Red Flags to Beware of When Hiring a Marketing Agency

When your digital marketing agency says they have a SECRET MARKETING METHOD but won’t show you their portfolio.  :triangular_flag_on_post:


Trusting a marketing agency to grow your business is a big decision. You wouldn’t choose just anyone to run your company, and it’s the same idea with your marketing.

You might run into roadblocks along the way trying to find the best agency that’s right for you, especially if you don’t have experience in digital marketing. While you may think you’ve found a company that ticks all the right boxes, you could be missing some serious red flags. 

So how do you know who’s the real deal and who isn’t?




1. The agency has poor communication.

This is a major red flag and often the main reason why clients switch agencies. 

You should never feel like you’re chasing an agency to get back to you with answers. Avoid wasting your time, effort and money, by doing your best to gauge an agency’s communication style early on. 

How quickly do they respond to you after connecting with them about their service? Are they constantly late for meetings without letting you know beforehand? These are tiny hints the agency is giving you that could indicate a larger problem you may face down the road. 

A great agency will communicate with you regularly and clearly state what you can expect from them from the beginning. 


2. The agency claims to have a secret marketing method. 

There is no secret sauce to marketing. A winning strategy takes time to develop, and there are specific steps all high-performing agencies follow. 

So, if an agency tells you they’ve cracked the code to business growth with their secret marketing method, that’s a red flag to beware of. Make sure you ask how they achieved their success and look at their portfolio of previous case studies. If they don’t have one to share, that’s red flag #2. 

A reputable agency will help you identify the right marketing approach for your business and offer proven results to back up their recommendations. 


3. The agency doesn’t talk about strategy.

Every marketer knows great marketing starts with a well-planned marketing strategy. If you’re connecting with an agency that completely skips over strategy development, that’s a red flag. If the agency jumps right into selling you a service without understanding what challenges you face, take it as a sign they’re not truly interested in helping you grow your business.  

An agency that genuinely understands marketing knows consistency across your entire digital marketing strategy is key to crafting an approach that works. 

A reputable agency will begin its process by researching your company, identifying clear areas for growth and then crafting a personalized strategy that considers all aspects of your business needs. 


4. The agency guarantees specific results.

Any agency that promises specific results is only trying to sell you. There is no guarantee to marketing efforts, and a great agency will tell you this from the beginning. Marketing is all about testing what works best for each client, tracking data, and optimizing for success. An exceptional marketing agency will be confident in its abilities but won’t offer outlandish promises like a #1 rank on Google. 

Look for an agency with a strong understanding of reporting, tracking and analyzing data to make sure they are continuously optimizing their strategies for maximum results. 


5. The agency overuses buzzwords 

Generally, agencies that overdo it with the industry jargon lack confidence about what they’re talking about. Beware of agencies that use over-the-top terminology without adding any real value to their service offering. 

An agency worth working with will explain even the most complex ideas in simple terms anyone can understand. 


6. The agency isn’t marketed well

How can you trust an agency that doesn’t practice what they preach? It’s easier to have confidence in an agency that markets itself well because you’ll have an idea of what you can expect from them. 

Let’s say you’re looking to have your website redesigned. First, take a look at the agency’s website. Are you impressed? If you answered yes, that’s a great sign. 

Before working with an agency, it’s vital to do your own research on the company. That way, you’ll be able to assess the quality of their work and know what you can expect. 


As Canada’s premier digital marketing agency, Candybox has a reputation for delivering marketing that works. We make the web sweet with an even sweeter team of digital marketing experts. So if you’re looking to grow your business with a stellar marketing strategy, reach out to us! We’d love to chat with you about how we can take your marketing to the next level. 

Looking for some more insights? Check out our latest blog posts today; audio branding for your business, how to build an effective social media strategy and 5 mistakes you’re making with Google My Business

Candybox has been named on the 2021 list of Best Place to Work for Today’s Youth!