Problems that Clients Face with Digital Agencies

Digital Agencies Common Problem
Many businesses going online lack expertise in the digital medium, and therefore rely on digital agencies. Unfortunately, most engagements do not meet expectations and clients feel let down by their agencies. In this post we’ll go though some of the most common pain points clients face while working with their digital agencies.

Effort based pricing:
In the digital marketing domain, impact of the last dollar spent on the campaign can be easily measured. Most agencies are not very much comfortable with result based pricing model and they tend to show that by adopting an effort based model.

This type of arrangement can work with large companies who set a certain percentage of their revenue for marketing and advertising. But, small and medium size businesses can’t afford to get into such an arrangement. They are always looking for optimal ways to generate leads.

Instead of shying away from ROI based pricing model, they should embrace this. Showcasing and quantifying the business value added the agency would be one the most important new business acquisition tool.

Lack of clarity:
Clients may or may not exactly know what they want to achieve out of the digital campaigns and assets. In most of cases they won’t be knowing and hence they rely on the marketing agency. It is expected that the agency would extract the last bit of information out of the client via a well structured client brief and extensive questionnaire. But, sadly some agencies don’t ask adequate amount of questions. Finally the outcome of project doesn’t match with the client’s objective.

Innovation scarcity:
I’ve met some small and medium-sized business owners, who have approached digital agencies to help them out with their digital campaigns. Problem arises when they say that they are competing with big guys and it’ll be very difficult for them to outbid them via PPC campaigns. Digital agencies responded by saying either increase the budget or forget about any digital campaign.

Now, this is quite surprising as well as disheartening. Is PPC the only medium to run online campaigns? Digital media has brought everyone to an equal playing field. Innovative use of other digital channels has also brought success to smaller players. Check out this business case of a small winery (Mirabeau) competing with 600+ established players via YouTube videos. Here is the viral video with more than 10 million views:


Lack of communication:
Once the project commences, it is very much required by the agency to update the client about the progress. In fact getting the prototypes validated by the client early on is one most of effective way to avoid any misunderstanding. Lack of communication can make issues crop up in the end and it would be almost impossible to accomodate the changes at that time.

Not adhering to timelines:
This is the by-product pf communication. When the deliverables are not clear, the timeline set for them automatically becomes void. There will always be the case of either over estimation or under estimation resulting in client dissatisfaction.

Unrealistic Promises:
This actually boils down to the agency’s knowledge of its strong-hold in some of the key areas. One agency might be good with content marketing while the other might have competency in developing great web/mobile application. Without deep domain expertise when agencies start to pitch themselves as full-featured, often they leave clients disgruntled. Over-promising and under-delivering is definitely not the way to go. Focusing on the strength and building the new business pitch on the same line can ultimately result in satisfied clients.

Our advice for both clients and agencies – be honest. It does not matter how stupid one sounds, it is always better to be clear with the deliverables. Only when both of the parties are truly honest with each other, they can create something that makes them happy.

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