The next time you love talking to a digital marketing agency will probably be the first time. Most  agencies have staff that blabber more than a used-car salesperson and get little results. These are stupid things that your digital marketing agency tells you that probably drives you nuts.

“Content Is King” 

Really? Not to my toddler… or anyone else’s toddler for that matter. Marketing  people know that people go online to get solutions to problems. What marketers don’t know is how to make sure their business is an option when people go online searching. Giving them a lecture on where content sits in some weird-looking digital marketing family chart isn’t going to help them get more leads, appointments or sales. Digital marketers are too short on specifics and too long on generalizations.

“The buying process has changed” 

No it hasn’t and us digital marketing agencies aren’t some Merlin-typed sorcerers either. People still use money to buy everything. Except on the playground. I believe sports cards work there…maybe marbles too? Pog perhaps?

Digital marketing agencies will tell you that the buying cycle has changed for your product. Don’t be scared or overwhelmed. It hasn’t. People have educated themselves about products and services to buy since forever. Before the web they would educate themselves with catalogs sent home, newspaper ads and a million other ways. Didn’t your grandparents research products and listen to friends/experts before making decisions? 

It’s not like digital marketing agencies have invented the inbound marketing and content marketing processes either. Before inbound and content marketing were all the rage didn’t businesses use newspaper coupons, radio talk shows and free seminars to generate leads? Of course they did! Lead generation has been a huge need for businesses since well before the Internet came along. The battles for new business opportunities are rapidly moving to the online world, but you can still use your old-school fundamentals to win them. Any digital marketing agency telling you otherwise needs a stern talking to.

“A digital visit is just as valuable as a physical visit” 

Said no savvy digital marketer. The only time a business’ website visitor gets more attention than an in-person visitor is if that website visitor is a hacker and the business is Yahoo. The in-person visitor should be considered a super-hero to you! Think about their origin story. Here’s what they did:

  • They went to Google to find a solution to some problem they were facing
  • Some articles and blog posts came up that answered their problem or shed some additional light on it
  • Then, after a bit more research they found you.
  • They looked you up, look up your reviews on third-party websites and social media
  • After all that they decided to put their Netflix watching aside and stop in for a visit. 

WOW! Just for you! And are now at your office or calling you on the phone. In case your wondering that’s a huge win for your marketing. How many times do you do that process when trying to figure out where you’re eating on Friday night? After all that research do you show up at the restaurant and leave without buying anything?! Um, no. You’ve done all the research already and know exactly what the pros and cons of the restaurant is.

Same rules apply for B2B sales and big-ticket items (like cars). A B2B service/product company may get  20,000 visits a month to their website, whitepaper, or webinar, but only 10 meetings with potential customers (call, Gotomeeting or face-to-face). Who gets more attention? Do you serve refreshments to your website visitors like you do your in-person visitors? Sometimes even the best digital marketing agency can forget these fundamentals.

“You really need to be on *insert social media platform here*” 

Social media is the hang-out place everyone, those interested in your product or not, goes to. The problem is people go on social media to be talked to and talk to people. Not to be talked at. Which is what paid advertising on social media feels like. 

Think about the last time you opened Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Did you open them to find out about interesting products or services? Most people use these platforms to check up on their friends (Facebook), work relationships (LinkedIn) and celebrities/wannabe celebrities they don’t know (Twitter). So when your customers head on down to Facebook – the digital equivalent of Cheers for them – they aren’t going there to find out about other products or services.

There are a lot of uneducated and uninformed digital snakes in the marketing jungle. We hate the digital marketing agency that insults our intelligence, throw buzzwords and abbreviations at us, talk all day and produce nothing.  A digital marketing team doing that is hazardous to your health! They certainly aren't the X-Men. Technology has changed where marketing takes place, but the mechanics of how products get sold and business gets won hasn’t. Digital marketing and planning your marketing strategy isn’t nearly as complicated as people make it out to be.

Should I outsource web development?