There are several reasons why people change their online marketing:
- They get pitched something by a marketing company. This might be a cold call, an unsolicited email, or a suggestion from a trusted marketing partner or provider.
- They see their competitor doing something and want to do the same.
- They independently research something and want to try it out.
- They are just tired of what they have and want to try something new.
All of these can be compelling reasons, but in my 20+ years of being in the online marketing business, it pains me to admit that there is a lot of hyperbole and over-hyped online marketing opportunities out there. There is also a lot of outright fraud and complete wastes of money.
The best plans for any business might include all 4 elements above, though the most important, in our opinion, is #3. It’s ok to listen to pitches from online marketing companies, but by all means, do a significant amount of due diligence prior to agreeing to any spending any money.
Here are a few scenarios and how not to get ripped off.
Cold Call from Marketing Company
We’ve all got calls companies that try to insinuate they are Google. The number display might show “Mountain View, California”, Google’s home. The voice on the phone might mention Google and then mumble something after that or speak very quickly. You might hear what sounds like an overseas call center in the background.
These are all scams and the only thing that will happen is you will lose your money. Hang up. Simple.
If the call does seem legitimate, verify that the Caller ID is from a legitimate company. Ask for the website address and mailing address of the company prior to engaging in conversation. If the caller won’t give it to you, hang up.
Another strategy is to tell the caller that you would like to receive information about the services in an email. If you find it of interest–after doing some research–you’ll follow up.
Your Competitor is Doing Something Interesting
Seeing your competitor doing something with their website or seeing their ads in an interesting place can be a wonderful way to expand or refocus what you do. If they can do it, so can you.
This is a great time to call a company like Kona Impact to investigate how you can copy what your competitor is doing.
Smart business owners are always looking for ways to improve and innovate. There are many great ways to have greater reach, fewer costs and more impact with your online marketing. This might include website changes, online pay-per-click advertising, display ads, email marketing, podcast advertising, combined print/online marketing–the possibilities are endless.
There are three important questions to answer:
- How does it work?
- Who will I reach?
- How do I know its effective?
Change for Change Sake
Changing what you’re doing because you believe change is always good is often the least effective way to move forward. If your current efforts are no longer effective, that is a reason to change. If you’re doing nothing, doing something will at least give you some data to get in the game.
The challenge with blindly seeking change is that you’ll often create many new problems when you “solve” old ones.
Do some research, consult with some marketing professionals, and weigh the pros and cons of changing what you have before you move forward with any changes. Most importantly, be skeptical, ask questions, and verify what you’ll receive from whom.