A new generation of marketing incompetents.
More and more businesses in the UK are becoming the victims of lazy and incompetent digital marketing agencies who promise them all the online marketing `bells and whistles,’ but then ultimately fail to deliver. The consequences, to small businesses in particular, areoften detrimental.
Owners or managers of many small to medium sized businesses, understandably just don’t have the time to keep up to pace with the often confusing and changing trends of digital and social media marketing. They rely on the fact that their external digital marketing agency or consultancy has the expertise and experience to assess the best marketing practises for their business.
They trust the ‘experience’ of the agency, often blindly, and again that’s understandable. If I send my car for a service, I rely on the garage’s experience to fix my car – they know their trade that’s why I pay them, so why should I question them?
The difference is, when my car breaks down I will know about it straight away and I can take it back to the garage, however due to the ongoing processes of digital marketing, lacklustre results can be easier to explain away by an unscrupulous digital marketing agency.
Too many impassive business owners.
Before we look at the solutions, let’s get more of an understanding of the problems. The fact is that due to a lack of understanding of the correct digital marketing processes and strategies, a worryingly large number of businesses lose considerable potential exposure and custom.
Now, it’s important to stress that a good majority of digital marketing agencies offer a superb level of service to their clients. However, an excellent and reputable digital marketing agency or social media agency will charge for their expertise and experience accordingly, and more often than not the rates and prices of such agencies are out of the reach of many small businesses. This is quite understandable.
The good digital marketing agencies and what they do.
There is a heck of a lot that goes into actually implementing a high quality and result driven digital marketing and social media strategy, which gets paying clients for businesses. Blogging, content, video, targeting, audience outreach, podcasting, SEO etc.
All these elements need to be cohesively and strategically considered, understood, planned and executed regularly.
This takes time, preparation and investment but above all the executer or digital marketing agency has to understand the complete processes and apply all the elements to your business, and more importantly to the marketing trends and potential audience of your industry.
So undoubtedly, good and competent digital marketing agencies are worth their salt because they will understand all the above and go out of their way to help their clients to achieve results. This comes at a cost though, and as I have said, often it is too much for newer or smaller businesses.
The bad digital marketing agencies and what they don’t do.
Unfortunately, many of these smaller or newer less established businesses become the victim of incompetent so-called ‘digital marketing agencies’ who have been set up by people with limited experience with digital marketing. These agencies will charge a couple of hundred pounds a month as a minimum, claiming to get the business new clients on social media, or decent page rankings on google.
They will devise a well-presented and glossy plan based on the minimum that they can do for your business, talk the talk and promise you and your business every marketing solution under the sun, while subtly suggesting that ‘nothing is guaranteed.’
Well of course, apart from time and death nothing in life is guaranteed, but you don’t want to be paying a substantial allocation of your marketing budget to someone who can’t at least guarantee some sort of a return on your marketing investment. I mean if you wanted to take a high-risk chance you would do it yourself wouldn’t you?
Businesses who are taking on the services of a digital marketing agency for the first time need to be aware that your business’s marketing activities will more than likely be given only a few allocated hours a week.
Not only that, these agencies also have other clients, so more often than not your businesses marketing activities will not take priority. They will also tell you that you need to give them at least six months to get traction.
There’s some truth in this, however in my opinion there’s often, though not always, a more troubling reason the more inexperienced agencies say this, which I will come to shortly.Going back to some of the earlier points, the fact is that to get a truly worthwhile level of feedback and potential business, your digital marketing activities need more than just a few hours a week to get results. Fact.
Secondly, as social media is becoming more and more prevalent and important as a way of getting your business out there, the complete process of your businesses digital marketing plan has to incorporate paid digital advertising, blogging, video content and the relevant exposure on the social media platforms.
Basically, for effective results and to put your business on the digital stage, your external marketing agency has to take the time to develop a unique and tailored digital marketing and social media marketing strategy, they have to understand your business, its history, its future, its structure and its industry sector.
They absolutely have to give your business the respect, understanding and commitment it deserves and nothing less. Do you really think that any agency worth its salt will offer a service of less than five hundred pounds a month and tell you that you will be the master of your sector with their digital activities? It’s nonsense. A lot more time and investment is required, but then the pay off, if undertaken properly, is well worth the initial outlay.
Hence, I go back to my earlier point. Some of the less, shall we say ‘competent’ rather than ‘dishonest’ digital marketing agencies, will base their business model on generating six months’ worth of income from their clients. After six months the client complains and wants to cancel, but guess what? The agency isn’t bothered because other clients have bought into the false line, so for every business that drops off another two join and stay for six months. You see where this is going?
The potential consequences to unsuspecting business owners and managers.
Now, again I must stress that the vast majority of digital and social media marketing agencies operate ethically and properly, but the unfortunate fact is that a growing number of marketing incompetents are becoming more prevalent, copying over rated YouTube influencers, learning a fraction of what they need to know then cutting their `milk teeth’ on reputable, honest, decent hard working businesses. And when things go wrong it’s these business owners who lose.
A failed business can lead to a complete loss of morale and ultimately a lack of confidence which may mean that those involved in its set up just give up on their ambitions. More serious issues such as depression, loss of income and support for the families and owners and managers of the said businesses are also very real potential problems.
Of course, more than often it’s not only bad marketing that causes the unnecessary demise of a business, there are other contributory factors such as finance, management, timing etc., however without a solid, realistic, well planned and timely digital social and general marketing strategy, the risks of a business’s premature demise can be greatly reduced.
So there you have it, these are just some of the consequences of bad or poorly planned or managed marketing strategies. The consequences should never be underestimated. Business owners invest so much into their businesses and sacrifice their own time and leisure to make their dreams and ambitions a reality for themselves and their families.
It makes absolute sense then that they must spend as much time and effort in understanding, evaluating and choosing the right digital marketing agency to undertake their marketing activities. After all, a good marketing strategy is the lifeblood of any successful business or organisation.
For more free information and insights on the latest digital and social media marketing trends for business, please visit us at www.squarebaseconsulting.com
by M J Malik email: firstname.lastname@example.org 10th October 2019