A good digital marketing agency can certainly create excellent results for your home services business, but that doesn’t mean there are no downsides to working with an agency. In this article, we list ten home services marketing agency frustrations that you might experience if things don’t go quite as planned and you hire an agency that doesn’t fit your business. We’ll also look at an alternative option that might suit you better. We like to think of ourselves as the agency antidote and with Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing platform, you could find yourself in the driver seat with your marketing and getting a clear return on investment.
Read on to see just some of the home services marketing agency frustrations that might crop up if you use an agency:
1. The Agency Doesn’t Learn About Your Business
If you’re just one of many on an agency’s client list, you may find that you don’t get personal attention and a tailored plan that actually fits your business, what you do, and how you operate. Some agencies like to use the same plan over and over again, because they’ve been doing it for years and they know it works. The thing is, that it might work for them, but if they don’t take the time to get to know you and your business, there’s a good chance it may well not work for you.
The right marketing agency will take the time to listen, not talk, and to tailor what they do to fit who you are and how your business works. There’s no point in an agency trying to shoehorn a plan for a large company onto a mom-and-pop business. What you should get from your agency should take into account the size of your business, your budget, how many people you have on hand to provide the agency with what they need on an ongoing basis, and most of all, it should take into account what you actually want, your values, and your goals.
2. Lack of Care
While, of course, digital marketing agencies are the experts, they aren’t the experts on you and your business unless they take the time to listen to what you want and to care about your company. While they may know the ins and outs of everything from account-based marketing to website copy, they still need to pay attention to you, listen to your feedback, and your own ideas, and adjust their strategy if that’s what you want them to do.
What you don’t want is to think you’re getting the top marketers who did the pitch to you, only to find out on day one that what you’re actually getting is some junior marketers who don’t know enough about your industry and don’t have the experience. You need a company that genuinely cares about you and your results and is willing to listen to you and act on feedback.
3. Lack of Transparency
A digital marketing agency can’t just tell you they’re getting good results for you; they’ve got to show you that they are. That includes talking you through what they’re doing and why, allowing for discussion and input from you, and providing metrics, statistics, and other documentation to prove that they really are doing what they say they’re doing. You should also be able to see what results you’re getting for each campaign, where your leads are coming from, which platforms are bringing you the most customers, and everything else you need to get the full picture of how your marketing is doing.
While you do have to do some of the work, including talking them through your current marketing, your goals, your KPIs, and where you want to be, a good digital marketing agency should be prepared to inform you about any aspects of marketing that are new to you. They should show you what they’re planning, educate you on why particular tactics work if you’re not sure, and leave you in no doubt that they are working hard to boost your business.
While this does depend, to a certain extent, on how much your budget is and what you’ve asked them to do, you should never feel like you have no idea what your agency is doing for you and if what they are doing is working.
4. Are They Even Using Data?
Digital marketing has to be data-driven. You have to know your real metrics before you start a new marketing campaign, what you’d like your results to be after the campaign, and what your final results are after you’ve finished it. It’s important to be able to see your statistics and know that everything is based on available data and not just guesswork.
It is the agency’s responsibility to track every important metric related to your digital marketing and to provide you with that information and good, clear, in-depth analysis of what it means. Yes, it’s great that you have more likes on Facebook, and that you have some nice comments and feedback on Twitter about your latest product or service release. Yes, that helps and it’s nice to hear, but you need to know that you’re at least getting what you’re paying for.
5. Investment or Expense?
You’ll likely pay a fixed amount per month, perhaps with a variable budget on top for paid ads and the like, or you might pay per project. Agencies charge a high rate for their experience and, of course, they have to cover their costs, including staff salaries, office rental, and so on. You’ll pay them for every service they provide for you, including social media management, content writing, website creation, ad management, managing your reviews, and more.
If you’re getting good results from your agency, you can happily look at what you’re paying as an investment. If you’re spending $5,000 on Facebook ads and getting back $20,000 in new work, of course, you’re going to keep doing it, and, of course, that really is a good investment. However, if you have no idea what you’re getting and the agency can’t demonstrate that they are bringing in new quality leads and a positive return on investment, naturally, you’re going to think of that as an expense, and a pretty unnecessary one, too!
6. They Don’t Keep Up to Date
In the last couple of years, customers have increasingly moved to shopping online due to the pandemic, with fewer face-to-face interactions. However, that was simply an acceleration of what was already beginning to happen. If your marketing agency wasn’t paying attention over that period, they could be providing services that don’t actually help you and that miss out on many new leads that you could have acquired if only they’d kept up with changes in marketing and adapted what they do to suit.
Marketers simply have to keep up to date with the latest trends and advancing technologies or they won’t stay relevant. And neither will their clients.
7. Not Enough Industry Knowledge
While the main marketing principles are the same no matter what you’re selling, if you’re working in a highly specialized area, such as pharma supplies, engineering, and home services contracting, your marketing agency must know enough about your industry and how it works to be able to help you market in a meaningful way. They need to understand the jargon, the way your clients think, how they prefer to be approached, and exactly what it is that they are selling.
While they’ll never be you and they’ll never know everything that you know about your business, they should at the very least have the right knowledge for your industry and be prepared to listen and learn from you about your business.
8. Opaque Pricing
While you probably know what you’re paying out each month, especially if you pay on retainer, do you know what you’re paying for? Can you say with certainty what is included and what isn’t and what your agency is actually doing with your money?
Not only might pricing be unclear, but you might also have a service agreement that might as well have been written in hieroglyphics.
If you genuinely don’t know what you’re paying for and you can’t get clear answers out of your agency, it’s time to switch.
9. Poor Customer Service
Another thing that should be clearly listed in your service agreement is how often your agency will keep you updated and when you will get a response to your questions and feedback. If they can’t pick up the phone for days on end or reply to your emails in a timely manner, that’s not a good sign that they care about your business.
You should receive excellent customer service and feel like a top priority client whether you’re the largest client they have or the very smallest.
10. You Don’t Have Any Control
Not only can’t you get through to speak to anybody and you have no idea what you’re paying for, but you also can’t control anything about your results and about how fast you achieve them. Any marketing agency worth its salt should be able to give you a clear picture of where you are and what your return on investment is, so that you can make good decisions in the other areas of your business. You should also be the one in control over how fast you grow and how quickly you achieve your goals.
Find a marketing agency that is responsive, highly motivated, and able to let you control your own agenda.
That’s a lot of potential frustration and wasted time and money, if you decide to use an agency for your digital marketing. However, there is another way:
Grow Your Business the Surefire Way
Home services contractors who partner with Surefire Local and utilize our all-in-one local marketing intelligence platform are able to:
- Control all marketing in one place: Leads, reviews, ads, content, email, directories, social media, photos, and more. Stop relying on duct-tape solutions that lead to frustrating results and eliminate data silos from your organization to gain a 360-degree perspective on ROI.
- Get a single sign-on view of literally everything with a data-driven marketing intelligence platform that seamlessly aligns your branding and messaging to online and offline touchpoints as people move through the customer journey.
- Work smarter and faster with a single platform that is easily accessible across devices and browsers and integrates with all the digital marketing tools SMBs rely on. This helps you work faster and from anywhere with a transparent view into all areas of your marketing. When you no longer have an opaque view of what’s working and what isn’t, you’re able to save precious time and maximize your throughput and velocity. This is the future of marketing.
- Unlock never-before-seen insights about your marketing. Surefire Local’s secure, all-in-one platform brings all your data into one centralized hub and generates marketing intelligence reports to help you identify patterns, trends, and channels worth investing in. By enabling the power of modern marketing and leveraging customer data in this way, you’re able to find more ready-to-buy leads faster, helping your business grow more quickly and profitably.
Surefire Local’s data-driven marketing intelligence platform, with built-in AI, guides your business forward. By eliminating data silos and analyzing customer attribute information, customer interactions, and the results of those actions, the platform generates personalized insights and recommendations to help you find more look-a-like customers. This helps you identify new opportunities within your marketing and focus your efforts on the exact activities and channels that’ll attract your ideal customers. This way you never waste any time or budget on ineffective tactics.
You’re never alone with Surefire Local. You’re not just given the software that’ll help you grow your business profitably. We become a part of your team and your biggest cheerleader. We also help you empower others in your organization to participate in marketing effectively, so all teams work towards a shared goal. Every Surefire Local customer gets expert guidance from one of our experienced Digital Marketing Strategists. They’ll work to help you utilize the software, make the right decisions and get the most out of your digital marketing efforts.
Why not book a demo today to see how we can help take your business to the next level and get the return on investment you deserve?