Signs of a Bad Marketing Agency

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Marketing is one of the most power tools you can use to increase sales for your business. You can use it in many different marketing channels such as Facebook, Google, email, and much more. 

One problem that many small business owners face is the fact that they work with bad agencies that deliver no results. While there are varieties of marketing out there like branding, web design, and graphic design, what I’m referring to are advertising agencies specializing in lead generation.

While I help run an agency, so if you are already working with one then that’s great! Below are signs of a bad agency if you currently work with one, or are in the phase to start advertising for your business.

1. Your Ads Keep You “Top of Mind” to Customers

If a marketing agency ever tells you that your ads keep you “top of mind” to potential customers, then run for the hills. This means nothing, and majority of people out there will view an ad and move onto the next thing. If someone on Google or Facebook didn’t fill out a form to get more information about your business, or didn’t even click your ad, then chances are they will not remember your ad…unless you have a HUGE budget.

The only time when you are “top of mind” to customers is if they filled out a form and you send them emails about your service.

2. They Only Get You Likes and Clicks to Your Website

I had the opportunity to sit in with an agency that worked with local businesses, and during the mean my jaw dropped to the floor.

The agency was showing a local client that they were getting “clicks” to their website, and “likes” on the ads promoted. There was NOT A SINGLE lead ever generated. In Facebook, there is an engagement campaign where the point of it is only to get social proof on ads. These are people on Facebook who will generally ONLY LIKE ads and posts, and nothing else.

Also within Facebook there is a “traffic” campaign where the only objective is to get people to go to a website. Again, this campaign type works for only free things, and not for high ticket services like plumbing, solar, roofing, etc.

So if a marketing agency sits down with you, and can’t explain why they aren’t getting you leads, but they only get you likes and clicks, this means absolutely nothing. They will probably say you are “top of mind” to customers.

You need to tell the agency you work with you want “conversion” campaigns. These are people on Facebook who are more likely to fill out a lead form, and are actual interested buyers.

3. Cheapest Services Mean Nothing

If an agency says they will provide the cheapest services, again this means nothing to your business. Most of the time, this means the agency is low quality and can’t actually provide good service to you.

They probably have other customers who take up their time, demanding the world and can’t provide actual good services. If they say they can be cheap, but also say they will also give you the world, that is a huge red flag.

Good agencies specialize in only a few things, and can bring a lot of sales to a business.

4. They Can Get You Really Cheap Leads

Cheap leads sounds really great to have. You buy cheap leads, and if you call the numbers then BAM you get a huge sale. Wrong.

Some scammy marketers will buy email lists and place those in your funnel to show that they are getting you “leads”. These lead lists are often times very low quality.

Another way to get cheap leads is buy not qualifying your prospects, meaning that the marketer probably is missing steps in the marketing funnel therefore getting you low quality leads for your business.

Many times a decent lead price will be $20 to $50 per lead depending on the industry you are in.

5. They Will Get You a Ton of Sales with Very Little Advertising Budget

In advertising there is always a cost when advertising a product or service. Many time for eCommerce you will need an up-sell in order to make your money back in your marketing funnel. With home services like solar or roofing as example, it might cost $50 a lead, and your close rate will be 10% to 20% (if you’re really good).

In general, when advertising there is a metric marketers use called cost per conversion (also as cost/conv). This means the cost in advertising it takes for you to get a sale or lead.

If an agency says they’ll get you thousands of sales with your $200 advertising spend… they definitely don’t know what they are talking about. So if a T-shirt you want to sell costs $50. Then it might cost $30 in advertising fees to sell it.

6. Work with Too Many Industries

One huge problem you may encounter if you work with an agency, is the fact they do not specialize in an industry OR only work with a few types of clients. For example, an agency I know of works with 15 different types of industries and their team only has 8 people.

When it comes to advertising, it is really difficult to work with that many different industries because an advertisers main job is to find the best creatives to use in advertising, then they scale those campaigns up. If they make it work for one customer, they can make it work for ALL the customers (if they are all the same industry).

If a small agency doesn’t specialize, then they are doomed, and therefore will give you bad service.

7. Management Has No Background In Marketing

This is the biggest red flag. If you work with an agency, and the owner is highly involved, make sure you know what their background is. If the owner has no background in marketing at all, that’s a really bad sign because they aren’t familiar in ways to make your business money.

Advertising is not about clicking buttons, it’s finding what the market wants, and to deliver it to them.

I worked with an agency where the owner had no experience in marketing, didn’t know the standard procedures of helping customers or ways to market correctly. Not only that, he spent $7,000 of a client’s money and did not generate a single lead you can track.

Final Thoughts

If your gut is telling you something is wrong, then there probably is. Always make sure to ask about the company background, and also make sure that the company will give you leads or sales you can track.

I have seen it too many times where business owners have been screwed over, and don’t recover from it. It is easy to sign up on Facebook and Google advertising, but it is NOT easy to run campaigns correctly.