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Problems and Issues that Digital Agencies Experience with Clients [2023]

Problems and Issues that Digital Agencies Experience with Clients [2023]

Feb 6, 2023 in Online Marketing by Dr. Süleyman Demirci

Digital agencies are vital in helping businesses establish and maintain a robust online presence. But unfortunately, doing business in the digital world differs from driving a brand-new car on flat roads. Mostly, the streets are bumpy, and sometimes the driver might be inexperienced and hectic. Working with clients can be rewarding and challenging as a digital agency. While it is exciting to help companies to achieve their online goals, various problems and issues can arise during a project.

However, it's important to note that each project is unique, and problems and issues can vary. In this blog post, we will explore some common problems and issues that significantly impact a project's success that digital agencies may experience with clients and discuss ways to mitigate or avoid them. Ultimately, we will analyze a case study to address these issues.

1. Misaligned Expectations

One of the most common problems digital agencies experience with clients is misaligned expectations. Clients may have unrealistic expectations about the scope or timeline of a project, leading to disappointment or dissatisfaction. For example, a client may expect a website to be completed within a brief timeframe, while the agency knows it would take longer due to the project's complexity.

To overcome this problem, agencies must set clear expectations with clients from the very beginning. For instance, by outlining the scope of work and establishing a timeline for completion, digital agencies can align clients' expectations in a natural base. It's also crucial for the agency to be upfront about any limitations or challenges that may arise during a project. The agencies should also take the time to explain the technical aspects of a project to clients and inform them of the process. This will help clients understand the time and resources required to complete and progress a project effectively.

2. Communication Breakdowns

Another common problem that digital agencies experience with clients is communication breakdowns. When clients and agencies do not communicate effectively, the upcoming atmosphere leads to misunderstandings and delays. Nevertheless, if a client does not respond to the agency's emails or calls, the project's progress becomes slower and slower.

To overcome this problem, agencies should establish clear lines of communication with clients from the beginning. The agencies and clients can create a smooth project line by setting up regular meetings or check-ins and providing clients with detailed project updates. The agencies should also utilize a proper sharing mechanism, such as google drive, Microsoft SharePoint, or any other standard sharing methodologies, so their clients can easily follow up on the progress regarding the proper metrics.

Hence, agencies are supposed to encourage clients to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the project. Then, it's sure both parties are on the same page and can address issues promptly. Otherwise, the agency feels it works alone on the board, but also, the client considers it needs to do its job. Therefore, only proper communication can resolve this issue.

3. Unclear Scope of Work

Suppose the customers do not have a clear idea of the business project. In that case, the agencies have to make multiple unnecessary revisions and changes that can add to the cost and timeline of the project. Such revisions lead to too many stresses in the working atmosphere.

To overcome this problem, agencies should work closely with clients to define the scope of a project from the very beginning. The agencies can gather essential information about the client's goals, target audience, and competitors through discovery and audit.

Before the agency starts a new job or signs new contracts, it needs to focus on the initial audit process. Otherwise, the agency will never have a better time to discover the following points:

  • The potential client's accurate positioning in the industry
  • Opportunities for the agencies and clients to exploit
  • The areas of digital marketing available to take the most advantages
  • Initial ideas, perspectives, and concerns of the clients from the agency
  • Accurate pricing structure options for the clients.

Accordingly, agencies should provide clients with detailed project proposals outlining the work scope, timelines, and budget. Therefore, it is sure that both parties are on the same page with the same issues addressed promptly.

4. Budget Constraints

Clients may have limited budgets, making it difficult for agencies to deliver the desired results. It's essential for the agency to have open and honest conversations with clients about budget limitations and to work together to find creative solutions that meet both the client's goals and budget constraints. Otherwise, the efforts of both sides may not reach an admirable rise in the business.

However, if agreed upon, performance-based digital marketing might be convenient to both an agency and a client so that the client can reach desirable business growth as the agency manages its efforts optimally.

5. Limited Access to Stakeholders

Another common problem that digital agencies experience with clients is limited stakeholder access. Clients may only provide their agencies with access to one department, while the agency needs input from multiple departments to complete the project effectively.

To overcome this problem, agencies should identify all relevant stakeholders and seek their input throughout the project. Then, the agency ensures it can align its work and effort with the client's overall business strategy. Agencies should encourage clients to provide access to all relevant stakeholders from their teams, including end-users, executive leadership, project managers, marketing and branding teams, IT and technical teams, legal and compliance teams, and sales and customer service teams. As usual, one accounting manager may only meet some expectations to resolve the upcoming problems between the agency and the client during the project's progress.

6. Lack of Trust

This issue may arise between clients and digital agencies during the project. Clients may need the confidence to trust agencies with their brand or online presence, leading to unnecessary tension and mistrust. By building trust through transparent communication, regular check-ins, and timely quality work, the agencies can mitigate such mistrust among the parties. Business intelligence dashboards can help clients monitor all essential KPIs for transparency between the sides.

7. Inadequate Support and Resources

Inadequate support and resources may increase the tensions between the sites. Clients may not provide the agency the necessary support and resources to complete a project. Lack of resources, such as manufacturers of images, videos, and a transparent business model for the clients, may lead to inevitable delays.

To overcome this problem, agencies should work closely with clients to identify all necessary support and resources and then ensure they communicate with them about the required support and resources to complete the project successfully.

A Case Study: "Overcoming Inadequate Support and Resources, Unclear Scope of Work, and Communication Breakdowns"

Background:

As an e-commerce Agency, we have provided a unique, complete service to one of our clients, a mid-sized dealer - an e-commerce company - to redesign its e-commerce website, manage its e-commerce platform, and optimize digital marketing. The project was set to monthly based abonnement because it was ongoing.

Problems and Solutions:

As the project progressed, we encountered several problems. To overcome these problems, the client and Admirise project teams worked together to establish clear communication lines and set up regular check-ins. We also requested access to relevant stakeholders early on in the project and worked closely with them to understand their needs and goals.

Problem Area: Inadequate Support and Resources

1. Our client's failure to initially provide the necessary support and resources to complete tasks effectively resulted in delays and difficulties in completing the project on time.

Solution-1: We requested that its client provide necessary support through access to relevant data and resources. We tried to understand worries about spending more and find creative solutions that met their goals and budget. Further, we have requested to meet with the client's product manager directly. We could share our findings, trends, and changes in digital presence as the product manager addressed the updated markup values of each product.

Both sides together were able to set the most optimal priority for promoting the products. Besides micro conversions of the SEA campaigns, our SEO team has focused on the organic impressions and clicks for specific pages and landing pages. Therefore, our client and we come on the same page to promote the digital business better.

2. We focused on the local business and phone calls in some parts of the project. We set our Ad architecture in this mean, but there was a gap: we didn't have a chance to measure the foot traffic in the shop via Ads.

Solution-2: We asked the client to communicate with their customers and record how they heard us. But we couldn't achieve to get proper records. Then our team created a simple custom form to record each customer visiting the shop. We handed it over to the company and tracked it daily. This simple but effective method proved that our phone call ads and local strategy were working since most customers said they had seen us on the internet, by searching on Google, social media, or via ads.


Problem Area: Unclear Scope of Work

The scope of work needed to be clarified, and this company kept requesting changes to the design and functionality of the website. Even they needed a full-time product manager in the company. Without a clear project scope, a product manager led to confusion and multiple revisions, which added extra cost to the project. We have noticed that the business background of the product manager needed to enhance the expertise in digital business.

Solution: To address this problem, the client and our team worked together to set realistic timelines for completion. Then, we regularly updated the client on the project's progress, and everything was transparent about any limitations or challenges that arose during the project. More specifically, we have given adequate training on the product manager role, and this training was out of the scope of the agreement between the parties. Nonetheless, as problem solvers, we had to mitigate this barrier against our success in this project. And we did it! Then we are proud to have experienced an admirable rise in this business.

Problem Area: Budget Constraints

The client insisted on keeping their budget limited for the growing project in line with their additional requests and due to some unforeseen additions. Additionally, each fluctuation in managing the budgets can directly affect the performance of the campaigns. However, the client still wanted to spend less money for higher revenues.

Solution: Admirise had to optimize its campaign architecture and try to reach the most optimal result during the project. When we noticed that there was still more budget corridor to earn more revenue, we optimized the ad spend to get better results and leads.

Nevertheless, we should have shown such forecasting or possibilities concerning data-driven methodologies. Our data-driven methodology has highlighted an opportunity to convince our client that we could obtain better ROAS and POAS. While our competitors continue to increase their advertising activities and budgets in the same area, reducing the advertising budget could have led to a forgettable client in the field.

Problem Area: Communication Breakdowns

Communication breakdowns between the client and us resulted in misunderstandings and delays. Because of overloading instantly, the company got busy and started regular meetings. So we couldn't meet in the same line many times.

Solution: To address this problem, we insisted on scheduling regular meetings to explain our work and convey the demands of our teams, and we succeeded. We have established clear lines of communication with the client and run regular checks to ensure the project is on track. Ultimately, we were given a chance to provide clearer answers to customer questions and promptly address any concerns or issues while sounding out our requests.

Result

By working closely together, addressing the problems and issues that arose during the project, and utilizing a proper digital sharing mechanism, our client, and we overcame the challenges. We completed the project's first phase successfully and continued to work together. Accordingly, the new website was launched on time and within budget and received positive feedback from the client and users. Further, the business has increased three times better than before in nine months.

Lessons Learned

Clients and agencies may experience inevitable problems and issues during any project; the critical point is how the agency can handle these. This case study highlights the importance of open and transparent communication, clear expectations, and a willingness to work together to overcome common problems and issues during a project. By addressing problems and issues as they arise, e-commerce agencies can ensure the success of a project and maintain positive relationships with their clients. In the long run, both sides become happy to see business growth in front of their eyes.

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You may also check out our Digital Marketing Challenges & Main Factors For Successful Performance article to get better performance from your digital marketing strategies.