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Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency: Expectations & Reality

Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency: Expectations & Reality

Well, if you’re reading this article, we suppose you’re considering choosing a digital marketing agency or already did it but unsatisfied with the outcome. We understand you. Really. Starting working with a digital marketing agency can be challenging from the beginning because many misconceptions are floating around. This is why in this article, we’re going to dispel the myths and tell what you can expect from a digital marketing agency. It will help you understand how a digital marketing agency works and how it can assist you in meeting your business needs.

What to Expect from a Digital Marketing Agency?

So what’re the expectations and reality when working with a digital marketing agency? We’ve identified nine expectations that companies typically have when hiring a digital agency and what you will have in reality.

Expectation 1. Digital marketing is only for big companies

Whether you have a small or big company, the truth is that digital marketing has nothing to do with the size of your business. The only thing that matters is if you’re running a business and selling your products and services, you need to establish an online presence. Once you appear online, digital marketing is critical for your brand. In this case, you can do digital marketing yourself if you have enough skills and expertise or work with a professional digital marketing agency.

Reality: It doesn’t matter whether your business is big or small. What really matters is your online presence. More and more people prefer to buy online without leaving their homes. So it would be great to please them and invest in digital marketing.

Expectation 2. Your digital marketing efforts will generate immediate results

If you want to garner meaningful results, you’ll require a lot of devotion, planning, effort, and reevaluation of your current digital marketing strategy. It makes sense to run time-critical paid advertising campaigns. However, it’s reasonable to give them at least two months to work before deciding whether to leave them running or not.

But let’s be realistic. You must adhere to a digital marketing strategy for at least three to six months to see meaningful results. Don’t panic if it takes even longer because the length of time depends on your reputation with Google, your company’s ranking and traffic, available budget, and focus areas (e.g., SEO, PPC, etc.).

Reality: Digital marketing is a journey, not a destination. Establishing your online presence is a commitment to constantly implementing your digital marketing strategy. Do not expect immediate results from a marketing partner.

Expectation 3. Digital marketing leads to much better ROI

Every business that works with a digital marketing agency thinks digital marketing will make them more lucrative immediately. And it’s not just our customers’ opinions. Surprisingly, there’s one widely held belief that digital marketing is expensive. You must work even harder than before if you want to be a great digital marketer. According to some studies, most digital marketing agencies don’t make as much money as they claim. The truth is that digital marketing may help your company expand, but only if you have all the necessary information.

Reality: Only when you really understand what you’re doing.

Expectation 4. Expanding brand awareness is equal to a conversion increase

Previously, many digital marketers believed in the “spray-and-pray” approach using display marketing tactics. This approach aims to send ads or other marketing communications to as many people as possible and hope that it’ll encourage them to buy your product or service (without setting up metrics to measure campaign success and ROI). At first glance, this strategy should work. But current digital marketing best practices tell us that you can’t reach brand awareness if you don’t:

  • Know your target audience
  • Drive them to convert

Digital marketing funnel


Casting a vast network with display ads will cost you a lot. And if you don’t have cost-per-acquisition, return on ad spend, or cost-of-sales metrics, you’re unlikely to hit your ROI.

Reality: Working with a marketing agency will lead to a conversion increase only if you’re optimizing for them.

Expectation 5. You’re the only big client for a digital marketing agency

Digital marketing agencies structure their businesses to partner with multiple clients. Take into account that you’ll be assigned an account manager, and depending on the work, you may have direct contact with team members who are accomplishing your marketing strategy. Account managers and other marketing experts will likely be working on other projects, and it’s rare when agency members are 100% focused only on your project. It doesn’t mean you won’t get excellent results and comprehensive support. On the contrary, they are well-equipped to work in a multi-client environment.

Reality: Each client is valuable for a digital marketing agency. But you are not the only one.

Expectation 6. A digital marketing agency will identify the project scope

Business owners often choose a digital marketing agency without a clear vision of what they want. Although this can be understandable, you should speak to your digital marketing agency and get a crystal clear idea of the project scope. Consider the timeline, evolving needs, and budget, of course. Try to cover as many points as possible to reach the expected results.

Reality: A digital marketing agency won’t make critical decisions for you. Understand what you really want, identify your goals, and discuss them.

Expectation 7. Niche specialty is not important

When you start working with a digital marketing agency, make sure they have experience dealing with similar clients to you in terms of the unique needs of your market and how it operates. Not all marketers are the same, and they use different strategies. For example, a B2B wedding company will need a completely different approach to machinery- selling brands regarding sales cycles, messaging, and marketing channels. Ensure your digital marketing agency has practical experience using your brand’s most suitable marketing channels. Remember that you’re competing for new customers in each channel, so you need somebody who knows all the ins and outs to help you spread your message and stand out.

Reality: Make sure a digital marketing agency has experience working with brands from your niche.

Expectation 8. An agency will take over your business and do all the work for you

When you start working with a digital marketing agency, you’re dealing with an extensive team ready to help you to achieve your goals. However, don’t be too naive. This doesn’t mean they will take over your business and do all the work for you. Depending on the type of work, you will still have some responsibilities (e.g., providing access to software, creating customer profiles, taking high-quality product photos if needed, interviewing your team for content ideas, etc.)

Reality: A digital marketing agency will do its best. The rest work will be on you.

Expectation 9. You will micromanage an agency’s work

When choosing a digital marketing agency, you should never forget that they have their own processes and ways of working, which you won’t easily be able to oversee and engage with. Note that a digital agency operates differently from your employees. Also, there’re logistics barriers even if you want to micromanage an agency. You may only communicate directly with an account manager but not with the whole team, for example. And not only can the agency be in a different location. There’s a chance that they could be in a completely different timezone.

Reality: Micromanagement is good only if you work with a small in-house team.

As you can see, a consistent, data-driven, and detailed approach is crucial to your successful digital branding. If you decide to brand your company professionally, you’ll definitely need to get in touch with a digital marketing agency.

Read now: How To Choose an Advertising Agency

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency?

The boom in the number of digital marketing agencies in recent years has made choosing the right one a challenging task. Today finding the right digital marketing partner is crucial; the wrong one will quickly drain your budget and badly impact your branding. So here’s our recommended strategy.

  1. Consider your goals . Yes, this is a basic step, but you can’t ignore it. Some businesses want to grow their customer base while others aim to increase their traffic, attract new customers, or increase brand awareness. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure a digital marketing agency understands what you want so they can deliver the best results. Try to understand whether you want to promote your brand’s online presence, engage your target audience, focus on lead generation, or maybe want more sales. Having a clear game plan and conveying it effectively to your marketing partner will set you up for success.
  2. Define your budget. Understand your budget and what part of it you’re willing to spend. Your marketing budget should be divided between different tactics and social media channels depending on your objectives, business type, and industry. When determining your budget consider how much you want your company to grow (globally or locally) and whether you’re going to invest in long-term contracts or you prefer shorter ones. A good agency will provide you with a clear breakdown of costs and explain how much each service will cost.
  3. Check their credibility. Be sure to check the agency’s credibility and experience. Look through clients’ testimonials, and case studies on their website and review such websites as Expertise, Clutch, or Yelp. Ask for client references and make sure their website looks decent and appears high in search results. Also, you can request a portfolio including their recent projects, giving you concrete evidence of their capabilities. An agency can ask previous clients to act as references as a result of their successful collaboration. This is something you should consider before making a deal.
  4. Make sure the agency is at the forefront of the latest trends. The digital world is changing quickly. In this case, it’s very important that the agency cultivates an adaptable mindset, always keeps up to speed, follows developments, and embeds them into its marketing strategy. Sometimes it may result in a slight change in your original plan or make you deviate from the intended path. Don’t worry. If your digital marketing agency is really experienced in its field, you will deal with it easily.
  5. Consider the technical side. Understanding website development technologies is vital to any marketing strategy. Ask your potential account manager whether they had a chance to deal with it. If yes, they’re more likely to have a more well-rounded view of digital marketing and can develop digital strategies because of their operational experience. Thinking outside of the box is very important and innovative ideas often come from operational experiences.
  6. Ask as many questions as you can. If you’d like to narrow down the list of digital marketing agency options and ask the right questions. Below you’ll find a list of them:
  • What’s the unique value you can provide to our company?
  • What’s the average cost of similar services?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What’s your availability?
  • What can we expect from a 30-or 60-day period?
  • How was your experience with previous companies?


Working with the right digital marketing agency can help you reach out to your audience and accelerate your growth. If you’re interested in digital marketing services and you’d like to get in touch with the team at Viden, feel free to reach out. We’ll be happy to help you.

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