Similar to traditional marketing, you also need to deal with a large number of unknowns when you need to run digital marketing for your business. Even the best digital marketing professionals today cannot provide a 100% guarantee where your site will rank after a year, let alone after a month. The same situation could be said for content and social media marketing.
Therefore, projected results are often nothing more than estimated guesses. If you are working with a digital marketing agency, you are working on estimates, and even the best agency are vulnerable to overestimating their skills set, and not considering factors beyond their control.
As a client, the best thing you can do is to mitigate the risks to separate fact from guesses, and draw a line between outcomes and outputs. Be sure to ask your agency to explain what part of their proposal are based on guesses, which aspects are not guaranteed.
You can replace the unknown factors such as traffic estimates, profit estimates, and conversion rates with definite numbers. It is best to be conservative in your projections.
But how long should you retain the marketing agency who doesn’t provide results before thinking about other methods?
Bear in mind that digital marketing is a process, which takes time to reach a desired outcome. View this like preparing a soup – you can’t just put on water and ingredients on the pot and expect for the soup to boil after three seconds.
For example, an online retail store hired a digital marketing agency to boost its social media presence. After only three months, the owner sees slow growth in engagement and customer base. But after six months, the number of followers increased, and the conversion rate was sky rocket high. If the owner fired the agency after the third month milestone based on the fact that there’s a slow growth, the online business could have not reaped the rewards in the end.
In hiring a digital marketing agency, you need to pay a monthly retainer fee. It’s fairly reasonable that most clients become worried about the fact that they are paying fixed monthly rate and there has been slow growth after several months.
Hence, it is crucial to know if it’s time to fire the marketing agency.
Cancelling your subscription to a marketing agency depends on several factors, such as the amount of time spent by the agency, the age of the business, and the digital marketing campaigns. For example, it will take longer to see results for the content marketing or SEO marketing campaign compared to paid advertisements on social media channels.
Basically, most aspects of digital marketing develop gradually. If you are not seeing at least gradual progress in your campaign for the first six months then it might be the time to know the reason behind.
There are also instances when the desired results were not achieved, because of the business model, or the unwillingness of the client to implement campaigns based on the recommendation and proposal of the marketing agency.
But in general, the issue could be more likely within the strategy of the marketing agency, especially if the business has achieved success in the previous years. In this situation, keep your patience, but you must be ready to move forward if you think the marketing agency is not generating results that you were expecting.