If a Marketing Agency Guarantees ROI, Avoid Them At All Costs

Darryl Navarrete
5 min readSep 18, 2022

Summary: Marketing guarantee is a lie. Here we discuss why you shouldn’t trust a marketing agency guarantee and why it is impossible to guarantee success in digital marketing.

Definition of GUARANTEE

/ɡar(ə)nˈtiː/

Noun: “a formal assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled”

Verb: “provide a formal assurance, especially that certain conditions will be fulfilled”

Keeping aside the dictionary meaning we often come across the term ‘guarantee’ in the world of marketing. Some agencies guaranteed results to their clients. We come across claims such as “we will put your website on the top of the search rankings…” or “we will get a million followers on Twitter in two months”. Other agencies are smarter, and they guarantee results without specifying the details of those guarantees!

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We have been in this business for long enough to take the term guarantee with a pinch of salt. This might upset a few marketing firms and even those startups and small businesses that are willing to pay only for guaranteed results.

When a business is unique and needs tailored strategies to drive its growth, marketing agency guarantee sounds hogwash. Sorry, we don’t have a more polite word for that!

Are There Guarantees in The World?

Yes, the sun would rise from the east and the earth spins around the sun for 24 hours. Sorry, we can’t even guarantee that as the earth seems rotating faster these days. Shifting to the world of real business, there can be no guarantees given the dynamic nature of the ecosystem. Larry Page and Sergey Brin couldn’t sell Google to Yahoo back in 1998 for $1 million. They just couldn’t guarantee its success! Jokes apart the truth is no agency can guarantee ROI to a client.

The question is — why is it impossible to ensure ROI for a marketing campaign? The Internet is an open space and beyond the control of any agency. Most marketers end up either under-delivering or over-delivering on their promises. The reason being there are several variables at play with any campaign. Even the most well-designed and executed campaign can’t remain immune to the constantly shifting digital environment and market headwinds.

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What Kind of Marketing Promises Is Acceptable?

No, you don’t need to have question marks about the effectiveness of marketing or services of agencies like ours. Marketing, especially digital marketing can add value to your brand. Whether you are a startup or a reputable organization, strategic campaigns can take you to newer heights. It can help you outgrow competition, increase your brand equity and become more visible.

To leverage the true power of digital marketing, you must keep agencies that promise marketing guarantees at bay.

A professional agency always focuses on the deliverables and the value proposition of the campaign. They work closely with you to drive your digital success. Here are some of the traits you will spot in a professional agency –

Data-Driven Campaigns

Guarantee per se isn’t a taboo world in the world of marketing. After all, when you hire a marketing agency, you’d expect some deliverables. Two out of five agencies do not meet their initial commitment to clients. The digital marketing industry has too many variables at play and promising the moon is often the reason for the lack of fulfillment for marketing agency guarantees.

This is where you should partner with an agency that offers data-driven guarantees. They should take your data into account and those of your competitors to come up with strategies to betting position your business from competitors. The marketing agency should understand your product, client base, and market conditions before they set the campaign goals.

KPI-Based Success Measurement

When you work with a professional team, they don’t come up with a vague marketing agency guarantee. They set the metrics for measuring the success of the campaign. Agencies use the latest analytic tools to measure the campaign’s success where the real picture is in front of your eyes. This does away with ambiguity

Setting up a success measurement metric should be the starting point for every campaign. These can vary depending on your campaign goals and the nature of your business. For example, page views would be the goal for a news and information website while an e-commerce store would always measure success based on sales figures. The agency you hire should be straight and upfront with the KPIs. Some KPIs to consider: increase in rankings for target keywords, increase in organic traffic over time, generated phone calls and/or form fills, increased impressions, etc.

Setting Up a Baseline

Along with the KPI measurement metric, the marketing agency you hire should set up a baseline at the start of the campaign. For example, if your website attracted 5000 unique visits every month before the start of the campaign and you expect to reach 10,000 unique visitors after six months, it gives the agency a baseline to work with and measure success at a later stage.

If you don’t have a baseline of your own the agency would base its projections on your competitor’s success or standard industry benchmarks. As the campaign starts, they would use your data to measure growth and success.

The Truth

To wrap up, you must stay away from an agency that promises a “marketing guarantee” as this is one of the biggest lies that has been sold millions of times. Digital marketing is a creative process where dozens of variables are at play. Every reputable marketer understands the perils of guaranteed ROIs and rather focuses on the process that helps your brand increase its digital footprints and achieve marketing goals.

If you are looking for a marketing partner that doesn’t “guarantee” but delivers success, Cyrusson Inc. would love to partner with you. We are a full-service boutique marketing agency that offers a wide array of digital solutions including web design, digital marketing, and branding. Call us (415–228–9969) for a free consultation and we’d love to power your growth.

https://cyrusson.com/if-a-marketing-agency-guarantees-roi-avoid-them-at-all-costs/

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