Working with an agency can be a little scary. You’ve heard the stories of projects blowing out of proportion, taking 5x longer, going way over budget to finally not delivering any results. There can be a myriad of reasons for this to happen, but the common culprit that we noticed was a mismanagement of expectations.

When we start working with a business, we tend to find them in one of three situations.

  1. The business hasn’t had the need to get on digital. It has been performing well as a legacy business offline, and doesn’t see clear value.
  2. Has not been using online platforms to grow their business, but knows of friends and colleagues that have used it to generate returns and therefore is interested.
  3. Had worked with an inhouse team or agency before, but for whatever reason, the engagement is no longer active and wants to resume activity to generate leads.

Understanding current state

Before anything can happen, everyone needs to get on the same page. Sometimes, there are rare situations where being on the internet isn’t really helping you grow your business, and you’re doing it to just tick the boxes. Then, there are situations where it’s imperative to the long-term success of your business.

That’s why it’s important to understand where you sit, in terms of your website, your social media and your marketing strategy. This helps index it against competitors (that are doing well, and that aren’t) to understand what you need to be doing to get better.

It’s easy to think that a Facebook video ad may solve all your problems, get you leads and help you “go viral”. Going through the numbers and really getting an understanding of where things actually are, would tell a different story.

Leveraging technology

A common misconception is that digital is cheap. Depending on the people, process and technology you choose to deploy, it’s actually a pretty sophisticated exercise. Making sure that technology can genuinely improve the quality of work, your marketing, or the speed in which its delivered can help build a funnel with positive ROI. You need to make sure that you’re willing to adapt and make the changes that allow your business to fully maximise results.

We’ve seen time after time that businesses engage with consultants and agencies to generate recommendations that don’t get implemented. Go in with an open mind, and take recommendations seriously, but also with a grain of salt.

Defining success

We’d love to say “Increase customers” or “Revenue” and give concrete KPIs that directly tie into results. However, most of the time, it isn’t that simple. You’ll have to invest time and money to understand what metrics correlate to the results you want to see and understand which ones you can change and take action. Chasing the right goals is more important than trying to figure out how fast to go about it.

Digital strategy and research

Every project we accept starts off with a core digital strategy. Understanding your digital presence, your customers and opportunities across social, search and technology let us give powerful recommendations that focus on tackling the lowest hanging fruit first.

Engagements that tend to do well over time are engagements that are driven by value, where both agency and client can gain some results early on and then build upon that foundation. Making sure that decisions made by any brand aren’t of gut instinct, but decisions driven by data.