When digital marketing fails

  • Jul 11, 2015

You can pick two: good, fast or cheap

Digital marketing is truly unique in a way that it lets small players get their fair share of attention. Marketing is no longer a bloodbath where big corporations crush small underdogs ruthlessly. However, as with everything else, a small group of people always finds a way to mint money using tricks. And organizations seeking el cheapo fall prey to them. And this results in a bad web experience.


We all browse the web and we all are aware of the fact that despite all the improvements in web technologies, a big chunk of the internet is still not user-friendly and at times, ugly. We are going to contemplate the situation from an agency perspective and tell you what we learned in 15 years running an agency.

There are two things that cause bad web experience for consumers:

  1. Companies hiring low-end agencies to do their marketing
  2. Marketing people in companies interfering too much with the agency’s work

You get what you pay for

You may have heard of SEO specialists claiming the first spot on Google, marketing specialists assuring maximum conversions and social media marketing experts who guarantee 10K likes or followers. Now the thing is these people exploit other people’s ignorance. Do you really think that anyone can guarantee a first spot on Google?

“What is cheap is always the most costly.” – German proverb


Now these so called experts don’t get into things that require real hard work, instead they take shortcuts. Shortcuts that are fatal to your brand reputation. Shortcuts such as:

  • Black hat SEO and other online frauds
  • Bogus blogging in the name of your brand
  • Real bad social media posting
  • Creating spinned and jargon-filled content for your website (which is equivalent of suicide)

Get this straight, these things hurt your brand badly. And brand reputation spoiled once is very hard to restore. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Hiring an agency to do your marketing and not letting do it

Marketing people in every organization must understand digital marketing with a blank slate. They have to put aside for a moment what they are taught in their purely theoretical MBA programs. And start thinking from a consumer’s perspective. I am not saying that you can easily put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and know what they want. I am just telling you to be empathetic to your consumers.

Try, try harder to understand what problem they are trying to solve with your product or service. When you forget you work for a company and instead become a leader of consumers, you start to see things differently. This is what greatest advertisers are good at. They totally nail it, they tell consumers exactly what they want to hear.

There’s always a promise in your every ad. You don’t sell the product, you sell a promise.

  • This product will save you time
  • This service will make you healthy
  • This oil will not let your engine go old

You have hired an agency to do stuff they are good at, so let them do. Give them product insights, give them information about company culture and cooperate with them.

What we have learned in 15 years marketing companies

For the past 15 years, we have worked with every type and size of clients, and one thing that we feel really kills good initiatives is – lack of communication. When you hire an agency to do your branding, marketing, and advertising, then you have to trust them, listen to them. An agency never tells you how to design your product or how to price your services. Too much interference with the agency’s work will end up weakening your own brand.

Research and big data, the latest marketing buzzword, also turn campaigns into disasters. You have to get your statistics clear that – bigger the data set, bigger the chances of completely misreading it. Research should play its role in the decision-making process, but decisions shouldn’t entirely rely upon research. We aren’t putting websites up for robots, people use them. There’s always an emotional factor involved.

Admen have long understood this fact. It’s time for marketers to understand this.

Difference between ‘el cheapo’ and quality


Instead of going for shortcuts, good agencies apply time-tested marketing principles such as:

  • Creating personas and targeting people
  • Being sympathetic and include a promise in every message
  • Write your copy for the consumer, if he can’t understand what you are selling, you won’t sell anything
  • Give great quality content, sure it’s not cheap, but neither is your brand image
  • Great social marketing, highly engaging posts, promptly responding to user’s queries in a tone compatible with your brand image.

Great agencies understand that it takes time to build a brand. They get to the root of a great user experience and make the consumer feel like the brand is made for just himself. This is really important for the long run.

You can opt for a ‘first spot in Google within 3 months’ agency if you aren’t serious about your organization. If you are, choose quality.

Go for what will matter in the last

Forget SEO, instead make sure you are offering: 1. Great content, and 2. Good design. If you are doing this then SEO is only needed to do what it’s meant to do – telling Google what the content is about.

There’s already so much online ad fraud going on that your safest bet is – great quality content and user experience.

So hire good agencies, support them in their work. This will help you create a great web presence and ultimately boost sales.

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