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That Digital Marketing Agency has just Ruined your Career

Author: Emma Allison
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“It’s with a heavy heart that I bring you this news but unfortunately your PPC experience isn’t let’s say….where it should be considering you’ve been in a digital agency for 24 months.” 

I’d never package bad news in such a way but unfortunately if I was to paraphrase the frankness of what the head of PPC told me about the interview then that’s how it would be.

It’s not through any fault of the candidate but there are now occasions when I won’t send him or her in to a reputable digital agency for an interview. It’s becoming apparent that certain candidates in certain agencies will find it difficult to break away from their employer because day after day week after week they are committing the same bad practice over and over. It’s not the candidates fault whatsoever but more the digital agency’s modus operandi of taking the client’s money , providing some form of minimal effort ‘result’ and printing off a report at the end of the month to be presented to the client. Business is business so they say.

If you have been working in a PPC capacity and after 24 months you don’t know Vlook Ups or you haven’t been presented with a quality score tool kit then alarm bells should be ringing. A good agency will provide ongoing training, supply with you with the latest tools and possibly encourage you to sit the relevant google accredited qualifications. The difference after 24 months with someone starting a career for example at Mediacom as opposed to say an independent ‘back street’ agency is notable.One employee is going to be working on 6 figure budgets spread across 2 or 3 accounts max whereas the other is going to be managing 30 + accounts with a combined spend of £5k per month. One will go on to be an Account Director whereas the other will still be a PPC executive after five years or so. It’s a sad state of affairs in what is an exciting fast paced young market place. 

So what can you do?

You need to protect yourself. The most obvious way is ‘credibility’. If you are going to be taking a starter job at a ‘big’ digital agency that are part of the big networks then rest assure you’ll be safe, think along the lines of Group M, WPP etc.  

Any half decent agency can be found boasting of their client wins in trade magazines such as Prolific North. Do a quick search of the name of the agency online and hit the ‘news’ section of Google, hopefully it should throw up some indication of the company’s affairs. 

Use Linkedin productively. There is a search function that allows you to see who has worked at a company in both a present or previous capacity. How long are people staying there for?  Is a trend emerging where people are moving on after just under 12 months? Maybe connect with a couple of previous employees and ask them how they found it and if they work there again?

Finally trade accolades and accreditations are pivotal in you making a decision. Is the company offering you the PPC executive role part of a trade body?  Do they regularly win awards? Are they talked about in the industry?  All of this can be found out on social media, online trade magazines, local newspapers etc. 

As a PPC recruiter there is nothing worse than speaking to an enthusiastic candidate who is looking to move on from a long stint at a disastrous agency with a salary level in his or her head that is industry average for someone who has had the ongoing extensive training that can be found at a reputable agency. It’s really important that you acknowledge the strength of your agency before you accept any position. 

If you’d like some friendly career advice or a confidential chat about a new opportunity check out our latest digital jobs at or contact the digital team on 0161 914 8499.

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