‘Don your monocle folks. We’re going all *mythbusters* on you today, exploring and debunking six common myths lurking out there about digital marketing agencies. 🧐
While a few of these myths may hold a bit of truth for some agencies, we’ll explain why they don’t apply to all, and certainly not to us.
*cue mysterious music*
At TDP, our approach is always to educate and guide our clients on their digital marketing journey, and we take pride in our transparent and collaborative approach to working with businesses of all sizes. We’re always striving to understand their unique needs, develop customised strategies, and provide ongoing support and reporting to ensure that their digital marketing efforts are successful.
We believe in building long-term partnerships with our clients, where their success is our success.
… you get the drift, yeh?
Myth #1 Agencies will stunt your growth
Some ‘experts’ will tell you, you need a $30-$80k ad spend, coupled with the promise of success [and before we continue – yes, that’s a real-life recco we’re seeing out in the wild currently and TBH, it’s giving “Tech Bro energy”]. #IfTheShoeFits
- Consider the following as your barometer for being ready to up-your-ad-spend ante:
- How much budget can you commit to marketing activity without putting strain on your finances?
- Have you dedicated substantial time to building your audiences and addressing all areas of your digital marketing funnel thoroughly?
- Do you have enough stock and supply to support increased purchasing activity?
- Is your website optimised for conversion? We cannot stress to you enough the importance of this for eComm businesses.
- Do you have a strong and successful organic strategy in place?
- Are you truly present on more than one social platform? Meta is just one ingredient … not the whole pie.
Spoiler alert: A good agency will help you move all of the above points into your ‘ticked off’, column! Not just, say for example … advise you to throw more money at ads.
Myth #2 Agencies focus too much on ROAS [return on ad spend]
There’s a prevailing myth, that agencies focus too much on ROAS.
But the truth is, ROAS gives Big *Data* Energy [no, not that other 4 letter D word, let’s keep it PG people]. We lurve us some BIG, BIG ROAS, and sure it’s easy to switch out your monocle for the rose-coloured varieties and venture off chasing ROAS waterfalls. But, for every business we work with, each has very unique needs and goals, depending on sooooo many factors.
We recommend a rational approach and sticking to the calmer rivers of: understanding your costs, profits and business goals. This information will allow you to develop KPIs unique and relevant to your own business, providing scope for growth. It will also keep your agency accountable and define clear goalposts. These KPIs will grow as your business does, so make sure you revisit them regularly with your agency team.
*Hot tip – if you’re told to ignore ROAS, you are entering murky, shark-infested waters without… well, a shark cage. 🩸🦈
ROAS is an important part of your KPI and you need this to make sure you are in the green on the ROI front. For some businesses, a successful ROAS looks like a 10 and for others, it’s a 2 due to higher costs, lower profit margins or maybe just a big ol’ pesky business bill.
The ROAS shoe is not a one size fits all sitch though. Not only would that be weird, but also uncomfortable. Some of us need orthotics, some like a sleek heel and others like to run in the mornings. Either way, your footwear of choice needs to be practical, complimentary and ultimately provide stable footing to your business!
Myth #3 You’ll be onboarded by the CEO … but will have a junior strategist managing your account.
I’m not going to sit here and deny that this doesn’t happen in some agencies. But in short? It doesn’t happen at good agencies, and certainly not at this one.
Agencies are hired to take something off a business owner’s plate, and that ‘something’ is usually outside of their wheelhouse of expertise [and likely workload].
When you hire an agency, you hire the experience, education and brilliant marketing minds that collectively span decades working in digital marketing. They’ll have worked across many industries, have navigated new platforms… as well as a myriad of channel updates. They’ll remain committed to their own upskilling so clients benefit from wider portfolio-based knowledge.
So much of this is beyond reach for a new business [I mean, who doesn’t have time or the budget to test and learn and continuously rediscover industry sweet spots?!]
You’re the expert in your brand, products and business. Agencies are the experts in digital marketing and we’re here to help you hit the ground running with your ad activity.
Teamwork makes the [small business] dream work. This should shine through in your comms, reports, meetings and eventually? … your results.
A good Digital Marketer will underpromise and overdeliver, not the other way around.
Myth #4 If there’s no activity in your ad account for a week or 2, you should sack your agency.
If you find yourself being sold the old “oh, but there hasn’t been activity in your account this week” line [yawn], keep in mind that this is most likely intentional.
Firstly, please keep in mind that not all optimisations will appear in the history tab of your ad account. Only significant edits will show up here, so incremental scale adjustments, minor copy updates and audience background tweaks etc, won’t always be listed.
Secondly, there are two significant and negative impacts that happen when you tinker with your ads too frequently and too soon.
By all means, chat to your agency and ask them about it, but they’ll most likely explain those two very-good-reasons why they’re not messing around with your ads right after they launch or have been fully optimised.
If you’re interested? It’s all about attribution [read more about that here] and learning phases.
We can not stress enough that if you keep messing around with things, you’ll never get the correct data to know what’s your winning formula.
And Hot Tip #2? Your winning formula is unique and not a template sold to you from the aforementioned tech bro.
We say: keep those wheels in motion, build on the good and fail fast on what doesn’t work.
Myth #5 Agencies won’t structure your audience funnels effectively
Myth #5 is rather, dare I say, *privileged* advice to be spruiking in an environment where an economic recession is looming.
We are by no means saying that you shouldn’t be finessing your audience exclusions in your campaign structure because you should, but this type of strategy is one that requires really efficient overarching digital structure to be in situ.
That simply isn’t something small businesses can usually commit to wholeheartedly when they’re starting out in advertising. It takes time to build and scale gradually so that you don’t exhaust your audiences or dominate their feeds to the point where they block your ads. #Whoops
For example: Excluding all warm audience loops from top-of-funnel campaign targeting requires having an absolutely *humming* website that is optimised like nothing else for the purchaser’s journey. It also requires your EDM marketing to be Robin Hood’ing the field and it demands a dedicated budget for awareness activity. [One that isn’t initially looking to hold only ROAS as the overall goal].
Put differently – you can’t put the roof on the house without putting some walls up first, despite the advice of those who shall not be named.
Is anyone else having a 360-degree moment to that $50k campaign recommendation in Myth #1 yet? Cos’, same.
Myth #6 Agencies don’t care
Ummmm… shots fired!
As people who occupy senior roles in our strategy team, “we OBJECT, your honour!”
This digital marketing industry is not a quiet, slow-moving beast, and those that have long-standing careers within it hold a genuine passion for their client’s businesses … and their success. This industry will simply chew you up and spit you out if you don’t love and care about the work you do. It’s too fast-paced to ride a wave into shore whilst hurling a briefcase of – say, $50k cash – into the air and hoping audience exclusions have got your back.
In the same way you build a relationship with a new colleague, you should be getting this type of care and curiosity from your ad agency and strategy team. A good agency will feel like an extension of you, be passionate about your results and honest in their feedback at every opportunity.
Make the most of your monthly WiPs so you can run through recent results, set KPIs on upcoming promotional events and align on strategic cornerstones for scaling.
Finally, keep in mind that your agency is your partner [not your enemy], and a partnership takes two willing participants. In our experience, agencies aren’t disrupting the digital marketing industry, it’s disrupted by poorly researched advice and myths.
So in summary, yes there are sh*t agencies out there. But there are also sh*t tech bros, freelancers and contractors, and we regularly see clients who’ve been burnt by them. Not every agency and client will align, so it’s important to educate yourself on those red flags, look for the devil in the detail and keep busting myths.
We’re not your average agency, and we’re bloody proud of it.
Two passionate marketing gals signing off [trying to pull back the curtains on shifty tech bro tactics].
We’re not gonna lie, that was alot of information. If you’d like to chat with us about any of the above or have us deep dive into your ads, strategy or help get you started then book in a 1:1 Strategy call here.
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