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Recognizing the Marketing Con Man

Many people approach an online marketing agency like they would an auto mechanic. They come in armed with just enough knowledge to “protect” themselves. Honestly, it’s  understandable why you might feel on guard. There are plenty of marketing scams out there, from blatant false promises to carefully concocted semantics designed to mislead. One of our primary goals is to educate; so, we are going to give you some insider wisdom to use in your pursuit of promotion.

The Affiliation S-t-r-e-t-c-h
Before anything, check into the agency’s reputation using all the resources you have available. If marketing agencies know anything, it’s how to make a business (especially their own business) look good. So, they will proudly display any beneficial affiliations in a ploy to wow you. They may list Disney World® and Coca-Cola® as clients, but that doesn’t tell you what they did for them…or HOW WELL they did it for that matter. Be cautious, gather your questions, and ask them outright if you can’t get the answers elsewhere.

The Website with SEO Package
Everyone wants a little SEO these days; and, marketing firms know this well. The problem is, SEO is an intense battle to prove a site’s relevance to the search engines. It takes time and money that wise people would not jump into with their eyes closed and their cash-laden hand outstretched. Along comes a marketing guy who promises SEO Web Design, making your new website “search engine friendly”, and optimizing it for niche keywords. If you didn’t know better, that would sound like you are getting a website and SEO package that will ultimately put you on the first page of Google. Wrong. Optimizing a website is critical, but the majority of the work in an effective SEO Campaign takes place off your site. The value is in the details. Be sure you are comparing pomegranates to pomegranates.

The Niche Market Expert
Marketers who claim to be experts in your field are part of a fast growing trend. But, guess what? Most of them are just regular marketers who decided that having a niche would make them more marketable. Funny how that works! The best agency for any business is going to be the one with the best marketing knowledge…not the agency that supposedly specializes in your field. A good agency will do the proper research to provide you with an ethical campaign that works, and not use tricks designed to fool the search engines. The “specialist” may be good too; just be sure to judge them on their marketing expertise, not their dental or law firm expertise. A true niche market specialist can be an advantage because they are likely to have established relationships in your industry that may be helpful. In the end, the advice is the same. Weigh their overall marketing expertise heavily in your decision.

Instant Page One
There is absolutely no formula or relationship known to man to rocket a business to the first page of Google or any other search engine. Anyone who tells you different is lying. Period. Trust the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.”

Online Marketing evolves at a super high rate of speed, so it’s not likely that a layman will be able to keep up. Before talking to an agency, spend your time checking into their reputation. Knowing a few buzz words and techniques won’t fool the pros. In our experience, even the most savvy client comes to us with outdated knowledge.

We don’t expect you to be an expert. That’s why we are here. And, we are happy to spend time on client education so that you are armed with real knowledge about the latest strategic best practices.