L2T Blog

Thinking of switching digital agencies? Here’s why you should think twice

on September 20, 2017

We get it, when digital marketing agencies come calling – promoting something shiny and new and promising more results for less money – it can be tempting to switch agencies. But, what you might not think about is why staying with your current provider might be an even better choice, and how much you might lose if you decide to switch.

Effective digital marketing strategies take time to develop. The fact is, no agency can promise you better results when you switch without costing you time and money. Committing to a long-term relationship with your digital marketing agency – growing, learning and developing together – will help you craft a streamlined, successful and financially effective digital strategy for your dealership.

6 Benefits of Staying With Your Current Digital Marketing Provider

The first few months of PPC and SEO are so critical to success and staying with your provider helps you reap the benefits of the time spent onboarding and optimizing your account.

Time is the most valuable resource in digital marketing.

Google AdWords needs time to work effectively. Good agencies set campaigns, observe results and analyze trends, and then start expanding, excluding, stopping and starting new campaigns and keywords. This process takes time. Our rule of thumb is that you won’t see significant growth in your AdWords campaigns until around 90 days after our agency takes over. By this time, any changes we made have normalized, and we have enough data to know what works.

SEO is the same way. Like we always say, SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Our SEO specialists continually review our clients’ website performance on Google Analytics and Search Console, adjusting keyword usage and content as needed. This learning period is essential in creating a working strategy, and after at least three months, our clients begin to see significant growth. The longer we work with a client’s website, the better the website’s SEO will perform.

Switching = starting from scratch.

When dealerships switch digital marketing providers, the two agencies rarely exchange information. This means that you will have to start from scratch on everything from PPC to paid social. Because all agencies set up AdWords campaigns differently (their unique approaches to campaign planning is part of what makes them efficient and successful), they will likely make your dealership a new AdWords account, and all of your historical ad data will be lost. This is important because AdWords works by rewarding relevance and performance. If you have an ad that has a historically high click-thru-rate (CTR), then AdWords will recognize it as being highly relevant and will reward you with a lower cost per click. When you start from scratch with a new provider, you lose this wealth of historic data, and AdWords has no idea whether your ad is relevant or not. Losing historical data can lead to increases in your cost-per-click (CPC), which can have a negative effect on your paid search ROI.

Starting from scratch also causes problems for your SEO. If you change websites when you go to a new vendor (as often happens), the pages from your old website are no longer indexed by Google, and you lose your placement within search results. It takes time for Google to recognize the new site and the keywords you want to be showing up for, so you lose all the SEO work you and your old vendor put into your website.

Paid social campaigns are also affected by starting over. For example, L2TMedia starts new paid social accounts by creating campaigns that will attract people at the early stages of the buying cycle and continues to retarget them when they are in the buying cycle and after they’ve purchased a vehicle. “When you switch paid social providers, you start building your remarketing list from scratch, and it will take longer to attract buyers at the later stages,” said L2TMedia Senior Manager Nikki Paladino.

In summary, when you switch digital agencies, your onboarding could last several months, when you could be paying your current agency for valuable time spent running, learning from and adjusting your PPC, SEO and paid social campaigns.

Your provider—and you—will have time to gain a deep understanding of your company’s needs and develop a successful digital strategy.

Your agency will be able to narrow down what works for you.

No dealership is the same. Another major reason to continue building a long-term relationship with your agency is that over time, they will be able to hone in on what works for you. Every conversation you have with your agency is an opportunity for transferring information, to allow your ROI to increase and your partnership to grow. “By analyzing long-term trends, optimizing based on a large amount of continuously growing data, test-driving new features and maintaining an open dialogue, your trusted partner agency can plan and execute a strategy tailored to your dealerships’ unique needs,” said L2TMedia Digital Media Supervisor Chris Wood.

You won’t spend time on approaches that don’t work.

As we said, starting fresh with a new agency means new accounts, and with that comes brand-new conversion codes, remarketing tags, Google Analytics integration and so on. In addition to the operational time and effort required for this implementation, you will lose all the previous remarketing lists, audience pools, conversion data and analytics insight that you have gathered over the previous months and years. Let’s say a new vendor is proposing targeting a certain audience for a campaign – this sounds good in theory, but what are they basing this on? Your current agency has the data to make smart, informed decisions on your paid search, display and video strategies.

Not only would a new agency lack the data to make informed decisions, they may even make incorrect ones. Maybe your current agency found that certain keywords didn’t work for your dealership. A new agency won’t know this information, and will likely waste time trying out approaches that were previously proven to fail.

Your vendor will have the time to get to know YOU, both as a person and as a business with unique goals and needs.

By working with a vendor for an extended period of time and developing a relationship with the people who are servicing your account, your needs and objectives will be far better attended. Your vendor and digital advisor will know your dealership’s history beyond just its digital strategy; they will know your successes and failures, and be able to anticipate your needs before you have to tell them.

A new vendor will need a lot of time to learn about nuances that make you unique and dictate your needs – things that your current vendor already knows. Every dealership has their own preferences and methods, and sometimes preferences you yourself don’t even realize.

Relaying all this information to a new provider is a process. This “teaching period” takes important time away from building on and enhancing your digital strategy.

Bonus benefit of working with L2TMedia long-term:

By working with L2TMedia long-term, not only will you have the benefit of accumulating mass amounts of account data on which to base important campaign decisions, you will also have 10 years of digital experience and know-how at your fingertips. At L2TMedia, we combine our vast knowledge of the auto industry with years of familiarity with digital marketing best practices. We live and breathe digital marketing, and when we work with a dealership long-term, we combine our extensive industry knowledge with your account data to form successful, effective digital strategies.  Contact us today with any questions.

Thinking of switching digital agencies? Here’s why you should think twice