5 Questions To Ask Your Digital Agency

All too often we see potential clients working with an existing agency, unsure if what they are being advised to do is the right thing to do. Another gripe is that whilst the agency may be doing their job fine, there may be other factors not necessarily controlled by the agency that could help performance. As a marketer, and a client, you would want to know what these could be.

To help, we have drafted 5 questions for you to ask your digital agency about your current digital spend. The aim is to walk out of that meeting with clearly defined “next steps” to drive incremental performance month on month. The aim here is to get every pound to work as hard as possible, and as such, direct every pound in the right direction for maximum return on investment. These questions should be asked about each digital channel. As a simplistic example, say you only operate 3 channels, Paid Search, Paid Social and SEO. These 5 questions should be asked per each channel every meeting. Let’s continue the example as if we were talking about a paid search campaign in google adwords.


Is this working?

Here, we’re asking the agency their opinion, hopefully backed up by numbers. Is this campaign meeting the metrics we set at the beginning of the campaign (assuming you set metrics, if you didnt, set some then measure against them in your next meeting with this question.). Don’t be fooled here by marketing jargon, try to establish clear metrics that cannot be argued with, ROI is normally the best metric here assuming you have proper attribution in place.

Example: Your metric is ROI and you set a level of £10 for every £1 spent.

Not Working: Your currently at £4 for every £1 spent

Working: Your currently at £14 for every £1 spent


Why isn’t it working? OR Why is it working?

Depending on the answer to the first question, you would then need to ask “Why isnt it working?” or “Why is it working?”. Why isn’t it working helps you pinpoint what needs to change to make this campaign work (see question 3).

Not Working Example: The agency identifies two factors, a low ad position due to low CPC bids which stems from a low budget. The second factor is a poor performing landing page in terms of conversion rates.

Working Example: Is there anything that can be seen to be making a significant contribution to the campaign working that could then be applied to other channels to improve their success. An example here would be a PPC offer of 30% off, or a PPC specific landing page that is converting at a higher rate than other pages. Perhaps the offer or landing page could also be applied to another channel like email marketing to squeeze further success from that digital marketing spend.


What can we do to make it work?

The agency identified the budget being too small and landing page conversion rates being too low.

Not Working Example: Okay, assuming we cant give additional budget. Push the agency to make suggestions on how to spend the same budget but overcome the problem. A likely suggestion would be to only bid during certain hours of the day that prior data has proven to be more likely to convert. Thus spreading the budget over a shorter period of time allowing you increase your bids during this time.

The second factor was the landing page, what do they think is causing the landing page to perform poorly? Too many questions on the lead form? Not mobile responsive when the majority of traffic is? Push them for answers here to walk away with an action plan on fixing the two problems. If needs be, ask what can be done to workout why it is not performing, perhaps heatmapping or mouse flow software can be installed.


If it won’t work why are we spending money on it?

If the agency have said, or in your opinion, a campaign isn’t working, and the reason for it not working as identified by the agency has no real resolution, then ask them. Why are we spending money on this campaign? The answers to your previous questions have qualified the campaign as a “no hoper” so cut the spend, put it elsewhere and boost your ROI.


Where else can we spend that money with better ROI?

Based on all of the above, ask the agency where else we can spend the now saved money from the failing campaign for maximum ROI. Based on their suggestion, if you agree, set some metrics and ask them to action that. Start from question 1 on this channel in the next meeting…


Repeat these questions at every meeting for every channel to continually sqeeze incremental performance out of your digital marketing efforts. 

Expect your agency to become a little worried with this aggressive approach to driving performance improvements, if this approach worries them in any way then ask yourself why you are spending the money with them if they are not working as hard as they can for you and your business. Then, of course, contact us 🙂