4 broken promises agencies make to brands

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First, my credentials: Over the last seven years, I have worked a lot of digital marketing agency jobs. I joined the industry doing entry-level research, and many years later I co-founded and helped build an agency of my own. I have worked as a freelance consultant on both the creative and technical sides. And I have directly experienced most aspects of the digital marketing agency world. I have both made and received broken promises.

4 broken promises agencies make to brands

The symbiotic relationship between brands and their agencies is a complex one, full of jargon and the constant rustle of asses being covered. Agencies make outlandish promises to their clients because the clients essentially ask to be lied-to. The agency doesn't want to get fired, so they tell the client what the client wants to hear. The client often reports to a manager who sets impossible goals. So the client depends on the promises that the agency tells him, so that when accountability rolls-around, there is somebody else to blame.

So what are the most common lies?



Obi-Wan Plunkett
Obi-Wan Plunkett August 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

good points... but.... i've worked at some very professional agencies..
(and not saying you aren't right.. just not 100% of the time.)

"We'll gladly work with your other agencies."

Agree the gladly part is a lie.. but sometimes the other agency is more qualified, sometimes you have to give them rope to hang themselves with... better to be professional and put on the "{gladly}" attitude.

"We'll watch trends so you don't have to."

this may not be true some places.. but it's my job to do this specifically.. it took 17 years of doing SEO and social media to get the R & D job but i'm a search scientist.. i'm still doing the work, but mostly observing Google and making sugesstions.. p.s. they call me the Nostradamus of Google.. so i guess i'm doing it right. (crosses fingers)

i do think, interviewing depts as separate agencies is the great thing... and working with one agency for multiple facets works well.. i have exposure to 8 different campaigns in different areas and i can assist them all.. this is a very good thing.

Piyush Aggarwal
Piyush Aggarwal August 28, 2012 at 1:10 PM

strange and interesting. strange because i wrote something very similar "6 steps on how to select an online marketing agency" http://bit.ly/NzSuTM

I thought the problem is prevailing in India only and global counterparts in US/ UK / Singapore are slightly better off considering the clients are lot streamlined on digital platform and hence they do the filteration during the pitch itself.

Very valid point you have made in the article, when you mentioned of agencies not updating their websites or not staying in touch with the news about the brand. Recently I met a "so called" social media agency who haven't even updated their own FB page for ages which highlights the irony in the entire situation.