Digital Marketing Agency and Client relationship – Can It Be Saved?


There are few things more frustrating than putting your all into a relationship, and having it go awry. This is true whether it is a personal or business relationship. In digital marketing, one of the biggest problems in a professional relationship can be unrealistic expectations in control, creativity and communications.

As I have said before, there is no magic wand to wave that will put you at the top of Google search in a matter of weeks, or bring you a miraculous wave of traffic from your social media accounts. It takes time, effort, and creativity to craft an online presence for a business that is attractive, informative, and trustworthy. Let’s talk about some mistakes that will not only tank your rankings, but tank your relationship with your marketer.

1. Control freaking.

Digital marketing and all that it involves is a creative endeavor. Not giving your marketing agency room to create, and wanting to be in full control of every aspect of the creative process, and then blaming the marketing agency for a lack of results is a very good way to terminate the relationship.

2. “Do it all for me and I’ll get back to you.”

The opposite of the control freak? That would be the Absentee. The absentee expects that the magic wand to be front and center. There is no work put into the relationship, no input, and no integration or strategy. The Absentee expects the agency to read their mind, produce a website and marketing strategy, manage social media, and magically intuit any criticism or objections.

3. Communications black hole.

It’s frustrating when there is no communication. Emails from the marketing agency go unanswered, telephone calls go unreturned, even text messages go bouncing into a black hole. Almost as bad is the “that’s what I said but not what I meant” communication style, which is unclear at best and obscure catering at worst. Communications need to be clear, and the terms defined, and responses timely.

4. Anger mismanagement.

Everyone understands bad days. It’s okay to have them, and for the most part bad days are unavoidable. What is not okay and what is avoidable is to take that anger out on another professional who is working for you. Professional relationships call for mutual courtesy and respect, failing to provide those two factors while throwing in anger and verbal abuse is inexcusable.

There are types of conduct for which no apology is necessary. Stuff happens, and professionals understand that. The flip side of this coin is that there are types of conduct for which no apology is possible, and the professional relationship should be terminated.

What any healthy professional relationship needs is first and foremost clear and reasonable expectations, reciprocity, and communication. Without these factors, you will not only not have a relationship, you will not have a digital marketing agency. It is exceedingly rare that an agency has to fire a client, and it is something that business owners of all types would prefer to avoid.



4 Step Studio is an online marketing agency that specializes in website design and redesign, SEO, social media and more. Our team of experts focuses on helping small business get found online, while educating them on what will make them successful in the digital world. To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our website at

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