Most Marketing Agencies suck!
Does that mean they’re bad people, or doing it on purpose?
Besides this quick list, we share 6 Specific Examples of Marketing Agency FAILS below as well.
A quick list of why most marketing agencies suck and what to do instead:
- They don’t have enough context – choose a niched agency that works with companies like yours.
- They don’t let you fully own your website + analytics – make sure you have full admin access on everything.
- They aren’t in it with you for a long-term mindset. Experiment, but then set in with the best option.
- They don’t do the main things you need well. They are fooling around with too many tactics.
- They don’t tell you what they’re doing on a regular basis. You should be getting a monthly report with activities completed and results earned.
- Not producing real results/deliverables/just consulting – unfortunately this may work for bigger companies with large internal marketing teams, but most companies under 50M need an agency to DO REAL SHIT, not just CONSULT. Ask how much time is spent doing real shit, vs. giving advice and expecting people internally can do the heavy lifting.
Video: When to Hire Internally Instead + Why to Choose a Niched Agency:
Specific Problems we’ve seen with construction marketing agencies:
- Glitchy Websites – instead of being fully custom, cleanly designed and coded.
- Traffic drop on Launch – instead of doing the things needed to keep all your Google traffic.
- Ads Showing haphazardly – instead of being targeted only for money-making terms.
- Renting site & content – instead of owning your marketing.
- Having the exact same website as everyone – instead of having a custom website.
- Blocking Google traffic – ensure on WordPress ‘Discourage search engines’ isn’t checked under Settings > Reading.
- Can’t get access to data – always have admin access for everything, ensure it’s in your contracts.
Fail: Glitchy Websites
This websites interior pages were all jumbled, potentially losing them customers because they went the cheap route.
How to Avoid a Glitchy Website
Get a website that’s custom designed and developed (not on some cheap commercial theme) – ask the person making your website if they would start with a template, and understand that that route might be cheaper but ultimately can be very glitchy.
(Hook Agency always does custom design and development)
Fail: Traffic Drop on Launch
An agency launched a beautiful new website but didn’t take into consideration Google traffic, and lost 30%+!
How to Avoid a Traffic Drop on Launch:
Ensure you have redirects from every old page to every new page, and expand on content rather than subtracting pages. Make sure you ensure SEO is considered thoroughly during a re-launch, and do everything you can support your site during that time with links + content.
(Hook does redirects on every re-launch.)
Fail: Ad Showing Haphazardly
Because an agency was doing lazy ad management this client was showing up for things unrelated to its business.
How to Avoid Ads Showing Haphazardly
Add ‘negative keywords’ in your ad account and don’t use broad match keywords. Regularly monitor your account and tighten it up (Google is always trying to spend your money more loosely, so stay vigilant.)
(Hook uses tight targeting on ad accounts.)
Fail: Renting Site & Content
This company had its website taken from them because of a clause in the contract that allowed the agency to take down the website + content if they discontinued.
How to Avoid Renting Site & Content
Always own your marketing, website, and content. Ensure you don’t sign something that is more like ‘renting.’ Get all your logins and get administrative access. Only work with legitimate marketing people that are transparent.
(You always own your marketing with us)
Fail: Exact Same Site as Everyone
Some website companies literally give the same site as everyone else, because they re-use (and barely modify) the same template. This agency client got a vanilla, basic site.
How to Avoid Having the Exact Same Site as Everyone
Work with a company that creates a website that fits you like a glove. Find someone that’s committed to custom look and feel, so you don’t blend in. Ask “how much is custom?” in your calls with agencies.
(Hook Agency custom designs to fit you like a glove every time)
Fail: Blocking Google Traffic (Horrifying😱)
We took over a website from an agency that had forgotten to uncheck this box in the backend of the WordPress site.
That mistake could have costed the client 2-3 months of leads from Google traffic.
How to Avoid Blocking Google Traffic
Always check this in WordPress under Settings > Reading. And in general, work with an agency that has SEO as a central component of every website redesign.
Hook has checklists in place for removing any no-index tags (and all other SEO considerations on launch)
Fail: Can’t Get Access to Data
Some Google Ads management companies will say ‘they can’t give you access’ for some reason, but at worst that can mean they are lying about spend, and at best you don’t have all the information to learn from wins & losses.
How to Avoid Not Getting Access to Your Data
Always ask marketing companies what kind of access you’ll have to your data. For Google Analytics and Google Ads in particular make sure you own the account so you have your historical data and can learn from mistakes, or whoever is running the ads can have that context.
(Hook Agency gives full access to data)
Yes – a lot of Marketing Agencies suck, and NO you’re not going crazy
Unfortunately, this isn’t even an exhaustive list.
It appears often to me like there is a lot of bad business practice in the marketing agency world.
- I’m not sure these people really realize they are doing stuff that seems JUST PLAIN WRONG.
- Unfortunately – it’s happening top-down, the most from large marketing companies where one person couldn’t really be held responsible if you tried.
- I believe you should work with a SMALL marketing agency that is NICHED, to get the most honest, and effective marketing agency perspective.
Great answer to ‘Why Most Marketing Agencies Suck’ on Quora.com:
This post was partly inspired by this Joseph Hughes post on Facebook – so I should give him a shout out here, and say he’s helping people hire marketing internally or do it themselves with Contractor Dynamics. Here’s the post that I unfortunately agree with when I look at 90% of marketing agencies out there!