The CEO's Guide to Getting ROI from Your Marketing Agency

 Content Marketing,Content Marketing,Content Marketing,Content Marketing |  8 min read


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Are you a CEO who's concerned about whether working with a marketing agency will deliver tangible results for your business?

Have a bad experience with a marketing agency in the past? Maybe some of your colleagues have? You might be thinking they're not worth the money or effort or money and it's best left alone.

We hear you.

Working with a marketing agency will get your hopes high for skyrocketing results. Who wouldn't? Since agencies can sometimes over-promise and under-deliver, your hopes may have dropped upon entering that "expectation vs. reality phase."

Some of the things you may have possibly hoped to raise are an increase in web traffic, a more substantial online presence, and an increase in inbound leads. In addition, this list of expectations includes an increase in brand awareness, more sales opportunities, a progressive buyer's journey, and many more.

If you hadn't experienced this for yourself, you just got lucky! But the horrors of working with too-good-to-be-true marketing agencies lurk in the corners if you aren't careful with your dealings because the experience can be disappointing, disillusioning, and, at times, infuriating. Overpromising and underdelivering are not cool,

Many digital marketing agencies promise you the moon and the stars with magic tips and tricks to take your business to the next level and give you your target ROI. Some claim to provide you with rock star results in a month, which we believe is over the top and unrealistic. Overpromising and underdelivering is an affliction in the digital marketing world. But, because many agencies are doing it, others are forced to follow, and even then, more agencies follow in their wake.

The result is a lot of disappointed clients.


A Lack of Confidence

It's understandable if you view digital marketing agencies with a suspicious eye. Nevertheless, it's a step in the right direction.

But unfortunately, thousands of digital marketing agencies are out there, and if you're not careful, you could end up with your own bad experience.

Engaging with a digital marketing agency can cost up to $5900 for 41.5 hours. That includes work done on blog articles, landing pages, social distribution, paid promotions, and email marketing.

If you want the digital marketing efforts to be ongoing, you can expect to spend somewhere along that range. On the other hand, if you're looking at services that include integrating your website into a CRM, it could cost a little over that. Still, the results are incredibly positive, especially when using a digital marketing mogul like Hubspot CRM.

There have been many instances when investing a considerable sum of money in digital marketing services turned out to be a waste of resources, money included.

Not all agencies are legitimately committed to taking your business from point A to point B; some lack structure and do not have the skills you need to bring your business to that success level you want it to be at.

Let's look at some factors that might help you spot a legitimate marketing agency versus the ones that don't quite deliver.



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What to Look for in a Digital Marketing Agency

The good news is that there are many indicators if a digital marketing agency can give you a good ROI. Some of those indicators include:

  • Realistic success metrics
  • Open access to data
  • Ability to reverse engineer the data 
  • Verifiable case studies
  • Regular feedback
  • A strong online presence
  • Offers a trial run
Let's take an in-depth look at those qualities.



Realistic Success Metrics


Most digital marketing agencies will have a form of commitment laid out. They will either promise an increase in website traffic, likes, and comments on social media or even more inbound leads coming through.

Understand that digital marketing and any facet of it will take a long time to generate good or bad results.

Take search engine optimization (SEO) as an example. SEO results take six months at the very least sho traction. After six months of laying out your initial SEO efforts of using keywords in blogs, service pages, and all the right places, the results will be minimal and possibly insufficient to draw any decision and conclusion. In reality, you will need a year of collected data to come up with good SEO results. Anyone who tells you they can make your site show as the number one impression on Google in about a month or two is just straight out taking you for a spin. The results you expect will not happen in that amount of time.

When correctly and skillfully done, the results of SEO efforts can take 6 to 12 months. Many marketing agencies make these broad claims regarding SEO because they know the value of optimization. However, consumer behaviour has changed now, and 60% of consumers do their research online before making a purchase. That research typically consists of doing a Google search.

There are other aspects of digital marketing where it is okay to promise quick results. For paid ads, for example, it is okay for an agency to claim that they can get you results within days.


Open Access to Data

A legitimate digital marketing agency will allow you as a client to have open access to data.

If an agency will give you a table or graph showing limited data about the progress of their efforts, be wary. We mean, graphs and tables could be a legit source of the claim, but sometimes, different companies have different ways of interpreting data altogether. That's why it's essential to gain access to the raw data and see how they analyse it and input it into a graph or table.

When you start working with a marketing agency, go and ask to have full access to where they get their data. If they say your site increased by 5% this week, you need to see the trend for a month or even a year. They might claim that your ranking for four keywords has gone up but not reveal that you went down for ten other keywords.

Giving you just snippets of data will not reveal the bigger picture.


Ability to Reverse Engineer the Data

It's easy to get data these days. The crucial part now is what to do with that information.

An excellent digital marketing agency can take the data generated from the tools and reverse engineer it to get results. One technique that we find helpful is the use of a tool called Hotjar that analyses the behaviour of each website visitor by screen recording the mouse movement; where the cursor goes, what it clicks on, what pages are repeatedly and frequently visited, etc.

Using Hotjar is not in violation of any security data breach or privacy policy. It does not track any data but only records screen activity on the website. Once the user drops off the website, Hotjar is automatically disabled.

This integration with your CRM can significantly help you because it allows you to look at how your potential buyer behaves when on your website. That said, it gives you insight on how you can make things better on your website so it could have a greater chance of converting more sales opportunities.


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Verifiable Case Studies

The agency's marketing client will be an excellent way to learn about their work style, ethics, and the results they deliver. One way to find out a legitimate marketing agency is if they have easily verifiable case studies on their website or if they could easily be downloadable or requested. Case studies are an essential part of an agency's capability and credibility because only then can you somehow prove that they are indeed what they claim to be.

A good way to check and verify case studies is to reach out to the client they have co-branded the study with. You don't mean to pry, but you must put your business in safe hands. Be watchful of ROIs, changes from point A to point B, and whether they have delivered what they promised.

Social media accounts can also be a good source of feedback from past clients. Remember that since the agencies control what will show up on their accounts. So if there have been reviews that the clients posted themselves, consider that too.


Regular Feedback

Another thing you should look out for is transparency and regular feedback through meetings to discuss the results. Like any meeting, it helps both of you align your goals and check where the efforts are currently at. For example, if the initial goal is to increase your site's traffic by 5% each week and that was not achieved, give them an avenue to discuss the how's and why's of that bit.

A good marketing agency will be open to discussing what they have missed because they are confident in their ability. If they agreed to boost your site traffic by 5% each week or get you 20 new leads per month, that's because they can do it.


A Strong Online Presence

One of the best things to check when considering a digital marketing agency is its online presence. After all, it is offering you to improve your SEO, social media presence, and other online marketing efforts.

Take their website, for example. Is it well designed? Is it easy to navigate? Check the quality of the written content. If the writing contains grammatical spelling errors, that's a major red flag. Is that going to be the level of writing that they will provide for your business?

Another factor to look into is the traffic that their sites are getting. Remember, one of a digital marketing agency's primary aims is to boost its clients' traffic. If an agency cannot increase the traffic to its site or it is not getting any traffic, what makes you think they can do it for you? Again, you can use CMS Hub for checking web traffic.

The same thing goes for their social media presence. Check out their accounts and see the quality of their posts. Are they making relevant posts? Do you see a pattern? Are they engaging with their audience? These are the common questions to ask yourself when checking out a marketing agency's socials. More importantly, look at how many followers they have and how much engagement they get.

Getting over a bad experience is not easy, especially if it involves a large amount of money that went down the drain.

Getting over a bad experience is not easy, especially if it involves a large amount of money that went down the drain.

Work with us and allow us to give you a different experience. We are best at sales, lead generation, managed marketing services, and outbound calling.

We'd happily talk to you and help you trust marketing agencies again!

Discover how Ucidity can help

Published on June 30, 2022