How to Tell When a Marketing Company is Bullshitting You

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At 8THIRTYFOUR, we’ve always been proud to be in the advertising, marketing, and public relations industries. In fact, it’s sort of what we think about all the time. And that’s because we love it. But sometimes when we take on a client, we hear horror stories about the agencies they were working with before us. These are the type the people that give agencies a bad rep. So we’re here to set the record straight so you have at least an idea of what you should watch out for when it comes to your marketing company.


There’s a great quote out there from Einstein that says, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” The same is absolutely true about our industry. There are a ton of different terms in marketing, especially when it comes to digital. A good marketing company can break those down and tell you what they actually mean in terms that you should understand.

If you ever have an agency come at you with a bunch of metrics and jargon, don’t be afraid to ask them what that means for you and your business. If they give you an explanation that sounds fishy, don’t be afraid to Google the term to make sure it means what they say it means. (And while we’re on the topic – no, the colors of your website and how pretty it looks doesn’t impact your SEO and won’t help you rank on Google.)


When you pay a company to do something for you, it’s important to actually know what you’re getting for your investment. That’s why we don’t charge by the hour, but by the deliverables that we produce for our clients. In the end, what matters to you and your business is that you get what you need when you need it.

Sometimes an agency will give you cost breakdowns for things without justifying why the price is so high for a given service, or what value you are deriving from that spend. This goes back to our first point: if they can’t tell you in simple terms what you’re paying for, should you be paying for it at all?

On that note, if you sign a contract with a company that talks about deliverables, make sure they actually give you those things. You signed for them. You deserve them. It’s that simple.


You have a vision for your marketing, and your agency should listen to that. Sure, there are times when your agency might push back against you because of industry knowledge or expertise. But if you keep asking for something and your agency keeps ignoring you, that’s a bad sign. This also just basic respect. Do they respond to your calls? Do they respect your brand? Would you trust them to talk about your company to a prospect? If any of those answers are a no, then maybe it’s time to rethink your marketing relationship a bit. (Ok, maybe is nice of us… It’s time to walk away.)

We love this industry and are passionate about making sure it’s represented well in the community. Unfortunately, there will always be people that are after a quick buck. If any of the things in this blog sound like your current marketing agency, it’s time to get in touch with us. We can show you how your agency should be working for you and how you can benefit from integrated communications.

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