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Biggest Red Flags In a Marketing Agency Contract

Wait! Don’t sign that contract just yet. 

Before you sign on with a marketing agency, there are a few red flags to keep in mind. Here are 6 things to look out for, and to steer clear of, when signing on with an agency. 

1. Annual Commitments With No Way Out

Sometimes a relationship with an agency just doesn’t work out. Maybe the results aren’t there, or your business took a hit and the business is forced to cut costs. Either way, clients should be able to walk away at any time if that’s what’s best for the business. Agencies are meant to help a business grow, so if their contract isn’t written to help a business grow, steer clear! 

2. The Ownership Of Creative Assets

If an agency handles creative work, the client should be the owner of the finished product. Some agencies rescind access to those assets if the relationship ends. When assets are owned by the client, it allows them to continue with their current branding, as well as continue to use those assets when the relationship ends. 

3. The Ownership of Ad Accounts

Unfortunately, some agencies don’t end relationships amicably. If the client doesn’t have ownership of ad accounts, it’s possible that when contracts end or relations are severed, the agency will refuse to give ownership of the Meta and Google Ad accounts they were running. To prevent having to start fresh and lose all previous efforts, a contract should ensure that the client owns their ad accounts. If the details of the contract don’t explicitly state who owns assets and accounts, hold off on signing and get some clarification! 

4. Hidden Costs/Fees 

Clients should know all of the pricing details upfront. Some agencies use software, outsource contractors, or charge for production and require clients to cover the cost. When signing, inquire about additional fees and percentages. Contracts are written in detail to make sure clients have every detail, and maybe even some examples, of any additional costs and fees that may arise. 

5. Unclear Scope of Work

A client should know exactly what they’re paying an agency to do each month. This is a two-way street, meaning the client and the agency must be held accountable when setting expectations and goals to prevent any chaos when forming strategies.

6. Lack of Confidentiality Statements and Protocols

Chances are clients will be sharing some customer or patient data with a marketing agency, and they need to know what the agency is doing to keep that data safe. Before you put pen to paper, find out if the agency’s staff is HIPAA compliant, and what training they’ve done to understand the importance of confidentiality. 

Feeling confused about details in your agency contract? Get in touch. We’re here to help! 

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You’re paying good money to your marketing agency each month. Are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth? If you’re not 100% certain, it’s time to get a second opinion.

*This is free. A consultation with DSM costs nothing. We want your trust and we want your business. We aim to show you just how much better your marketing can be with a true set of experts at the controls. DSM does not utilize sleazy sales tactics or even salespeople. We only have experts that prove our value and get results.

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