Heaviside Digital

Burned by Marketing Agencies: 3 Surprising Reasons It Happens To Small Businesses

Have you ever been burned by marketing agencies? While you hire them to help you, there are 3 reasons why they may end up hurting you.

Let’s face it, running your own business is tough. You juggle projects, manage employees, and ensure top-notch quality for every customer. When it comes to marketing, many business owners feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. That’s why some choose to partner with marketing agencies. But what happens when this partnership leaves you feeling frustrated and burned out?

In this blog post and accompanying video, you’ll learn the three main reasons why small businesses get burned by marketing agencies and how to find the perfect partner.

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Before we get started, let’s acknowledge that there are fantastic marketing agencies out there who can be invaluable partners for small businesses. But weeding through the options can be tricky. This blog post will equip you with the knowledge to avoid common pitfalls and find the perfect marketing partner to elevate your small business.

Reason #1 Why You Get Burned by Marketing Agencies: It’s The Price

The age-old adage “You get what you pay for” applies to marketing agencies too. So, when you find a marketing agency offering a dirt-cheap website and SEO package, it’s almost always too good to be true. Here’s why:

  • Hidden Costs: Marketing agencies are businesses, which means they must cover expenses like payroll, tools, fees, and other costs. Unrealistically low prices often mean unsustainability or hidden costs that will impact the quality of service you receive.
  • Inexperienced Staff: Low-cost agencies may cut costs by hiring inexperienced staff who haven’t mastered the intricacies of small business marketing. This can lead to poorly targeted campaigns, irrelevant content, and wasted advertising dollars.
  • Lack of Communication: Clear and consistent communication is usually the first thing to go when you pay rock-bottom prices. Since they’re running a quantity overall quality strategy, you could be left in the dark about campaign performance and overall marketing strategy.
  • Missed Deadlines: Meeting deadlines requires dedicated resources. Budget agencies usually struggle to keep up, causing delays in project completion and impacting your marketing momentum.

Consider this example: Suppose you use a bargain-basement agency for your website, SEO, and PPC. They create a generic website with stock photos that don’t really resonate with your target audience. They also launch an SEO campaign focusing on irrelevant keywords, leading to minimal website traffic and zero leads. Then, they plug and play their default PPC strategy that doesn’t really maximize conversions. The good news is that you didn’t pay a lot for it, the bad news is that you got what you paid for.

The Bottom Line: Don’t be tempted by unrealistically low prices. Invest in a marketing agency that offers transparent pricing and a proven track record of success in your business industry.

Reason #2 Why You Get Burned by Marketing Agencies: It’s The Agency

Not all marketing agencies are created equal, and industry experience matters. A generic marketing agency might not understand your businesses’ unique challenges and opportunities. Here’s why industry expertise is crucial:

  • Understanding Your Needs: An agency experienced in your industry understands your business’s specific needs. They know how to target potential customers actively searching for your products or services, not just people vaguely interested in related components.
  • Proven Success with Similar Clients: Look for an agency with a proven track record with companies similar to yours. This demonstrates their understanding of the industry and their ability to deliver results.
  • Industry Knowledge: The small business landscape constantly evolves. An agency with industry knowledge stays up-to-date on the latest trends, regulations, and marketing strategies relevant to your business.

Large Agencies vs. Boutique Firms: While size isn’t everything, some business owners express concerns about working with large marketing agencies. With massive firms, there is often a loss of quality control. As agencies rapidly grow, their systems often struggle to keep up with that growth, so you end up with a less experienced account manager who doesn’t fully grasp the nuances of your business.

The Bottom Line: Choose a marketing agency with a deep understanding of your business industry and a proven track record of success with similar businesses.

Reason # 3 Why You Get Burned by Marketing Agencies: It’s You

It’s time for some hard truth: sometimes it’s not them that’s the problem, it’s you. If you keep getting burned by marketing agencies, it may be time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re the problem. Here are some ways you, as a small business owner, can be a great client and contribute to a successful marketing agency relationship:

  • Clear Communication: Clearly articulate your marketing goals and expectations from the outset. Be open and honest about your budget, timeline, and where you’d like to get to. Clearly define what a win looks like to you.
  • Provide Necessary Information: The agency needs access to information about your business, target audience, and competitor landscape to develop effective marketing strategies. Respond as quickly as possible to their requests, or your agency will be stalled along with your results.
  • Do Not Make Changes On Your Own: The only reason to hire a marketing agency is because you believe they can deliver better results than you can on your own. Avoid the temptation to make changes on your own or to take the advice of Google or Facebook Reps. Your agency is running a strategy for you, so listen to their recommendations and always consult with them first.

How to be a great client: You should see your relationship with a marketing agency as a partnership. They are coming alongside you in order to help drive better results for you. So, think of your agency as a teammate and trust their recommendations and work.

The Bottom Line: Be the best client your marketing agency has by seeing them as your partner. Take the time to build trust with them by listening to their recommendations.

Conclusion: How to Find the Perfect Marketing Partner

Finding the right marketing agency can feel overwhelming, but understanding the three pitfalls we discussed empowers you to make informed decisions. Remember, investing in a qualified agency isn’t just an expense, it’s an investment in the future of your small business. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered:

  • Don’t be tempted by unrealistically low prices. Choose an agency with transparent pricing and a proven track record with other small businesses.
  • Industry expertise matters. Look for an agency that understands the unique challenges and opportunities faced by your industry.
  • Be a great client. Communicate clearly, provide the necessary information, and trust the agency’s expertise while keeping clear expectations.

Ready to find your perfect marketing partner? Contact us today for a free consultation. We specialize in helping small business owners achieve their marketing goals and grow their businesses. Let’s discuss your specific needs and develop a customized marketing strategy that gets you the results you deserve.

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The campaign spent a total of £351.76 and generated 1,531 sign-ups at just £0.23 each.​
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0 APP

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RESULTS

increase in organic traffic
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increase in ecommerce transactions​
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increase in lead form completions
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RESULTS

increase in organic traffic
0 %
Increased inbound inquiries
0 %
(high-value) sales
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RESULTS

increase in organic traffic​
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increase in ecommerce transactions​
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increase in revenue
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