Lies, Damned Lies, and Agency Statistics

If you look around the Clicky website, you’ll spot that we have a number of really positive case studies and testimonials that we like to shout about.
We share these stories because we think they’re really good examples of the times where we’ve worked closely with a client to deliver something brilliant, like a beautiful website, or a really successful marketing campaign. As far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a good result!
Far too often though, we’ve been sitting in a presentation and we’ve seen the speaker reel off some statistics that we thought were just too good to be true. You know the feeling, right? You’re listening to a pitch, and then the presenter mentions that they have increased the sales of one of the companies they work with by 600%, overnight, and with a budget of £1.30. More often than not, we know these statistics aren’t true, but we listen to them anyway.
We thought we’d try and encourage a bit of vigilance, and suggest a few questions you could ask next time you hear a wildly unbelievable statistic or case study.

“Where did you source that result from?”

A really easy one to start off with! If the answer to this isn’t a platform that you recognise, then proceed with caution. If these results have been pulled directly from Google Analytics, then great, but if they’ve been compiled on the back of a napkin thirty minutes before the presentation, maybe think twice.

“How long did it take you to achieve?”

Always a worthwhile question! Most sensible and experienced digital marketers will tell you that you can’t achieve ‘case study’ results overnight. If somebody has delivered a 400% ROI within two days, they’re probably not being entirely honest.

“What strategy did you implement to achieve that result?”

You’d be surprised how many people you can catch out with this one! If somebody mentions that they increased online sales by £10,000,000 overnight, but they can’t tell you specifically how they’ve done it, then we think there’s something fishy going on. Trust me, if we knew a secret to increase sales by millions overnight, we’d have memorised it, and most likely had it carved onto a stone plinth.

“How much of that growth would you say you were responsible for?”

Essentially, you’re just asking for a little bit of honesty here. Sometimes external factors can seriously improve the performance of a website, or the delivery of a marketing campaign, and it’s always good to see this sort of honesty in an agency. Sometimes it can be refreshing to see a presenter hold their hands up and acknowledge; “probably about 50%, but the client did invest in a new landing page or two, and that did help.” Any agency that can claim they are 100% responsible for revolutionising their client’s business either isn’t that honest. We see our clients as our partners, and we work together to achieve results. Simple.
Above all though, the one thing I would say is that questioning statistics or case studies within a presentation is a good thing. You’ll either catch out the salespeople that are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, or you’ll get to discuss a successful strategy with one of the passionate people who were instrumental in achieving it.
Here at Clicky, we’re honest about all of our results. We don’t fill our case studies with technical jargon, and all of the statistics we use are taken from the relevant platform that we’ve used to achieve those results. We detail both the time it took and the strategy that we implemented in order to achieve them.
In all honesty, we publish our case studies because we’re excited about the stories and results we’ve achieved for our clients, and that’s all.
Check out our case studies here.

Written by David Berry

Head of Performance & Analytics