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Three Red Flags When Hiring A Marketing Agency!

Hiring a Marketing Agency isn’t always easy

We’ll start this off by saying this: there are good agencies, and there are bad agencies. Some agencies genuinely care and are excited about your success, while others only care about the paycheck. It’s not an easy road to navigate, but we’re here to help! Hiring a digital marketing agency can be stressful; sometimes, you may need to take a leap of faith.

But, there are things you can look out for that can make your decision easier, saving you time, and, more importantly, money. So, without further ado, here are three red flags to look out for when hiring a digital marketing agency.


You know that friend who always says yes to everything no matter what you say? Yeah, watch out for them. If you go through a call and the agency on the other end never says no to a single thing you ask, that’s a red flag right there. Agencies (usually) aren’t miracle workers and have their limits. Sure, you can find bigger agencies that cover a broad spectrum of services like PR, marketing, event planning, digital and traditional advertising, and more, but the more services they offer, the bigger the price tag. Even if they can “do it all,” that doesn’t mean they’ll be great at everything. If they’re yes-ing you to death, it probably means that they’re in it for the money and not your success.

Our recommendation? Find what you’re looking for, and start your search from there. If one agency doesn’t cover all the bases you need, you can look for others or choose multiple agencies that specialize in certain areas to meet your needs.

Lack of Clarity in Reporting

Marketing is about results. You’re paying for the service, which is supposed to generate leads, sales, downloads, etc. When comparing digital marketing agencies, a big red flag is an agency’s lack of ability to convey the results they have garnered for other clients.

If you’re investing in an agency, you want to ensure they’ve consistently gotten results for clients like you. Would you hire a contractor that wouldn’t show you a portfolio? What about going to a doctor who won’t tell you where they went to medical school? It’s the same concept when hiring an agency.

An agency should also be willing to show you the unaltered results of your campaigns. For example, we provide our clients with a custom Google Data Studio dashboard that allows them to see their results up to the minute, whenever they want. Why? We value transparency and believe clients’ should have access to their data whenever they want it. We also have case studies on our website with hard numbers from our campaigns so people can see what we’ve done.

Our recommendation? Take a look at their website. Find a case study! We’re not saying don’t give people a chance, but if you’re on a call with them, and they can’t back their claims up, run!

High Agency Turnover

As we said before, the mark of a good agency is one that genuinely cares about your success. Marketing agencies aren’t a mythical group like the Knights of the Round Table; they’re a collective of humans working on your business to ensure you succeed.

If the people who work at the agency you’re looking to hire don’t like working at that agency, it’s safe to say the work will suffer. If they’re burnt out, not respected, overworked, or generally unhappy at work, watch out. Again, you are paying money for this so you should pick an agency where people are excited to go to work!

Our recommendation? Read some employee reviews! Glassdoor is a perfect place to start. Additionally, look for a team bio page on their website and cross reference those bios in your call. If there are 3 or 4 employees who aren’t there anymore, that can be very telling. Sure, things happen and people leave but if you begin to see a pattern, you might want to watch out.


Boom! Bonus tip because we want to make sure you choose the right agency! If you don’t feel right about the agency you’re trying to hire, just don’t do it! Easy as that. Again, these are humans working on your business. If you’re not feeling a connection with them from a human to human level during the sales process, that’s probably pretty telling. Sure, people are different and not everybody is going to get along, but if you’re getting “bad vibes,” as the kids say these days, just don’t do it!


Hiring a digital marketing agency is not easy and it’s very easy to get pulled and manipulated in many different directions, by people who may not always have your best interests at heart. Watch out for overpromising, lack of clarity in their reporting, and a high agency turnover rate! Make sure you’re honest and open with your prospective agency to avoid wasting time and money!

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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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