4 Challenges That Will Come Up When Starting a Digital Marketing Agency

Starting a digital marketing agency can be very exciting. With the global market projected to reach $786.2 billion in 2026, this excitement is indeed justifiable. However, there’s more to starting an agency than the thrill of anticipating a slice of the market cake. Many entrepreneurs started out with mostly passion and thrill, only to drop by the way after facing daunting challenges.

To succeed in the online marketing world, you must know, envisage and prepare for the many challenges that crop up along the way. Thankfully, this is not an impossible situation. There are ways to navigate these murky waters that will see you coming out as a champion. We’ve outlined for you here the common challenges you’re going to face when starting a digital marketing agency and ways to overcome them. Let’s get to it.

Lack of efficient marketing tools


Many startups fail due to a lack of tools that make business processes efficient and marketing efforts effective. There are new tools coming up on a regular basis to make the job easier. Smart marketers stay abreast of these industry developments and are the first to take advantage of such tools.

Not having the right tools to carry out your functions competitively puts you at a disadvantage in the fierce digital marketing industry. No matter how hard you work, without the proper tools, you will only deliver mediocre results. This is enough to discourage you and make you give up on your business. Not to worry, there’s a solution to this problem too.

Solution: Research and leverage the best marketing tools (Try Keap competitors)

How do you leverage the best marketing tools to compete more favorably? Research and leverage the best ones, especially top Keap competitors. Now, Keap is a good marketing tool but issues such as cost, usability and functionality might not make it the best option for your business. Do your research on alternatives and choose one that’s most suitable for your business. This singular action can make a world of difference in your results.

Getting and retaining customers


The most daunting obstacle you will encounter when starting a digital marketing agency is getting customers and keeping them. The competition out there is fierce and only the tough survive. First, getting in front of prospects is hard, not to mention winning and retaining them. There are many experts in the field and staying visible is often a pain in the neck.

This challenge can be discouraging and drive a new startup to the verge of giving up if care is not taken. This challenge can be discouraging and drive a new startup, including a startup PR agency, to the verge of giving up if care is not taken. Many young agencies have thrown in the towel as a result of intense intimidation and the inability to meet their marketing objectives. To ensure you’re not part of the failed agencies, you must envisage this problem and prepare for it.

Solution: Offer a unique selling point (USP) and try a different business model

How do you become visible to your prospective clients? After getting in the face of your prospect, how do you convert them? To tackle this challenge, you must show your prospects you have something more to offer. This is where your unique selling point (USP) comes in.

What can you offer that your competitors are not offering? How can you stand out of the pack and offer more than the usual promise of traffic and sales? Answers to these questions will help you solve the problem of acquiring and retaining clients.

Customers always want something fresh and different. So, give them a unique offering that will provide more value for their business. Invest heavily in content development and link building and be determined to stay the course.

Another way to solve this problem is to try a different business model from your competitors. You can move away from the wide offerings that are common in the field and narrow your niche. For example, you can decide to offer just SEO or link building services and go deep into it. This will brand you as an expert in the field, make you more visible, and bring you more clients.

Employing and keeping skilled hands


For any business to succeed, it needs to have top talents on board. As simple as this sounds, it is quite difficult to implement, especially in digital marketing. Skilled people are scarce and command high fees, which you may not be able to afford as a startup.

This can be a huge headache as these experts will be working for your competitors. You want them on your side, not working against you. This is a major challenge you must prepare for as you’re venturing into the digital marketing business, as lack of proper preparation can set you back seriously.

Solution: Consider remote workers and provide in-house training

There is not much you can do to hire the best hands full-time – you simply can’t afford them. What you can do, however, is see if you can get them to work for you remotely. Remote work is now a buzz and you should leverage it to get good hands for your agency.

Many professionals are available but are not in your vicinity or zone. Look beyond your immediate environment and employ good hands from different parts of the world. Thankfully, digital marketing is work that can be done remotely effectively. This will save you cost and give you access to skilled people.

Another strategy you can apply here is to train fresh hands and make them better skilled. You can hire a consultant to train them over a period. This training series lets you build a formidable workforce that is well equipped to face the pressure of the marketing world and perform excellently.

Getting good staff is one thing, retaining them is another. It could be painful to train new hands and have them leave shortly after, to go work for your competitors. To retain staff, employ best practices like the following:

  • Create a conducive working environment
  • Pay them competitive salaries
  • Invest in software that improve business processes
  • Appreciate their efforts
  • Treat them with respect
  • Encourage feedback
  • Offer flexibility
  • Avoid micromanagement
  • Invest in their personal development

Inability to stay abreast of trends


In digital marketing, one theory, platform or tool might be relevant this minute and the next, it has become obsolete. Yes, the speed is that fast. While this shows an impressive growth rate in the industry, it has its downsides. Difficulty in keeping up with the fast and ever-changing digital world is one such disadvantage and can be stressful for a new business.

Many businesses have collapsed as a result of not being able to keep up with the pace of changes in digital marketing. There are so many tasks to carry out in the business and there might be enough time or hands to monitor changes and adapt as necessary. You must be aware of this problem and plan for it if you’re going to stay ahead in the field.

Solution: Invest in constant learning and knowledge sharing

To solve this problem, you must always be on the lookout for new knowledge in your industry. A quest for knowledge is not enough, however; you need to share it with your team.

Here are ways you can consistently stay abreast of developments in your field.

  • Read anything you can find on digital marketing
  • Monitor statistics in the industry
  • Keep an eye on your competitors
  • Network
  • Learn from your customers
  • Leverage SEO
  • Listen to relevant industry podcasts
  • Be active on social media


What is digital marketing agency?

A digital marketing agency is a business that markets to consumers, using digital channels. This business creates and launches marketing campaigns for clients.

What are the 3 types of digital marketing?

How do digital marketing agencies get paid?

Usually, digital marketing agencies charge per hour. They track the hours used to work on a client’s project and calculate it to arrive at hours spent. The total hours spent completing the job are then billed to the client.

Look beyond challenges and launch your agency

There is no business venture without its specific challenges. How you tackle those obstacles will determine whether you will fall by the way or thrive in the business. Starting a digital marketing agency has its own challenges. They include a lack of efficient marketing tools, getting and keeping clients, employing and retaining skilled hands as well as the inability to stay abreast of industry trends.

To solve these problems, you must research and leverage the best marketing tools, offer a unique selling point, try a different business model, consider remote workers, offer in-house training and invest in constant learning and knowledge-sharing. Knowing and preparing for these challenges ahead gives you an edge as a beginner in the digital marketing field.

Moyofade Ipadeola is a Content Strategist, UX Writer and Editor. Witty, she loves personal development and helping people grow. Mo, as she’s fondly called, is fascinated by all things tech.

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