The Invoke Digital Marketing agency has been heavily promoting their services online. If you are here, you’ve probably seen them;
For the low price of RM 1,500 per month (RM 940 with the SME Digitalisation Grant) is 3 experts who will do amazing things for you. You also get a RM 250 ad budget per month.
At the end, they say
…we care about YOUR return on investments (ROI)!
But I took the package. And my ROI is RM 0. Nothing.
INVOKE DIGITAL MARKETING FOR FLYBEAR
My company, FlyBear Sdn Bhd, decided to hire Invoke to promote its services. FlyBear is a fulfillment company that has been around for almost 5 years, however it has been under the brand Storage Bloc. Prior to this, all marketing had gone through Storage Bloc’s Facebook and Instagram page, and it was only in November last year did we spin off into its own website, Facebook page and Instagram account. So we were looking to find ways to market the brand and gain some traction.
Being a new company with limited marketing budget, we decided to go for the cheapest option.
COMMITMENTS, DELIVERABLES & PROMISES
- 3 Month Commitment
- RM 1,500 per month (Total of RM 4,500)
- 4 image-based ads using stock footage (because they couldn’t shoot our product in a studio)
- Copy writing & setting up the Ad
- RM 250 per month of ad budget
Invoke talks about ‘analytics & data science artificial intelligence, machine learning’. Big key words that got me quite curious.
For such a small budget, I get all of these tools to help me make a sale? AMAZING.
Without the ad budget, 4 image-based ads would cost RM 1,250, or RM 312.50 per ad. That sounds expensive. To be frank, as someone who does creative work for a living, I knew that I could hire a freelancer and create each ad for RM 150 (MAX). However, I needed the copywriting expertise and someone to help setup the targeting as I use to set up the ads myself, but did not have the best results in terms of generating good leads. As well as the fact that I wanted see what all this AI and machine learning could do for my sales.
To add context, our services start at RM 409 / month, with a 6 month minimum commitment. So even if I generate 1 sale per month, I would be able to make at least RM 2,454. or a 63% ROI.
0 SALES, 0 ROI
After spending RM 4,500 with Invoke Digital Marketing, I made nothing back. In total, they produced 32 bad leads. What is a bad lead?
- A business that contacts us because they want us to use their services
- A lead that doesn’t answer the phone, e-mail or message
- Leads that actually wanted a different service instead
I would have been ok if I didn’t receive good leads in the first month. I figured that they needed some ‘AI learning’. But it never got any better.
WHAT WENT WRONG WITH INVOKE DIGITAL MARKETING?
So let’s list down somethings that they promised for their package;
|4 Visuals||Delivered, but in terms of quality, very lacking|
|Monthly Content Planner||Done, but I wasn’t notified properly of when they went up|
|Copywriting||I had to correct them so many times that I gave up|
|Ad optimisation||With 0 sales, I’m guessing not so optimised|
|Psychographic Audience Segmentation and Profiling||Never done|
|Digital Marketing Report||Never done|
|Data-Science support||Was it?|
|Competitors Benchmarking||Never done|
|Leads to Sales||32 Leads, 0 Sales|
I honestly wished that we did the digital marketing report, so I could know what is wrong, what can be done better and even how to help.
Someone in Facebook said they are ‘executioners’ and you need to know the direction and tell them what to do. But with all these offerings and expertise, shouldn’t they advise us on the proper direction?
People who take up these packages have limited ad budget and probably limited understanding on how to get to where they need to be. I know my objective – leads. How to get there? I don’t know. If I did, why should I hire you when I can hire a freelancer to execute for me for a cheaper cost.
What else I didn’t like
DECORIS.IO – this is their web app where you chat, give feedback and approve the collateral. It doesn’t load correctly 80% of the time. It also does not save your login details on a browser.
THE VISUALS – I will not speak about copywriting since I have no expertise, but a 1st year multimedia student could have produced the visuals.
This would literally take me 15 minutes per post.
COMMUNICATIONS – I felt like I had to be more active that I should have been. I had to ask how the ads were performing, what can be done better, where should we go, etc, and kept having to correct them as they got facts wrong. I think at one point I gave up and decided to let the contract run its course. Even the Decoris was never properly updated. Case in point – May’s collateral was never updated;
WHERE’S THE DATA – There was never a proper discussion (post-mortem) on what has happened, and where to go. I’m use to this to at least understand the efforts being made to get to my target.
MORE OF A TRY FIRST AND SEE – I understand that there has to be some testing done, but the directions they chose never panned out. I also feel that everything was done in 1 day, which means that there was no room for changes for 1 month. They would schedule all 4 ads in one day and let it run for the month. Why not schedule 2, and take the date from there to make sure the next 2 do better? Though, I might be wrong here because they never properly updated me on what’s happening on the back end.
OFFERED TO INCREASE AD BUDGET – Just for those who say ‘RM250 not enough money’. I agree. I told them ‘if the ad is doing well and you think we should put more money behind it, tell me’. They never told me.
I will admit that FlyBear’s services aren’t the easiest to market. It’s not a lipstick, food, or clothing. It’s a whole professional service that requires targeting to specific audiences. I never had much luck myself, but I figured professionals would do better.
So would I continue with them? Never.
I am looking for an agency that can tell me what I need. If they say ‘you need to spend more time getting likes and more followers before you try to get leads’ or ‘ focus on brand awareness for 3 months first’ or even ‘I need you to post every day’. It’s extra work, but at least it’s a clearer understanding. It is a funnel, correct? Brand awareness first, then lead generation?
To be frank, may be everything they listed would be deemed as ‘extra cost required’, or can only be beneficial for a 12 month contract. Maybe I got it wrong. Perhaps my expectations were too high. It did sound ‘too good to be true’ and I was hoping it wasn’t.
In reality, you pay for what you get.
If you do choose to use them, I hope you have better outcomes.
INVOKE DIGITAL MARKETING ON GOOGLE REVIEW
Just a bit of extra info. Check out their reviews on Google. Seems a bit odd.