The Internet marketing world is ripe for double standards and I could easily mention a few right off the top of my head. That said, I’d like to focus on one that Internet marketing companies face from time to time when they work with companies that have an “old school” mentality.
There’s an old saying in the advertising world. It’s of an advertiser complaining: “50% of my advertising campaign budget is wasted, I just dont’ know which 50%.” Now, with modern technology, we are able to track where the money is being spent, consumer habits, and return on investment.
Where’s The Double Standard?
That quote says it all. Before the Internet, it was extremely difficult to track customer behaviours and identify how significant an impact they ad had on sales. The old way of advertising (radio, TV, and newspapers) was a shot in the dark.
Placing ads in these areas were often a waste. Given my discussions with clients, I see that these days they are an even bigger waste. Everyone is online. You need to go where your customers have gone or you risk making your company disappear.
The Internet is intangible and difficult to grasp for many business people. I get that. Compare that with seeing an ad in the paper, watching a TV commercial or hearing their jingle on the radio. The assumption is that mass blanketing of consumers will generate all the sales they want.
When businesses, who rely on this form of advertising (i.e., “traditional” advertising) hire a company to manage their online efforts (especially their PPC campaigns), a combination of several points happen.
The first (and worst) is that many companies suddenly get stingy. That’s right. I said it. Why would you waste $13,000 on a newspaper ad that will be shown for one day and forgotten within minutes, if not seconds? For $13,000 I could build a website and promote it with PPC that will yield direct, measurable results for at least, say, a week. That’s a weeks worth of target market consumer eyeballs who are actively seeking your product and/or service.
I had one client who spent $10,000 on a radio ad that lasted a couple of weeks. They promised her the moon with all kinds of unfulfilled gimmicks (contest, promotion and link on their website, etc). Guess who called her. People looking for a job or other radio stations asking her to advertise with them. That’s it. To this day she emails me several times per year to remind me that her website which cost far less than that radio ad has generate tons of business.
I think that too many businesses only focus on the cost. They often have a difficult time assessing the PPC process. They also take expertise thats’ not easily obtained for granted. Perhaps the worst part is that they still try to stick to the old ways.
Therein lies the source of the double standard. They will readily give money, no questions asked, to traditional media but give their search marketing consultant a hard time for what typically amounts to much more targeted results.
Another notable point is that some of these clients get angry when you tell them that there are no guarantees, either with SEO or PPC. Do they get angry at the guy who made the radio jingle when sales don’t come through? No. Do they call the newspaper and ask for a refund? No. Yet, with Internet marketing, there is a higher standard.
This is obviously not true for every business but it happens often enough to warrant this blog post. You want sales. Try the new way. It’s (usually) good for you!