How did the relationship with Directive evolve?
Directive’s leadership was involved during the project’s early stages to ensure that everything ran smoothly. However, they became inaccessible as time elapsed. Their unresponsiveness to multiple asks made us feel like an unimportant client. The account manager did his best, but there seemed to be a managerial gap between him and the executives. The experience was disappointing because we, as a small team, chose to outsource to experts.
Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
The first few months were encouraging. We experienced gradual progress with SEO and paid results through August 2018. Positive traction with SEO made us optimistic about future results. However, our numbers then fell below the levels from our first partnership with the local vendor. We ended the partnership after Directive shut our campaign down twice—one time lasted a week—without informing us. Their unsatisfactory performance made it impossible to justify the partnership from a fiscal perspective.
How was project management handled?
The account manager was great, but the executive leadership was not. He capably executed a handoff and remained supportive throughout the engagement. I cannot say the same for the rest of his team.
This is the first negative review I’ve left in my career. We were truly disappointed in Directive because I thought they were going to support us.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
The documentation was comprehensive, which is especially important for SEO and paid projects. They captured everything and established a continuous dialogue between the project manager and us.
In what specific areas can they improve?
The team could have been more detail oriented. We kept spending money, hoping that additional investment would turn the project around. However, the problems were caused by a lack of diligence and strategy. Ultimately, their expertise, recommendations, and execution did not have a positive impact.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
We used several review sites including Clutch to find a replacement agency. Customers should check references and online reviews before hiring a vendor. We hadn’t talked to Directive’s references. Furthermore, clients should ensure the vendor’s experience aligns with their industry. In short, do as much diligent research as possible.