Rebuilding Trust After Being Burned by a Bad Digital Marketer

Man and woman shaking hands in office.Have you been burned by an unpleasant experience with a digital marketing agency? We understand. We’ve had many clients who have been cautious to get back into a marketing partnership after being let down by another agency. It can be hard to rebuild trust after a marketer fails to meet your expectations or simply takes the money and runs. Below are tips we have for both agencies and once-bit businesses on how we’ve coaxed clients back into a fruitful partnership.

Test the Waters with One Important Project

A great way for both sides to figure out if a relationship will work is with a singular project. Many relationships sour when the business is uncertain exactly what they are paying for, therefore pick one big project that has a clear deliverable and will benefit you. Some examples below:

  • A New Website: Many of our clients start off with us for our web development skills, and then increase their retainers for content and social media services.
  • New Product Launch: Have a new product, a new location, or a special event or anniversary? Work with a marketing agency to bring attention to this event.
  • New Brand/Rebranding: Looking to change your name, start a hospitality group, or show off a merger or acquisition? Work with a marketing firm for the best PR and SEO.
  • A New Social Media Platform: Looking to test the waters of a social media platform? Have your marketing firm run a fixed-length campaign with social media posting and advertising

Ask for a Marketing Plan After the Proposal

There are normally two stages to a relationship with a marketing agency: the proposal and the plan. The proposal is a document pitching services aimed at your needs and what the agency thinks it can help with. This is the “what” of agency assistance. After the proposal is agreed on, the agency is paid to produce a full marketing plan: this is the “how” of how an agency can help. This plan is much more detailed and lays out what the marketing plan will do in full detail, including steps along the way. Paying for and reviewing this document will help both of you get on the same page of exactly what services will be provided.

Employ the Platinum Rule in the Partnership

You know the golden rule: “treat others the way you wish to be treated.” While this rule works okay, the best interpretation of this concept is the platinum rule: “treat others the way they wish to be treated.” To quote Dale Carnegie from his bestselling novel How to Win Friends & Influence People:

Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”

Be Prepared for the New Agency to Dig Up Skeletons

The last thing is to realize that you’ll draw comparisons between the old agency and the new one. We stress it’s important not to paint both with the same brush, especially when the new agency is working on a similar project. Often through this work, the new digital marketing agency will uncover the skeletons left by the old one, from poorly secured websites to gaps in the online presence of your company. Both sides need to stay calm and not blame each other for the shortcomings of a previous agency and work together to solve any issues that come up because of it.

Ready to get back in the saddle? Contact Vision Advertising. We’re a full-service marketing agency, specializing in internet marketing – from websites to social media and everything in-between. Contact us today to start the discussion and find out if partnering with a digital marketing agency is right for you.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by his background, Alex writes “social media content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to whitepapers and beyond. In addition, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision’s clients, along with social media advertising for others. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, compiles tabletop roleplaying system conversions, and cooks a mean Chicken and Dumplings avec Peas. A videogame enthusiast, he is also developing his first video game with the startup game studio, Pretty Weird. He is terrible with plants*.

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