Nate Smith, Founder and President of Admit Scout

Nate Smith, Founder and President of Admit Scout

Have You Spoken To Or Worked With A Marketing Agency Recently?

Whether you had a great experience, or a terrible one, we'd like to hear about it.

Help us understand who's doing good work, and who's not, so we can serve you better.


We Didn't Set Out to "Bring Integrity Back to Marketing"...


We just wanted to produce good results for our clients

We had a pretty basic approach:

Make sure we know stuff works before we offer it to our clients

Don't make promises you can't keep

You can read more about who we are and what we do here and here - but suffice-it-to-say, we'd assumed treatment centers would be overjoyed to hear from someone with the solutions to their problems. And many were.

But eventually, we started hearing stories about other marketers...

They usually took two forms.

Very occasionally, we'd hear "we're working with someone and they'e gotten us great results!"

"Awesome!" We'd say. "Can you introduce us? We might want to hire them."

Far more often, we'd hear horror stories:

"I'm tired of marketers who promise the moon-and-stars, and don't deliver on any of it."

"We worked with three other agencies, and none of them delivered on any of their promises. I promised myself I'd never pay a marketing agency in advance again."

It began to feel like we were arriving at the scene-of-a-crime every time we described our services: somebody else had already been there, promised the same thing, and either fallen-well-short, or (as in one case we heard about) flat disappeared.

To be fair, Marketing is Hard.

We show our clients the results we've gotten in the past, then we tell them: "you're going to think this is not working before it works."

And, to be fair to other marketing agencies, some of the "horror stories" are probably misunderstandings, with people who genuinely do good work, but let expectations get "out-of-whack".

(What's more, some treatment center owners admonish marketers to "be realistic" with them, then only hire firms who promise completely unrealistic things.)

For-better-or-worse, we've never promised results we hadn't already seen in real life, in similar situations. (We think it's more defensible in the long run.)

...and we've never yet failed to meet, or exceed the numbers we've promised.

And now we want to help...

So we decided to do something about it.

I'm extremely proud of our blog at Admit Scout. My philosophy has always been to give away 100% of our knowledge.

That's why I want to write an article on how to tell a legitimate marketing pitch from a bad one.

I'll call out examples of agencies that are doing great work.

But I'll also give examples of real pitches - without naming names - that haven't delivered, and tell you how to identify them.

(Just for instance, we know what's a realistic acquisition cost, and ramp-up period. When we hear "this firm said they were getting X-per-VOB in the first week", the red flags go up for us, and they likewise should for you.)

And we want your help...

It sucks that unscrupulous marketers are giving us all a bad name. I feel like I have to apologize for my industry on every-other-call.

But marketing can be amazing. Marketers have spelled the difference between growth and obsolescence for countless businesses.

And it can be done ethically. (And the ethical variety usually works better, too.)

Help me understand the abuses that you're seeing.

Just click on one of the options below to help.