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The Moment of Truth

Updated: Apr 28

I was going over the analytics for the previous month’s marketing for a handful of clients when I noticed something very odd: A client that had a $500 per month ad spend budget had spent $1,200. Some may say that’s not a huge difference, but it definitely mattered to this client.


That was a crap your pants moment.

After talking with my team, it was determined that two new Google campaigns were created and live without pausing the other campaigns. We overspent a client’s budget by more than 2x. I looked at the results of those 2 new campaigns. If they had increased revenue to make up for the difference, then that would be ok. They didn’t. In fact, the revenue generated from those 2 campaigns was only about $300.

What did I do?

I called the client and told them that I messed up – a lot. No excuses, no explanation. We screwed up royally and that’s all there was to it. We offered the following:

  1. Full refund of the excess we spent

  2. For us to comp that amount on upcoming invoices

The reality is that everyone has a crap your pants moment. Every marketing agency has messed up. If they say they haven’t, they’re probably not being 100% honest. Why tell a client point-blank that you messed up? Because that’s the right thing to do. I always try to make the right and fair decision, even when it’s difficult. All anyone really has is their word, and I want to always keep my word to the best of my ability.

The end of the story?

The client forgave us, chose option #2, we moved around the budget and they’re still our client.

Honesty pays off. 

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