Given Digital Marketing’s tremendous increase in popularity, it is no wonder why there is a new agency popping up every week in Dubai – including us.

Throughout my experience in business development at a startup and now as Founder of a Digital Agency myself, I’ve noticed a dreadful pattern of service being offered by “professionals” to Startups and SMEs across the region.

Here is a list of the 3 types of agencies in Dubai that will waste your time and money:

1. The Order-Taker
In a cheap restaurant, you tell the server what you want, and they bring it to you. They simply “take your order”.

Wait, that’s good, right? WRONG

In a fancy restaurant, you tell the server what you like and they use their expertise to recommend the best course for you to enjoy – specifically crafted to entertain your delicate, refined taste pallet.

The Order-Taker is possibly the trickiest type of agency out there because of the simple fact that they are hard to detect. It is important to note that there is a big difference between giving a business they service they want and giving a business the service they need.

If you tell your agency what you want and they run off and start working on it without probing deeper into your objective or offering additional guidance and insight, you’re most likely sitting with an Order-Taker.

2. The Crowd Pleaser
Of course, the title of Crowd Pleaser (Otherwise known as ‘Yes Man’) might sound exactly like the type of agency you want to work with, but would you go to a doctor that asked your opinion about how many stitches he should use to treat your child’s wound?

Similar to the Order-Taker, the Crowd Pleaser does not make any actual professional recommendations. They simply agree with every opinion you have.

Wait, who’s supposed to be the expert here?

Agencies are supposed to use their keen industry insights to offer recommendations and services that fit your needs based on experience and best practices. If you are starting to feel like you know more than your Digital Marketing team does, you might have hired a Crowd Pleaser.

3. The Peacock
Did you know the Ferrari Italia 458 is powered by a 4,499 cc V8 engine, producing 578 PS (425 kW; 570 hp) and redlines at 9,000 rpm? (thanks wikipedia) Imagine how cool you’d look in that bright red sports car capable of driving 320km/h!

Pretty cool, right? Not for the guy that came to the dealership to buy an SUV to fit his wife and 3 kids!

The Peacock is a showboat and will spend the entire meeting telling you ALL the great things they will do for you – without ever asking a single question about your company or objectives.

If you’re sitting with an agency that has promised the moon, the stars, and three cans of Pringles Sour Cream & Onion potato chips, ask yourself the following question: “What makes these people even think I like Sour Cream & Onion?”

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