Diving the Digital Marketing Ocean
by Shane O'Neill, Vice President
One of my favorite places to vacation is St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. I love the place because it’s straight up island life without all the cruise ships and tourists. One of the things I like to do is scuba dive and I got hooked when I first visited the island and snorkeled. Once you peek into this other world it’s hard to not want to see more. It’s magical. So, I got certified to dive. Now, I can immerse myself in this underwater paradise and explore all the wonders it has to offer, but as you begin to dive deeper, the world changes and starts to get a little scary.
On this trip, we decided to dive The Wall. There’s an amazing coral reef in only about 25 to 40 feet of water. It’s teeming with life including rays, sea turtles and schools of fish, but then it begins to drop… 13,000 feet to the bottom, along the Puerto Rico Trench. There were only three of us on this dive. One was the dive guide, who stayed close to my wife since she isn’t certified and can only go as far as 40 feet, and me. At one point, our guide pointed to The Wall for me to go explore. Now, I’ve only been a certified diver for a year, so my experience has been limited and always with a group. Venturing off by myself really changed things. As I made my way deeper, it wasn’t long before I found myself all alone in this vast ocean, staring at a sea floor that drops into darkness. Those schools of fish now looked like massive shadows moving through the water. It was all a tad bit scary. It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t really know where I was. I quickly checked myself and started to make my way back. The only way for me to find my wife and dive guide was to use my compass to navigate back to where I left them, but would they still be there? As luck would have it, as I passed around a large coral formation, I ran straight into them. Relieved, we finished the rest of our dive together.
What’s this got to do with digital marketing? A lot, actually. You see, there’s a number of “agencies” that offer digital marketing. There are also a number of jewelers that do digital marketing in-house. The problem is, in large part, they haven’t gone through any type of “certification” to show that they are experts in the medium(s). Most of their time is spent in the 25 to 40 feet depth of water because their knowledge base prohibits their campaigns from going deeper. That can cause actual costs to increase and thus waste precious marketing dollars. However, as you dive deeper into these digital opportunities, you quickly begin to notice how much there really is to learn in order to create truly effective campaigns. There are many layers to great digital marketing efforts. When you start to see how many things can negatively impact your efforts if not done correctly, it can become a little overwhelming. Just like anything else, there are professionals who navigate those waters best. As a Google Partner, we know this firsthand. The point, however, is about understanding the complexities of digital marketing, not just focusing on what’s on the surface. It also illustrates that digital efforts are best when they’re working together and not independently. That seems pretty obvious, yet many don’t do it.
The bottom line is to take digital marketing seriously and understand there is a lot under the surface. Talk to partners who demonstrate deeper skills. Those are whom you want by your side when you get serious about your digital marketing. That way you’re never alone, swimming with the shadows.