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Top Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 28/12/217 min read
Top Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid

Table of Contents Why Is Digital Marketing Necessary Today? Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid Key Takeaways Conclusion FAQs We often hear businesses and marketing agencies talk about measuring digital marketing effectiveness for improved sales. While some entirely dismiss digital marketing as a fancy trend with no real value, others think it’s a purely technical… Continue reading Top Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid

Table of Contents

  • Why Is Digital Marketing Necessary Today?
  • Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

We often hear businesses and marketing agencies talk about measuring digital marketing effectiveness for improved sales. While some entirely dismiss digital marketing as a fancy trend with no real value, others think it’s a purely technical subject that will remain beyond their comprehension. And yet others think it’s a subject relevant only to big businesses. With so many myths surrounding digital marketing, it becomes imperative to understand the concept down to the tiniest detail. 

So, what’s digital marketing? In simple words, it’s the use of digital channels to realize marketing objectives. It uses the internet and digital technologies such as mobile phones, computers, and other digital media to promote products and services. Essentially, it’s a form of targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing that uses digital technologies to reach viewers, turn them into customers, and then retain them for repeated business.

Before the advent of digital marketing, businesses used traditional methods of marketing. These included advertising on billboards, print media, television and radio commercials, business cards, and other related tools and techniques. However, traditional marketing policies were limited in terms of reach and the ability to affect customers’ purchasing behavior. Besides, the more expensive of these options were often beyond small businesses’ affordability. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is for every budget. With the right digital marketing agency, your marketing efforts will find direction. Meaning, you will create better ads, and measuring digital marketing campaigns will be a breeze.

Why Is Digital Marketing Necessary Today?

For marketing effectiveness in the digital era, exploring the digital space is imperative. Digital marketing is becoming increasingly crucial as businesses seek new ways to market and grow their business. Digital marketing is, in fact, an asset that can help businesses establish their authority online. According to data published on WebFX, 89% of marketers believe that SEO is effective for marketing. Methods like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, on the other hand, can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. From these statistics, it can clearly be deduced that digital marketing investments pay off, and companies of all sizes can benefit from their digital marketing efforts.

Now, the question is—why does digital marketing work? The answer to this is simple: because every day, billions of people use the internet. The internet has, in fact, become an integral part of human life. Starting from networking through social media and purchasing products to reading the morning newspaper, we almost live our lives online. Not having an online presence as a business means missing out on the opportunity to be found out by the right people. 

If you are still wondering why digital marketing is important, then here is a solid reason: your competitors are already using it. They are creating social profiles, optimizing their websites for SEO, and running paid ads to reach new leads. Regardless of how influential your competitors are, digital marketing can help you by leveling the playing field. In fact, with the right digital marketing strategies, you can beat the likes of Amazon in search engine rankings. How? SEO ranks sites in search results based on relevance, which means no company can buy its way to the top. They have to optimize their pages in the same way that a mom-and-pop business would. This puts small and medium businesses on an equal footing with industry leaders.

What more? Well, imagine being able to sell directly to people who are genuinely interested in your products. Digital marketing can help you achieve that too—with streamlined digital marketing efforts, you can reach interested leads directly. Not just that, digital marketing also allows for easy tracking of your campaigns’ effectiveness. Your digital marketing partner will make measuring digital marketing effectiveness easy with the right tools, and help you make changes in line with your desired results. The best part is that digital marketing can provide a fantastic return on investment (ROI).

Outsourced Marketing Red Flags to Avoid

While some businesses have in-house digital marketing teams, others outsource their digital marketing work. You can choose either, based on your resources and the needs of your business. If you plan on outsourcing your digital marketing efforts, here are a few red flags to avoid. 

Gaps in communication


This is a huge red flag and the biggest reason why clients switch agencies. Communication is vital because it brings everyone on the same page. So, it is unacceptable to have to chase down an agency for every little thing. It’s also not a good sign if no one at the agency seems willing to take responsibility. For desired marketing effectiveness, it’s important that you hire a responsible marketing agency that pays heed to you and accepts your inputs.

It should be clear from the start that you know what to expect from your digital marketing partner in terms of work quality, promptness, support, etc. Also, you must know who your contact point throughout the project would be. Additionally, keep an eye out for hints. Sometimes, little things can signal larger problems. For instance, if your agency people are constantly late for meetings without any heads-up, they probably don’t value your time.

Poor reporting is another sign they don’t prioritize open lines of communication.

You can prevent yourself from being exploited by an unworthy marketing agency by identifying flaws in the communication process early on. This will not only save you time but also a lot of capital. So, communication is one of the key digital marketing performance metrics that should never be overlooked.

Unusually low prices

It’s not difficult to find marketing agencies that offer their services at throwaway prices. Although clients might be lured by the idea of being able to save money, partnering with such an agency doesn’t always work.

Let’s try to understand why. Some people prefer to spend on costly shoes that they know will last a lifetime, while others purchase cheap shoes and then replace them every few months after they wear out. Which shoe shopper do you think experiences less hassle? The former, of course! The most important key performance indicators (KPI) such as traffic and brand awareness can only be achieved by hiring a good marketing agency without worrying about the fee they charge. 

Also, note that cheap isn’t always profitable. Have you ever wondered how some agencies are able to offer their services at incredibly low prices? By cutting corners! They are probably outsourcing large amounts of their work or handling multiple projects at the same time, without attaching importance to any. Their secret to low pricing might lie in their preference for client volume over client retention. Remember, if the price is unusually low for a product or service, there has to be something that the makers are compromising on.

It’s a poorly marketed agency

Trusting an agency that is well-marketed is always easier because you know what you can expect for your project. Regardless of whether you found the agency through a search engine ad or a social media campaign, it makes sense to ask yourself if you found their copy and creativity appealing. An agency that has captivated your attention with its ads is undeniably a strong contender on your list of options. A company with a good SEO ranking and organic social media feeds proves that its managers and creative team are above par and highly invested. And since they are the people who would work for you, you can hire the agency in question without doubts and apprehensions.

Inquire if they have partner status. Partnering with Facebook, WooCommerce, and other large trusted companies is often a sign that an agency is worth hiring. Facebook says that only those companies that meet their highest standards of capability and performance are granted the Facebook Marketing Partner badge. An agency with a partner status can, therefore, be a safer choice. Note that some of the most important digital marketing metrics such as search engine ranking will seem unachievable without a strong digital marketing team by your side.

Tunnel vision

According to ZenBusiness, 85% of all businesses suffer from a “disease” called tunnel vision, or the inability to focus on the big picture.

If your agency is only taking measures to improve your search engine results or is simply redoing your blogs, they are not implementing a comprehensive marketing solution. Instead of trying to focus on your business’s holistic growth, they are probably focusing on completing the job at hand fast, so that they can move on to the next client. 

A marketing agency that truly understands your business will tailor solutions in line with your goals. For instance, they will examine if your website is consistent with your social media; and will recognize that your copy is as important as your SEO. A good agency will examine the area of digital marketing in its entirety. And no, this isn’t upselling. This just shows they care about your business and understand the importance of consistency in marketing. 

To plan the most important KPIs in digital marketing and then to undertake marketing activities keeping them in view, you will need the assistance of a digital marketing agency that cares to focus on the big picture. Remember, ineffective campaigns bring nothing to the table. And since measuring digital marketing campaigns on the basis of effectiveness is the norm, having effective campaigns in your marketing plan is indispensable. And to develop effective campaigns, you require comprehensive support from your agency. Talk to them, and inquire how they can help you. The more the number of areas they can cover, the better it is.

Poor client retention

Customer acquisition is important, but customer retention is one of the KPIs digital marketing agencies are often judged on. It’s a huge achievement for agencies to have clients coming back to them to avail of their services. It is an indication that they are doing things right.

An agency that does not receive repeat business might have serious flaws and is least likely to last long. However, it’s not easy for customers to find out the true client retention rate of an agency. Here’s what you can do to find out about an agency’s customer retention rate:

  • You can check their social profiles, especially LinkedIn. Are there any positive interactions with clients or endorsements? If yes, it’s a good sign.
  • Ask around. Do you know anyone in your sector or the marketing industry who is familiar with this agency? What is their opinion?
  • Check out online reviews to see if their previous clients expressed their willingness to work with them again.

Remember, client retention is one of the biggest digital marketing performance metrics out there. And no amount of effort you put into finding the true customer retention rate of an agency can be too much.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital marketing is the use of digital channels to realize marketing objectives.
  • Traditional marketing strategies were restricted in their reach and ability to influence customers’ buying behavior.
  • With digital marketing, businesses can establish a great deal of authority online.
  • Digital marketing enables easy tracking of a campaign’s effectiveness.
  • Some prominent outsourced marketing red flags include poor client retention, narrow vision, low service cost, communication gaps and the like. 


The above-mentioned outsourced marketing red flags will assist you in making an informed decision when choosing a digital marketing agency. With the right knowledge, you will be able to hire professionals that will provide actionable suggestions, in addition to a tailored approach to handling tasks.

An agency trying to sell you an off-the-rack solution is a strict no-no. Why? They are working without factoring in your unique goals and challenges as a business. Remember, the digital marketing landscape is highly dynamic and is constantly evolving. Hence, you can’t take a chance on an agency you won’t be able to pin your hopes on.


1. What is outsourced marketing?

When you entrust a third party with your business marketing activities, it’s called outsourced marketing.

2. When should marketing be outsourced?

Marketing should be outsourced when your revenue needs a boost, your current staff is overworked, your marketing strategies have fallen apart, you are highly time-pressed, or are disappointed with your marketing results.

3. What are some of the most important outsourced marketing red flags?

Some prominent red flags to keep an eye out for include poor communication, unusually cheap services, a narrow marketing vision, and poor client retention. A marketing agency that shows these characteristics are better kept at an arm’s length.

4. What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves the use of the internet and other digital technologies for the promotion of products and services.

5. How to measure digital marketing effectiveness?

The most important digital marketing metrics include web traffic, average time spent per visit, customer retention, revenue per client, etc.

6. What are some advantages of outsourcing marketing?

You can control costs and personnel, you can run your business on better strategies, access to the right marketing tools and techniques, increased efficiency, and better reach.

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