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  • Writer's pictureLeedr

What's an "Agency Audit" and why you should use it.

Updated: May 15, 2023

When you decide to work with a digital marketing agency, it's crucial to vet them thoroughly. An agency audit is essentially a process of assessing and evaluating an agency's ability to deliver results for your business. It involves a thorough review of their experience, skills, and portfolio of work to ensure that they are the right fit for your business. In this blog post, we will discuss an agency audit checklist and why it's important for you should use it before partnering with an agency.

Factors to consider when selecting an agency:

Selecting a digital marketing agency can be a daunting task, but there are several key factors that businesses should consider to ensure they are partnering with the right agency. These factors include:

Experience - The experience an agency has in the industry is critical when selecting an agency. A seasoned agency will have a better understanding of your business needs and industry, making it easier to deliver results. Ensure that the agency has experience working with businesses similar to yours and can demonstrate their knowledge of your industry.

Portfolio - An agency's portfolio of work is a reflection of its capabilities and can give businesses an idea of what to expect. Review the agency's portfolio to see if they have delivered work that aligns with your business objectives. Additionally, ask for case studies and references from previous clients to get a better understanding of their experience.

Costs - Costs are a critical factor when selecting an agency, and businesses should consider the total cost of their services, including any additional services that may be required. An agency with low costs may seem appealing, but businesses should also consider the quality of work and level of experience. Request a detailed breakdown of costs to ensure there are no hidden fees or unexpected costs.

Communication - Communication is vital when working with an agency, and businesses need to consider the level of communication they will receive. Who will be the main point of contact, and what are the communication channels available? Having a clear understanding of the agency's communication process can help avoid any misunderstandings and ensure smooth communication.

Strategy - An agency's strategy is essential when selecting an agency. Businesses should consider whether the agency has a strategic approach to delivering results. Ask about their process for developing strategies, how they measure results, and their approach to optimising campaigns.

Common challenges businesses face when working with agencies:

When working with a digital marketing agency, you may encounter several challenges, which can impact their ability to achieve their marketing goals. Here are some common challenges businesses face when working with agencies:

Finding the right fit for your business - Finding the right agency partner that understands your business goals and can deliver results can be challenging. It requires a thorough vetting process to ensure that the agency has the necessary skills, experience, and resources to meet your business objectives.

Discovering an agency is less experienced than they claim to be - Some agencies may exaggerate their experience and expertise to win your business, but later fall short of delivering the desired results. This can lead to delays in project timelines, wasted resources, and lost opportunities for the business.

Misaligned expectations - Misaligned expectations between the business and the agency can also be a challenge. For example, a business may have unrealistic expectations regarding the results that the agency can deliver. On the other hand, an agency may overpromise and underdeliver, which can lead to disappointment and mistrust.

Budget constraints - Budget constraints can be a challenge when working with an agency. Sometimes, a business may not have the necessary resources to execute a project effectively. It is essential to set clear expectations and realistic goals upfront, based on the available budget.

Integration with internal teams - Integrating an agency with internal teams can be challenging, especially if the agency is working remotely. It is essential to have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities and establish an effective collaboration process between internal teams and the agency.

Benefits of conducting an agency audit:

Conducting an agency audit offers several benefits for businesses, including:

1. A better understanding of the agency you're about to partner with - An audit helps businesses gain a better understanding of an agency's experience, skills, and portfolio of work.

2. Quickly eliminating agencies that aren't a good fit - An audit helps businesses identify red flags early and quickly eliminate agencies that are not suitable for their business.

3. Not wasting time working with an agency that can't deliver results - An audit can help businesses avoid costly mistakes by ensuring they partner with an agency that can deliver results.

Points to cover when doing an agency audit.

You should be aware of red flags when working with an agency, including:

1. Lack of experience - An agency with no prior experience working with businesses similar to yours or in your industry may not be the right fit.

2. High churn rates - An agency with high churn rates may indicate that they are not delivering results and are constantly signing new clients to make up for lost clients.

3. Dealing with a junior or inexperienced project manager - Having a junior or inexperienced project manager assigned to your account can be a red flag. They may lack the experience and knowledge required to deliver results for your business.

4. Ongoing mistakes with copy, images, placements, or budget overspending - Continual mistakes with ad copy, images, ad placements, or budget overspending may indicate that the agency is not delivering the quality of work you require.

5. Poor communication and unresponsiveness - Lack of communication and unresponsiveness can be frustrating for businesses. Ensure that the agency has a communication plan in place and that they are responsive to your inquiries.

6. Using jargon and not explaining concepts - Digital marketing can be complex, and businesses may not understand all the concepts. An agency that uses jargon and does not explain concepts can be a red flag, and businesses should look for an agency that can communicate effectively.

7. Overpromising and underdelivering - Agencies that overpromise and underdeliver may not be the right fit. Look for an agency that is honest about what they can deliver and can provide realistic timelines for results.

8. Using black hat SEO techniques - Black hat SEO techniques violate search engine guidelines and can result in your website being penalized or banned. Ensure that the agency uses white hat SEO techniques that follow search engine guidelines.

In summary, you need to be aware of red flags when working with an agency. Lack of experience, high churn rates, and unresponsive communication are just a few red flags to watch out for. Ensure that the agency has the experience and knowledge to deliver results for your business and can communicate effectively to avoid any misunderstandings. By being aware of these red flags, you can select the right agency partner and avoid costly mistakes.


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