Welcome to the less-talked-about underbelly of the digital marketing world, where sins are plenty, and redemption is rare. If you’re a digital marketing client, you want to believe your agency is on the straight and narrow. But can you really be sure? To answer that question, we’ll take you on a no-nonsense tour of the Seven Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing. From digital marketing mistakes to misdeeds and even full-on malevolence, we’ll cover some of the industry’s worst offenses. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Not Listening to Client Feedback
It’s one thing for an agency to be passionate about its way of doing things. But when your concerns and input as a client are completely ignored, that agency’s pride in their work is no longer admirable — it’s arrogant. Agencies and clients can have their disagreements. But, as the client, the final say about the marketing of your brand and your services should always belong to you.
Ignoring What the Data is Saying
Data-driven marketing strategies should be the norm in any modern digital marketing campaign. They play a crucial role in measuring success and uncovering opportunities for improvement. If your agency isn’t paying enough attention to data or metrics, the one who will ultimately end up paying is you. Without the thoughtful evaluation and use of data, it’s impossible to know when to pivot and when to stay the course.
Failing to Own Up to Mistakes
We’re human; we all make mistakes. But when your digital marketing agency refuses to admit its mistakes or take responsibility, that agency’s problem can quickly become your problem. An agency should own its mistakes and then work hard to make things right. If that doesn’t happen, it could be a sign of larger problems in the business relationship dynamic.
Greed rears its ugly head when an agency pushes its staff to the brink. Burned-out employees can’t serve you well. Make sure the agency you choose values the well-being of its team to avoid lackluster results.
Ignoring Current Clients for New Ones
Neglecting older clients to chase new ones is a sin that many agencies commit, even though it’s something they won’t readily admit. A trustworthy agency knows that maintaining existing relationships is just as vital to success as finding new ones. If you’ve been with an agency for one, two, or even 10 years, that agency should continue to serve you with the same level of care and quality as it did from the beginning.
Chasing After the Wrong Audience
Just as it’s wrong to keep pursuing someone who isn’t interested, it’s a digital marketing sin to keep chasing after the wrong audience for a brand. Make sure your agency isn’t wasting resources going after leads that won’t convert.
Overpromising and Underdelivering
There’s nothing worse than someone who promises you the moon but can’t deliver on anything. Unfortunately, an agency’s lust for success can often lead to over-promising. And when the proverbial check comes due, suddenly they’ve lost their wallet. Agencies should set realistic expectations and exceed them, not make grandiose claims followed by excuses.
Failing to Cooperate With Others
Sometimes digital marketing efforts require collaboration. This can often mean one agency working with another, or an agency may need to work with an in-house team. But envy creeps in when an agency refuses to work well with others, and it can take a serious toll on your bottom line. A good agency knows how to play nice with others.
Growing Jealous of Competitors
Competitors are a part of every industry. But if your agency becomes more focused on what others are doing than your success, that’s a sign of envy. And while they’re out there riding in a competitor’s wake, your brand suffers. A responsible agency should keep its eye on the ball and channel that competitive energy into elevating your brand.
Focusing On Too Much Data
In the digital marketing world, data is king. But it’s easy to go overboard. If good data is like a balanced meal, data gluttons hoover up tons of junk food that lacks any real value, choking your advertising efforts in the process. When it comes to data, quality over quantity is key.
Spamming the Audience
Love it or hate it, spam (the food) definitely has a reputation. And spam (the unwanted email barrage) lives up to that reputation.
Your agency might choose to go all-in serving up the latter through frequent and widespread email blasts. But this can result in your audience purging their inboxes of your content. Your agency should know how and when to send the right message, not just any message.
Taking Business Decisions Personally
When a client fires an agency, it can be a bitter pill to swallow. But, taking it personally and lashing out unprofessionally? That’s a big no-no, and it’s a strong sign to avoid that agency like the plague for any future projects or campaigns. A trustworthy agency should remain committed to your success even if you decide to go in a different direction.
Not Returning Assets
Your assets are your assets, not your agency’s. If you choose another firm, your former agency should facilitate a smooth transition. If they withhold access to your assets or accounts when you part ways, it can hamstring your future marketing efforts. And, unfortunately, this scenario plays out more often than you might think.
Set It and Forget It Approach
Digital marketing is ever-evolving, the only constant is change. A slothful “set it and forget it” approach to strategy and implementation is a sin that can sink your efforts and your ROI. Your agency should be proactive and adjust as needed. If a campaign is underperforming, don’t let an agency continue to toss your money into a crockpot of half-baked strategies. Ensure that your agency will pivot when the need arises.
Recycling the Same Ideas
Tried and true has its place. But rehashing the same old ideas and concepts over and over is a shortcut to mediocrity. Your agency should be pushing the creative boundaries, not giving you the leftovers.
Working from the same playbook for every client is a recipe for disaster. Look for an agency that embraces change and encourages creativity. Make sure they are comfortable with trying new ideas and aren’t just rehashing their old strategies. With a forward-thinking approach, you have a better chance at staying ahead of the competition.
Noticed Any of These Digital Marketing Agency Mistakes or Misdeeds Yourself?
Now we’ve arrived at the big question: has your agency committed any of these sins against you? When you know which digital marketing mistakes to look for, catching them before they reach full-on Deadly Sin status becomes easier. But if that threshold has already been crossed, just remember that as the client, you’re in the driver’s seat.
If you’ve been dealing with these issues, you deserve a digital marketing partner you can trust. As an experienced and capable digital marketing agency serving businesses big and small, Gatorworks strives to provide clients with an exceptional, Sin-free experience. Reach out to us today to see how our teams can help your business thrive in the digital marketing space.