More often than you think we are engaged to go in and sort someone else's mess involving a digital recruitment initiative/pilot/launch etc and one has to be very careful not to get stuck in a mindset of other companies are rubbish and we are great. There is some outstanding work done both internally and by other suppliers in this market and occasionally we have to say to clients we would love to work with "actually your current supplier is doing the right stuff in the right way at the right rates - so stick with them".
However - we got called in for some remedial SEM work by a big corporate that had been done by one of the leading players (they would say THE leading player in the industry) and it was an absolute piece of Mickey Mouse work that really stunned me with how it could have been set up that way - tracked in that fashion etc.
The problems this causes are a complete lack of confidence in SEM (and consequently business/social network pilots) and lack of faith in all companies in this sector.
I felt myself coming over all PeterGold and ranting about those who claim to be "experts" when they are no such thing.
Now i know that this SEM company are extremely competent (if expensive) so what happened? probably boring old factors like a bad account manager, too busy, being oversold to customer, too big a spend in first couple of months and then always playing catch up while dealing with an unhappy client relationship. I am sure there may have been some customer issues too but i guess we will find out more over next few months but the key thing is to keep the spend down while those lessons are learned - well that's our approach and we are sticking to it.