Today’s post contains a section of our recently released, The Truth in Online Marketing. If you have not already, you can access a free copy of our book at this link. This section shared below comes after 24 pages of information-rich, how-to content. It therefore leads to an important question and one I’d love to hear input on. Are you the type who prefers to take care of the work yourself or hire others to take care of it for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
This section talks about those who prefer do have others take care of it. Enter Page 25 of The Truth in Online Marketing:
“Should I do all of this myself or turn it over to an individual, a team of individuals or a firm to take care of all of this for me?”
There are a tremendous amount of individuals and companies in the online marketing space. Smart business owners are starting to realize that they need to turn to experts in the space to assist in their online marketing. This is a good sign because it proves that this is a real medium for results and there is a strong need for its services, but it can also be a danger.
My father-in-law recently sent me an article from the New York Times, The Old Man and the Internet by Jay Goltz. This article is about a successful business man who employs more than 100 people at his five businesses. At a business group meeting, he came to a revelation that he had to become more “web-driven” and needed a “Web Director” as snippet of the article reads:
“I now understand that I am operating in a vastly different business environment, and I need to make some adjustments. The Internet, social media and whatever else I am missing are all changing fast, and I need to conquer them. Here is the problem: Business people like me do not know what is going on behind the curtain. Sometimes, we think we know, we want to know, we need to know, but how could we know?
No one who works for me has ever worked in a technology company. When I returned to the office and mentioned my business-group revelation that we needed to hire a director of Web, two of my key people said the same thing: we need to rethink our entire organizational structure.
I should have figured this out a year ago, but I was focused on moving my production facility and cutting costs. This illustrates the reality of today’s business environment. We are s-l-o-w-l-y coming out of a terrible recession, and we are all watching every dollar that we spend – but we should be spending more money on technology. Contrast that to one of these venture capital-fueled tech warehouses we’re always reading about, and you can see why established companies like mine are not just scratching their heads but holding them.
We are not experts, but in this new world, we need to be experts if we want to hit our potential. Given the number of sites we’re playing with, I always believed that it would be more cost-effective to do most of the work in-house. But after talking to people who seem to know what they are doing, I’m coming to accept that we will never be as effective as someone who does this for a living. The technology changes too fast.”
The first online response to this article by reader “George,” stated a concern of many business owners:
“The problem with web design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies is the same as trying to find a reputable plumber or contractor. How do you know they are not just stealing your money and way way way overcharging you? I am also in a business group and almost every single one has had a bad experience with a SEO company.
Business people also need to understand the difference between website design and SEO. I explain it to people in my group like this. If Walt Disney built Disney Land but had no roads leading to it, it would never make a dime. Same thing with your website. It might be great but if it’s not SEO’ed, no one will find it.”
George makes an excellent SEO analogy here, but also shares a concern held by many business owners. How can you find a provider to trust?
Since technological change and advancements happen so fast, often businesses and organizations do not keep up with changes and rely on “experts” to provide the facts. This is where the danger comes. In some cases, companies capitalize on the market need for internet marketing services and the lack of understanding of business professionals. They create outstanding sales collateral and compelling presentations that sound very good, but are based more on hype and after locking clients into contracts, they do not give a high enough value or return on investment.
At one point, I too fell victim to the hype. After falling for this hype, I vowed that never would again and set out on what became the greatest learning phase of my life over the next year. Yes, my Georgia Tech education was outstanding back in the 1990’s, but this new type of learning was more impactful. I was devoted to finding the best practices of what worked and how it worked. By directly learning from those who had success and then experimenting with and combining their results, I was truly proving what was giving value and what was not.
While The Truth in Online Marketing is a high-level, abridged summary of some of the findings, there are several important points I share that will help you avoid being ripped off in your decision of selecting your online marketing partner. Again, please share your thoughts in the comments below and if you know someone who could benefit from this information, you scan use the share icons below to share this post. Thanks and have an outstanding day!
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