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5 Tell-Tale Signs Your Digital Marketing Agency Is Unreliable | By Google Agency Absolute Digital 🏆

by Absolute Digital

Engaging a digital marketing agency is the right move if you have tried digital marketing campaigns for yourself but seem to be stuck at the same ad performance and want to improve your ROI. However, choosing a reliable agency can be a tough and tedious process. Here at Absolute Digital, we serve all our clients with an unparalleled digital marketing campaign and after-sales service, not just for big spenders. To avoid wasting time, money and an unpleasant experience, we have created this list of tell-tale signs to help you avoid bad digital marketing agencies.

Let's dive in...

1. Over-Promising & Under-Delivering

Without a doubt, this is one of the most common unethical practises not just in our industry, but throughout all industries. These include guarantees that the agencies give to clients before they sign the agreement and then comes up with excuses such as "you're not spending enough ad budget" or "Let's give it more time".

The main reason why some agencies do this is that they have to hit a certain ad budget spent in order to retain or achieve certain milestones set by the advertising platform such as Google Premier Partners or Facebook Partners.

In order to qualify as a Premier Partner, an agency must continuously meet Google’s requirements in three areas: certification, ad spend, and performance. - Perrill

2. No Contracts or Agreements

Most commonly practised by freelancers, although some agencies still do this, is when they sell you a form of promise or service without a written agreement. This way, you are not protected as a client and they agency can amend or neglect any objectives in which you as a business owner wants to achieve before engaging them.

With a little bit of common sense, you should not engage with any other companies without a written agreement or contract, no matter how good their reputation is (even if they are your personal friend).

3. Pressure Selling/No Time Given To Consider

Sales tactic 101 is to pressure your customer into buying (or in this case signing an agreement) with your agency with no or little time to consider their decision. Signs that your agency is pressure selling you is when they bring out a contract during the first meeting or if they are unwilling to send you a proposal for consideration. Sometimes, these contacts can also be handwritten which is a sign that it is or can be amended at the last minute.

A professional agency should be confident enough to share their proposals and strategies with prospective clients and give them a reasonable time to consider all available information so that their clients can make an informed decision.

4. Little or Repetitive Case Studies Used

Another common practice to coax potential customers is to show the successful examples of ad campaigns that are performing well. However, some agencies take this to the next level by only showing you the good examples, neglecting all failures.

To accurately judge an agency, you should look at their average ad performance in your industries instead of only the survivors' biased samples.

This will give you a better idea as to how your campaign will fair when the agency takes over and also set a more realistic expectation.

5. Genuine Reviews

Look out for genuine reviews of the agency before you decide whether or not to work with them on your ad campaigns. Many agencies will cheery pick the best reviews and list them on their websites or advertising platforms. However, to see genuine reviews, be sure to look out for non-biased client's reviews left on platforms such as Google Reviews where you can see clearly what real customers are saying about their experiences with this agency.


Top digital marketing agencies should be transparent, honest, and have an overall great experience for all customers, regardless of ad budget spending amount, and a great reputation all around. When in doubt, feel free to seek a second opinion before engaging that agency or if you have some time, do try out digital marketing campaigns for yourself by reading our resources page to learn more on how you can DIY a basic digital marketing campaign. Only once you have understood how these campaigns work and want to improve results, then you should engage a reliable digital marketing agency to help you achieve your goals and objectives.

We sincerely hope you find these articles valuable to your business and if it has helped you in understanding how businesses marketing their brand online, please let us know in the comment section and leave us a like below. If you'd like to find read more articles just like this, you can check out our free resources page here.

Thank you for your time we really hope you've enjoyed this article. To contact a top digital marketing expert, you may reach out to us at hello@absolutedigital.sg or +65 8829 1290.

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