Straight from the Heart: CEO digital marketing agency to CEO digital marketing client

Straight from the Heart: CEO of Digital marketing agency to CEOs who are looking for digital marketing


I have written many articles on it as it is a subject very close to us, we started Techshu to bring change in the industry, absolute positive change, “Shu means reciprocity” (Do to others as you want to do it for yourself). Here are few thought level changes we want to highlight and then we will write more about “how to work with digital marketing agencies”

  1. There are no good or bad agencies, its about how much good can you make out of the relationship (read on for more details)

  2. At different phases of your businesses, you should coordinate with more than one agency. According to adage, by 2012, after trimming down, Pepsi was working with close to 50 agencies. Even Techshu works with more agencies for its own marketing, we get consultants to cross check our own marketing plans and ideas). We are planning to do this for all our customers soon. The idea is different perspectives, idea is to think and get out of comfort zone, idea is to challenge what is already done and idea is to do something different and new. Get the work, plan and strategies audited. Get the work done and way-forward plan audited. Get some more heads to brainstorm and so on.
  3. Reality: The people who sell are not the people who will work on your project, do interview the team and make sure that the team you interviewed is the team that will work on your project. (This exercise will not come cheap, but who wants it cheap anyway, everyone wants it at right cost with BETTER ROI. Losing time and business is not cheap, its more expensive than taking risk with cheaper digital marketing agencies).

In this blog post we will focus on point #1.

There are no good or bad digital marketing agencies

“There are no good or bad agencies, its about how much good can you make out of the relationship. We have seen bad agencies doing amazing job for a client and a great agency not able to contribute anything. Its about the relationship and overall outcome. Read on”

There are 3 type of agencies

  1. Really organized, cool and focused (Very tough to get as its a new field and its not as easy as making same burgers again and again, its marketing, a lot of dependency)
  2. Really rotten (You must know how to stay away from them, do talk to few agencies before selecting one, agencies will give you idea on how to select the best :), get a friend who really understands the subject).
  3. Swinging between type 1 (great) to type 2 (rotten) (In real these are 99.99% of the market. You need to select the right type of company here, the selection will depend on your budget, your phase of business, your relationship, your current need etc as all companies will have their own strengths and weaknesses).

Now how do you understand really rotten companies

  1. You need to learn the basics of marketing (There is no alternative for it, else hire a consultant/friend to hire an agency for you). Even for tax, you need to learn the basic, marketing is bread, butter and cake, must learn the basics. I think I will write an article for it
  2. If they are selling packages, understand what they want to do it, how etc
  3. If there is too much doubt, you don’t have any doubt, don’t work with them.
  4. Talk to few companies and compare, kind of A/B testing … A better than B, replace C with B and compare again. You will get more perspective.
  5. Interview the team members of agency who will work with you. I as a sales man, CEO may be really good but what about the team that is going to work on your project, are they good.
  6. See sample reports, sample work … not testimonial and success

Don’t search for great companies in this sector, they don’t exist. Marketing has become like a cancer treatment, everybody gets more or less the same type of treatment, some gets cured some don’t. Many agencies have no clue, why some clients are getting good success and some not. The reason is “RELATIONSHIP AND TRUST“. Companies like ours are working hard to improve the % of success rate, it is a uphill task. Bad companies with bad products are impossible to market, so one need to choose the clients right, be candid and don’t take. 

How to work with a Good company and Get the best out of it.

  1. First 3 months, take risks together. If you are happy with work you pay 125% else you pay 60% of the total cost. Give 3 months min to agency.
  2. Make a plan together, review it, detail it, don’t leave it on the agency alone, get a clarity on what they are working on … signoff the plan and then work on it.
  3. Take a weekly review of work and see the quality, ask if you have queries.
  4. Respect the team, Don’t jump on with “You are doing it all wrong!!!!!”, guide them on how can we do it better”. If you realize its not working out, talk to the senior members in agency and tell them and give another 2 weeks, still doesn’t work leave gracefully.
  5. Have a place where you can interact with the team like adding competitors etc, I will share one of the areas from our company to see how we do it. It is very important. You need to interact till its on right track, getting to right track is very important.
  6. Pay enough, it you are paying less, work on very basics, don’t try to do everything with small budget.
  7. Focus on areas which is aligned with your business goals, are you looking for sales, organic growth, branding for sales? If sales, then focus on strategies that will bring immediate sales.
  8. Pay 50% in advance and 50% after work. Give small bonus to the team (not to the company, ensure your team enjoys). A $100 for an overseas can get your team have a blast, you share the pics and the team gets a feeling of ownership.
  9. Track metrics, build dashboard which you can review. Focus on most important tasks every week that you will review.
  10. Will be adding more.

Hope it helps. Always consider your marketing team to be your own extension, its not “Stroke of pen” task, you can’t delegate it fully, you need to get involved, change behaviour of the team, put guidelines in place and make them understand important goals.


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