How Do I Avoid Working With a ‘Cowboy’ Digital Agency?

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How Do I Avoid Working With a ‘Cowboy’ Digital Agency?

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What to Look Out For When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency in New Zealand.

More and more I’m hearing feedback from potential clients on there experiences with ‘Cowboy’ digital marketing agencies. These ‘Cowboys’ are damaging the digital marketing industry in New Zealand. In this article I’m going to show you what to look out for when choosing a digital marketing agency for your business

What is a Digital Agency

A digital marketing agency is a company that provides a range of marketing services aimed at helping businesses promote there products, services, or brands through digital channels. A digital marketing agency can help a business leverage online platforms and technologies to help reach their target audiences, engage with customers, and achieve their marketing goals.

The range of services differ in New Zealand but typically include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising (Meta & Google), Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Marketing, Web Design and Analytics/Reporting.

What is a ‘Cowboy’ Digital Agency

When you hear the term ‘cowboy’ in reference to a digital marketing agency it usually refers to unqualified practitioners who promise much more than they can deliver. You can’t always tell these agencies apart from others at the start of your engagement but often as time goes on you will notice more red flags generally leading to a high level of dissatisfaction with the services provided, costs involved and/or the results delivered.

Why Do ‘Cowboy’ Agencies Exist in New Zealand

The rising importance of an online presence for businesses has significantly increased the demand for digital marketing services in New Zealand, with this we have seen a big increase in ‘Cowboy’ digital agencies. These agencies are often characterised by unprofessionalism and lack of expertise. Several factors contribute to the prevalence of such agencies in the NZ digital marketing industry:

Low Barrier To Entry. The digital marketing industry has pretty low barriers to entry. Almost anyone with a computer and internet access can claim to be a digital marketing expert!. This leads to a heap of agencies that just lack the necessary skills and experience.

No Regulations In New Zealand. There is little regulatory oversight in the digital marketing industry. Unlike more traditional professions, there are no standard qualifications or certifications. It’s up to the individual person or agency to make sure they have the required knowledge and skills to complete the work.

Lack of Transparency. Digital marketing can be complex, making it more difficult for businesses to understand what they are paying for and if the services provided are effective. ‘Cowboy’ agencies will exploit this lack of understanding to overcharge or provide below standard digital marketing services.

Overpromising and Under-delivering. Many businesses lack the knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of there digital marketing efforts, making them more vulnerable to being taken advantage of by dishonest agencies, this combined with agencies promising quick or unrealistic results to attract clients often results in unhappy relationships.

How to Avoid Getting Caught by a Cowboy ‘Agency’

Do Your Research. Before you engage a digital marketing agency take a look at their track record of results, client testimonials and case studies.

Look For Transparency. Before engaging a digital marketing agency ask for a detailed proposal that outlines specific marketing strategies, expected results, and how success will be measured.

Check Credentials. Ask if the agency has the correct certifications from reputable marketing platforms such as Google and Meta.

Ask For References. Ask for recommendations from trusted colleagues or industry contacts and check references from the agencies current clients.

Are You Already Working With a Cowboy Marketing Agency?!

Do you feel you are not getting what you are paying for? are your results poor? Do you never hear from your agency? Here are some signs you maybe dealing with a cowboy;

High Costs, Poor Results. Low campaign performance is a clear indicator you maybe using a cowboy. By identifying and rectifying the underlying problems, businesses can improve the ROI of their digital marketing efforts.

Is Your Agency Relying On You. If your agency is asking you to provide all the content or direction to take, you maybe using a cowboy. As the professionals your digital marketing agency should be leading the conversations and strategy of your marketing efforts.

No Active Meetings. Lack of communication from your agency is another sign you maybe using a cowboy. Regular and clear communication from your digital marketing agency will strengthen the relationship and create better results.

Low or No Transparency in Reporting. Great digital marketing is only as good as the data. A ‘Cowboy’ agency may try to mask the data or hide it altogether. A good agency will be transparent, analyse what the data is showing them and lean into what’s working to generate even better results.

Poor Website Build, Bugs, Ongoing Issues, Downtime. If your website continually has problems or just doesn’t seem to work like it should you might be dealing with a ‘Cowboy’. A great website is stable, easy to use and will consistently bring you enquiry.

If you are seeing issues like these, remember It’s never too late to ask for more from you agency A good digital marketing agency will help your business navigate the complexities of online marketing, stay competitive, and achieve business objectives in the digital landscape.

About NZ Digital

NZ Digital are a Auckland based digital marketing agency, we offer a wide range of done for you digital marketing and lead generation services. If you have more questions or would like to book a FREE Digital Marketing consult please schedule a call with us.

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