We’ve been working in the Digital Marketing industry now for nearly 20 years – starting when it was just good old fashioned PPC management and Display on Google, Bing, Yahoo and MIVA. These were the good old days when the search engines would offer the agency up to 15% rebate on spends so the agency could effectively offer their services free of charge.

But then the likes of Google got greedy and removed the retainer which the agency then had to pass back to the client which then lead to some clients taking their campaigns in-house. Lost accounts equalled job losses and this had a devastating effect on the agency, in particular the smaller ones.

A lot now has changed since those days with the advent of Social Media and Content Marketing to name but a few.

Most of my formative digital years were spent on the agency side which is where I learnt and plied my trade.

Over this period of time, the one thing that stood out most for me is how much clients were being ripped off by agencies. For example, one client had to pay a monthly retainer of £10k when their combined monthly advertising spends were up to £30k per month. The campaigns were not managed and optimised properly and were generating negative ROI.

Unfortunately the terms of the contract were negotiate by a person who no longer works there but was mates with the client’s head of marketing. Funny that. Backhander springs to mind but that wasn’t an unfamiliar practice.

So regardless of monthly spends, KPI’s not being hit and negative ROI from their campaigns, the client still had to pay the agency £10k per month.

During a pitch process, an agency would typically go in all guns blazing: MD, Sales Director, Account Directors and Senior Account Managers. ‘this would be your team, this is your support’. The reality is far different. The client would be lumbered with a junior account manager with just 3 months experience. The senior account managers and account director would help with campaign structure, set up and implementation but it would be the junior who would be thrown in the deep end which usually ends in tears. Literally!

The senior account managers would be on the weekly calls , monthly and quarterly reviews but ultimately, the juniors would be managing the accounts on a day to day basis. That’s your 20% commission on top of media spends being spent. Not value for money in our opinion.

Furthermore, if a senior account manager decides to leave, which in this industry is typically between 3 months to 2 years then the junior is usually thrust into fill that void after 6 months.

The churn rate is so high at these marketing agencies that the only one that suffers is ultimately the client. There is very little stability and consistency. The agency has to prioritise clients that generate the most revenue. AM’s get pushed from pillar to post and client to client. Meetings are called every 30 minutes. The work never gets done on time. Junior AM’s want to impress and are overstretched and overworked and I’ve seen many of them end up in tears. Their dream job after University ends up being a nightmare.

Only just recently we were commissioned to run a PPC audit on a Google Ads account as the client felt like they were not getting the attention and service they were paying for. So the first thing I checked were the change history reports which showed that the last update on the account was 6 weeks ago and that was a negative keyword being added to one campaign. Money well spent hey:-)

Here at Arragon Digital, we have over 15 years of experience  of online marketing experience covering PPC, Social, Media and SEO as well Google Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimisation & CRM. We’ll work closely with you – effectively acting as a marketing extension to your business. We WON’T tie you down to astronomical monthly retainers and we WON’T tie you down to monthly, yearly contracts. We WILL support your business in any capacity that’s required and for any given time. We can help plug the gaps until you find a suitable candidate or train your staff so that you can manage your digital marketing in house.

It doesn’t have to be stressful, it’s doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to expensive but it does have to be successful.

In our next Blog post, we’ll be cutting out the BS on SEO and Web Development particularly for SME’s.