it may be worth your time to put your next marketing project out for bid.

To review your current strategy, please contact Lori Barber at lorib@lux214.com or 214.906.6633.