Digital Agencies Are A Lot Like Tech Providers


I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a handful of web marketing agencies over the past few weeks.

Our company needs some help with our pay-per-click and so we’re meeting with agencies to figure out what to do and who to do it with.

As we met with each company I noticed a pattern.

And it’s a lot like what tech providers or managed service providers do.

So I thought I’d share my experience—since the parallels where interesting.

Most agencies follow a standard 3 step approach.


Everyone wants to do an audit of our website.

They want temp access to our Google Analytics and Google Ads.

Some come back with a report.

Others come back with just themselves.

Tech providers do audits as well.

Some come back with a report.

Others just come back with themselves.

Some audits are better than others.


The next step is the service offering.

Most agencies seem to provide a list of things they’ll do for a monthly fee.

Things like…

  • Publishing 1 to 2 blog posts per month

  • Monitoring your Google Ad spend

  • Help with choosing keywords to buy

  • Monthly reporting on progress

  • Managing your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

It’s similar to tech providers who say they’ll manage and support your environment.

  • We’ll keep your systems updated

  • We’ll keep your systems safe

  • We’ll provide tech support

We can refer to these as the packages.

And each provider has some type of package that they offer.


Since we’re a small business we tend to think like a small business.

We look at these proposals and think.

How does the fee translate to the work effort?

Where’s the value?

Some agencies want $1,000 per month to do these tasks.

Others want $5,000 to $10,000 per month to do these tasks.

What’s the difference?

Is one really better than than the other?

This once again is just like tech providers.

Costs vary.

How do you know which one is better?


The lesson in all of this is that me Mr. Small Business Owner,

Needs to spend time educating myself on the things that are important to my business.

How to engage.

How to select.

And how to manage.

As a business owner focus is everything.

Choosing what to focus on is even more important.

Sales, Tech, Operations, Finance.

They’re all important and need our time.

Our challenge is to figure out how to manage each area.

Based on your company size you may have others to help.

Or you may be on your own.

As for us…

Well, we’re still figuring things out.