For those who may know me, I am a pretty easygoing person. Very rarely do I get caught up in the drama of the digital marketing industry. My main focus in on delivering value to my customers. But over the last few weeks, I have been astounded at the amount of digital BS that some customers are being served by their vendors.
Let me first set the stage with a few basics I believe.
- Fact: 80-90% of shoppers going online before contacting a business.
- Fact: A company’s online presence is now their most important marketing initiative.
- Fact: Digital Marketing spending is now increasing as a portion of total marketing budgets.
- Fact: Business owners dread conversations about Digital Marketing.
SEO, SEM, Video Pre-roll, Adwords Analytics, Optimization, Rich Snippets and the names go on and on. It sends a chill down the spines of many business owners. To many it is like taking medicine. You know you have to take it, that it will help you in the long run but you are sure it is going to taste bad.
In my mind, online marketing is a pretty simple concept. It may take time and some self-education to master techniques, but business owners should not be made to think that they couldn’t understand it. The goal of online marketing is the same as any other marketing: getting customers to contact you.
Stop the Digital Marketing Deception
My finding is that the fear of engaging with Digital Marketing makes business owners feel that they have to change the way they run their business. That in turn makes them feel obsolete.
My beef is that when I have been asked to review reports for business owners, in many of these cases their previous agencies were not delivering any real value. It was also very apparent that the agency played on the ignorance of their client in regards to digital marketing.
These are my opinions and I am sure the agency would defend their model, but when their customer asked for a breakdown of what they did for their fee each month, the customer just received a laundry list of “things we could do”. When the customer pushed back demanding a detailed list of tasks, once again, the account manager attempted to push it up the chain to someone else, and then sent their laundry list with no real answer.
What I see is a lack of transparency in reporting, no real work being done each month, old school SEO tactics, confusing “SEO” speak, Social Media postings that look like my 10 year old did them, condescension or even defensive posturing when customers ask for results and one and on it goes.
What this in turn does is affects all agencies. Good agencies are challenged for their services and fees, because they are being compared to the less expensive agencies (and really no service done) so having a conversation about digital becomes commoditized, not a partnership.
I am in no way claiming to be perfect, but from what I see, the charlatans days are numbered because customers are getting more educated and researching who they partner with. Remember, if your vendor cannot explain what they are doing with your money each month in a language you can understand, then it may be time to invest elsewhere in your companies success. Time to call Digital BS on some vendors.
Glenn Pasch is the current CEO of PCG Digital Marketing as well as a father, husband, writer and part of the National Speaker Association. I am excited to be part of the Digital Marketing Strategies Conference April 12-14th in Napa. Come join me.