Pulling back the curtain on marketing promises, impossible predictions, and what to expect from a good agency.

It’s certainly tempting - those offers from digital marketing agencies guaranteeing your business a spot on the first page of Google or promising specific revenue gains. 

But are those promises too good to be true? And why can some agencies make these guarantees while others can’t - do they know something the others don’t? 

When you’re choosing an agency to help grow your business, it makes sense that you’d be interested in guaranteed rankings, revenue, and ROI. But in reality, when you hear those types of promises it should make you question how or why they would make a guarantee at all. 

A reputable digital marketing agency can’t and won’t make guarantees simply because it’s near impossible to do so, and would set up the business relationship on unsteady ground. 

So why is it impossible to make guarantees and what should you expect instead? Read on to find out. 

Why it’s impossible to guarantee results

There are several reasons why it’s impossible to guarantee specific results from a digital marketing campaign, mostly to do with parts of the process that are beyond anyone’s control. 

While your agency can use their experience, tools, and tactics to get the most out of your campaign, there will always be things that they simply can’t predict.

1. Algorithms can be fickle

Whether you’re advertising on Google or social media, no matter how much strategy, time and effort has gone into creating your ad campaign, the platform algorithm will ultimately have the final say. 

What ad users see, when they see it, and how it appears amongst their feed will all depend on what the algorithm decides will make the best user experience. 

Google and Facebook regularly upgrade their algorithms to provide a better, more personalised experience for their users, meaning that although two people may type the same query into their search bar, they will be served different results based on their search history and location, among other things. 

This makes it difficult to predict with any accuracy how people will see, interact with, or respond to your campaign - it is also virtually impossible to make guarantees about. 

What you can do to encourage a better result is ensure that the quality, attractiveness, and targeting of your ads is top-notch, so you’re giving them the best chance of success. 

2. Your competitors can be unpredictable

Digital marketing is a competitive space, and your place in the rankings depends not only on your own performance, but on your competitors’ too. 

You could be #1 on Google and all over Facebook one month, then by the next your competitor has pumped a big injection of money into their advertising and their behind-the-scenes SEO work has started to pay off. You slip behind not through any fault of your own, but because they’ve been working so hard to overtake you. 

Although your agency can do the best they can to optimise your website, paid campaigns, and overall ranking, they can’t control your competitors’ actions or performance. 

3. Industry standards may not match your company goals

Many businesses look to mark their performance against industry standards and direct competitors, but with so many factors to take into account - and so many unknowns - you may find that these goals don’t align with your own. 

The results that you’re aiming for should be personalised to your business and determined based on your past performance and future goals - not some one-size-fits-all promise. 

An agency could entice you with guarantees to triple your leads, but what if it’s the conversion quality that’s the issue? If the leads are poor quality, won’t you spend more time weeding through them than closing sales? 

A good agency will take the time to figure out what is really important to your business, and what you really need in order to grow to your full potential. 

4. It sets the wrong expectations from the start

Many elements that affect a marketing campaign’s success are beyond an agency’s control. So how could an agency accurately predict - let alone guarantee - results, when they can’t determine how it will turn out? 

Providing guarantees sets an expectation for the client that could be impossible for the agency to meet, and could seriously damage the longevity of the relationship. 

Good agencies don’t work like this - they value the relationship and the integrity of their work over relying on optimistic promises to win over clients. Managing expectations honestly and transparently is crucial to ensuring the success of a working relationship. 

What to expect from a good agency

If a marketing agency guarantees results at the start - run for the hills. 

A good digital marketing agency knows that they have to first understand your current situation and future goals before they can set any targets. 

They’ll dive into your current and past performance to discover what they can optimise for the future, and only then create a strategy for incremental growth that is totally personalised around your business. 

Aligning on expectations is important, so you both understand exactly what the agency is expecting to deliver and in what timeframe. Potential challenges should be discussed upfront for full clarity. 

Marketing is a long-term investment, not a sprint, and patience is needed to see real change (warning bells should be ringing for anyone who promises “instant results”). During the first few months, you can expect your agency to be collecting data, making adjustments, and setting various strategies in motion. At Sprocket, we tell our clients that month 3 onward is usually when they can expect to see the true effects of our work paying off. 

A professional, high calibre digital marketing agency can be an invaluable addition to your business, bringing their expertise to help you reach more customers, make more sales or sign-ups, and grow your business. But while there’s plenty of things they can do, the one thing they can’t is guarantee results. 

Ready to grow your business? Call the team at Sprocket Digital today!

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    cam scott
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    Covid lockdowns meant complete operational shut down for our small NZ owned business. However, in the last few months we have finally got back up and running again with the help from Josh and his Sprocket team.Their understanding, resources and communication has been unwavering in this process and we have seen measurable results month on month. Trust plays a big role in digital marketing and I believe their formula is full proof.Sprocket has had a big role to play in getting our small business back on it's feet. I couldn't recommend this company enough!
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    We have been working with Sprocket Digital for 3 month now and I am very happy with the team. They offer great service from analyzing our needs as a business to delivering a great action plan. I can highly recommend to any business which is looking for a fantastic marketing team. Kind regards Frank
    Andrew Tuioti
    Super pro-active group of professionals. Our sales have doubled in a matter of weeks and looking forward to working with Ronnie, Dan and the team for the for-seeable future.
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    Great working with the team at Sprocket Digital! We found the company friendly, accomodating, and they helped us to develop our knowledge of the business analytics
    Ketaki Rasmussen
    Sprocket has experts who can take your digital marketing to the next level, and you get personalised service with a dedicated account manager to help you achieve growth. Great to deal with.
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    Good people with excerlent skills, lead generation and communication. Thanks Team. Their performance dashboard is also awesome 👌
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    Louis Chan
    Sprocket have been great to deal with from the start and have brought in great results. Highly recommended :)
    Maggie from Astound Smile
    We have worked with a couple of other agencies that did not deliver and I'm impressed with the level of service, support & results we get from Sprocket. Within a few weeks of working with Sprocket, we can see immediate improvement on our sales. Harry and the team has taken the time to understand our business and continue to work on delivering results. We look forward to continue working with Sprocket to grow our business. If you are looking for a result-focused agency, you can't go wrong with Sprocket!
    Lani Wards
    We own Better to Give . We have only been working with Harry at Sprocket for a few months, but as a brand new E-Comm start up we knew we needed someone who could build our sales with fast and effective campaigns. We are very happy with our progress thus far and look forward to a long prosperous working relationship.
    Nudi Point
    FINALLY... a digital marketing company that actually gets the results. This is the 5th business I have dealt with in the last 7 years - and the only business that has proven results. Our sales have increased hugely and it's only been 1 month. Harry is amazing to work with and the whole team at Sprocket Digital know exactly what they're doing. The results speak for themselves. Highly recommend!
    Alastair Pope
    Harry and the Sprocket team have been amazing in connecting with and successfully converting a new audience for our business. During these challenging economic conditions, the additional revenue they've generated has proven to be invaluable. Their professional, transparent, and data-driven approach has rekindled my confidence in the agency model.
    Gabi Metz
    Working with Sprocket has been so easy! Like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. And the results so far have been fantastic!
    Gavin Sheppard
    Ronnie and the team at Sprocket have done an awesome job of understanding what our business needs, and helping to develop the digital marketing strategy for TankMate.
    Megan Blincoe
    We are a new Client of Sprocket and I cannot fault them! Especially Ethan, he has been so available and clearly knows what he's talking about. He has been very patient with us and has thoroughly updated and explained every part of the set up and progress to date. Highly recommend using Sprocket Digital
    Outstanding, the team at Sprocket have been tremendous, and taken our store to the next level. Ronnie and the team are on to it and get things done quickly to a high standard. If you are looking for a marketing team, this is your one stop shop for all your marketing needs!Team at Speednation.co.nz
    Andrea Cummerfield
    We've been using Sprocket Digital for around 5 months and are really happy with the results. The team is super easy to deal with, nothing's a problem, highly recommend using them!
    The results speak for themselves. Our website has been lifted to the next level, in both hits & resulting translations into physical orders. Thanks Kieran & Team!
    Richie Stott
    It has been a seamless transition to Sprocket and they have delivered on the goods. Very happy with the service and results. Our account manager, Kieran is great to deal with.
    Pathik Modi
    Started working with Sprocket just before the lockdown this year and have to say I'm very impressed with the level of service, support & results we get from the company. Our account manager, Sophie has been very helpful in making us understand the process at the same time took the time to understand our needs and understood exactly what would help achieve our business goals.Highly recommend!
    Brent Alexander
    We have been working with Ronnie and the team at Sprocket for a few months now and have been stoked with the results. Super helpful, very responsive to questions and great to work with. Would highly recommend.
    Sheree Palmer
    Great Team to work with, communication is great and they are actively engaged with working with you.
    Bejoy Jose
    We have been working with Luke and the team at Sprocket for a few years. Sprocket Digital has been great to work with, very knowledgeable team of local digital marketing experts. Highly recommend!
    Daisuke Kirihara
    I have been working with Sprocket for about 6 months, and the team has delivered outstanding results, giving us one of the best return for every dollar we spent through them. I have worked with digital agencies across Asia, Europe, and NZ over 15 years, but the ROI improvement I have seen Sophie and the team deliver is best in class. If you are a result-focused marketer who needs an agency to get you results, try letting them run your campaign. It worked great for us.
    Josef Arnet
    Sprocket Digital has been great to work with and has provided great inside and addition to the digital side of our business (Kitchen Things) their SEO team is fantastic and Harrison their Email marketing specialist is an absolute savant when it comes to knowing how set up email campaigns, templates as well as automatic email flows and the logic required to make them impactful and effective for a business. They always continue to impress with the work they do.
    Lance Metz
    Sprocket has been an incredible digital marketing partner, helping us grow our monthly turnover. They are extremely helpful and are quick to respond to any needs we may have. I would highly recommend for any company looking to take on a digital transformation journey.
    Matt Boylan
    This is the second time I have used Sprocket Digital in my role as Marketing Manager for small to medium sized businesses. Given our marketing team is very small and we don't have a specific digital marketing resource internally, it gives me peace of mind knowing that all our digital needs are being outsourced to Sprocket. On both occasions of working with Sprocket, the team have very quickly got up to speed on our business. The setup is seamless and my regular meetings with the team help to identify opportunities for us to leverage. The entire team are really knowledgeable and down to earth even though they have some very experienced people working on our account. I would highly recommend Sprocket to any other business who wants expert advice and guidance on their digital marketing with an accessible and down to earth approach.
    Phillip Wards
    Harry and the team at Sprocket have done an amazing job for our start up company. It's been an absolute pleasure having them onboard, pushing our sales and helping make our business what it is today, this has only taken one month. Looking forward to many years to come.Thanks team
    Mark Chapman
    Great start with Sprocket. Particularly like the data driven methodology, transparency and friendliness.
    Chris Sinclair
    Great team to work with, we've experienced growth from day 1 and we're still going! Thank you team Sprocket Digital
    Lily Richards
    I really enjoy working with Sprocket. I've worked with them on two different projects now; they're data driven, great communicators & listeners as well as extremely good value/above board. They helped us improve our Google quality and conversions by nearly double. I would definitely recommend them.
    NZ Health Food Company
    We've been working with Sprocket Digital for a few months now and are seeing really good results. Dan and the team are great to work with and are constantly looking for opportunities to help us grow our ecommerce platform. Great communication and nothing is ever a hassle.


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    Sprocket Digital manages all of Louvretec’s digital advertising across Australia and New Zealand, focused on gaining a higher volume of quality leads and standardising advertising creatives across all their locations.

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    Sprocket Digital
    Based on 132 reviews