I hesitate to speak negatively of other businesses, but I feel like this is an important issue to bring up for discussion. We commonly have companies come to us for help after they have had one or more unpleasant experiences with other digital advertising and marketing agencies. A few reasons they cite for leaving those agencies include:
- We had no concept of the creative process and whether they were driving results.
- They pushed one strategy that didn’t fit our business model.
- It was difficult for us to understand their reports, and the data visualization reporting was minimal – or even non-existent.
- What we were told would be delivered didn’t match the service we actually received.
- Their cost was too high to ever be profitable for us.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you heard of other business owners experiencing it? If so, chances are you’ve dabbled in digital marketing before.
When I started Izell Marketing Group, I came into it as a specialist/generalist hybrid…a freelancer, essentially. As I grew my company, I saw that I needed to fill positions of absolute specialty to maintain a premium level of service. Through that process, it became clear to me that I could not step away from being the primary salesperson for the business.
All of the aforementioned issues companies face with digital agencies come down to a lack of consistency, clarity, attention to detail, and true specialization.
The disconnect you face when starting discussions with a digital agency is typically the result of speaking with a salesperson rather than a specialist. The salesperson doesn’t manage any accounts; their objective is to hit a monthly sales goal and provide you with a proposal containing enough persuasive language that you are convinced to sign a contract with their business. In order to truly succeed for a client, however, you need to do extensive research and strategic planning before settling on the right service mix. It’s not specifically a salesperson’s job to ascertain client needs, therefore they operate off of company-approved templates. The downside to this is that templates are not one-size-fits-all. Even in the same industry, there should be nuances to digital marketing strategy that take into account company values and goals. Also, in terms of yield, templates do not show you the real opportunities or any estimate of success.
After you sign a proposal and switch to working with the specialist or account manager, things can start to fall apart; the account manager is held to the promises that the salesperson made. At this point, it’s too late to pivot the strategy to a different service mix because the contract has been signed, and you’re usually locked into that for 6-12 months or even longer.
The reason we are able to perform well for clients is because we maintain a whole-team approach from introduction to execution. As the CEO, I am the primary salesperson and the lead strategist. The advantage is that, rather than being a representative of the business, I am the business; I can make decisions without having to check with management. This makes it much easier to maintain consistency, clarity, attention to detail, and a promise of true specialization for a client. Expectations are crystal clear from the start. We believe in retaining clients by proving our value, not having them sign a long-term contract. We are problem-solvers to our core, and we rely on innovation and creativity to drive results.
In our initial meeting, the most recent client who enlisted our services told me, “You are the first person I’ve met with who is actually talking about my needs instead of your own abilities. I have a hefty folder full of proposals from other marketing companies and every single one talks about how they are the best choice instead of describing what was actually going to happen with my accounts.”
Does this sound like your experience? Hopefully we’ve given you some valuable information and insight into how you can move forward to find the best digital marketing service solution for your business.