How to Avoid Digital Marketing Pitfalls
by Shane O’Neill, Vice President
Digital Marketing – talk about a buzzword! Everyone’s an “expert”, yet most are not. The problem is that anyone can pretty easily launch digital marketing campaigns or even start a business. So it has been these last few years with “digital media companies” popping up everywhere. It seems that everyone offers digital marketing, even when it’s not part of their core business; brands, web companies, and even display companies. You can’t make this stuff up. Most perform the function of the platform, but not much else. Why? They’re not marketing experts and therefore lack the insight needed to deploy strategic, effective campaigns. They know this, but the lure of offering another hot service is just too tempting. You need to be careful about who you choose to deploy digital campaigns, but also beware of the onslaught of phishing emails that some companies use to mislead you.
Stay away from random emails claiming you’re doing something wrong. Usually, it’s just a “quick note” from someone who “happened to notice” something you’re not doing right online. They throw out some technical jargon to make you rethink what you’re doing. Even worse are companies that openly bash other companies. For them, it’s all about getting a client at any cost. But often times, what they’re saying is just “spin” or simply untrue.
Why is this bad for our industry? It misleads retailers, encouraging them to change direction or choose the wrong digital marketing partner. Their strong-arm tactics work because most retailers have no idea how digital platforms really work, so it’s easy to sell the jargon. Keep in mind, just because someone says you’re doing something wrong, doesn’t make it true. There are many ways to run digital campaigns; but if you have developed a strategy, you should know how to measure effectiveness.
All of this confusion leads retailers to think that all click companies are the same. They’re not. Whether it’s social media, PPC, retargeting, or SEO, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers and acronyms. Before someone sets off alarm bells about “missed opportunities,” put a plan in place. Digital marketing dollars are extremely important and without that plan, many will go to waste.
Want to stay clear of this digital mess? Here’s how:
1) Do your own due diligence. Speak to professionals you trust. Yes, there are great digital media companies out there.
2) If you do #1, delete those phishing emails.
3) If a company bashes another company, talk to the company being bashed. They must be perceived as a threat. Find out why.
4) This isn’t a used car lot. Heavy-handed sales should be a red flag.
5) Set some objectives, outline benchmarks, and set a realistic timeframe for results. Stick with it and don’t listen to the door knockers.
6) Look at and understand your results. How are efforts like your cost per click performing compared to others? What kind of impact have these efforts made on your site traffic?
Do this and you’ll take the headache out of digital marketing, and most likely find a partner that can actually help drive business in 2018.