Buyer Beware! Some Online Marketers Engaging in Questionable Practices

When we decided to specialize in providing online marketing services five years ago, we made a conscious decision to do it in a marketing-driven way. To us it wasn’t about “gaming” the search engines or about quick hits. It was about using these powerful new communications tools to develop, and disseminate, value-based content on behalf of our clients. This was well before the term “content marketing” became popular.
As marketing strategists, our philosophy has always been to differentiate through educating; if you are truly better than your competitors, then an educated prospect is your best prospect.
With more and more businesses requiring help with online marketing, the number of service providers is growing daily. And as with any emerging industry, online marketing services are like the Wild West.
Although some service providers are first rate, many engage in questionable practices. And then there are scam artists who are taking advantage of business owners who aren’t experts in the online realm.
We are not professing to be perfect – but we are committed to an honest, strategic, business-oriented approach.

Online Marketing Is About Strategy

Just like marketing in general, online marketing is not about instant results. It is about the long game, where the winners are those who do the right things consistently, day in and day out, over time. Companies doing this are committed to an “outside-in” approach, and sharing their knowledge and expertise with their targeted audiences so buyers can make the best possible decisions.
If you approach online marketing in this way, you get rewarded by both prospects and search engines. And when this happens, you create momentum that generates a positive return on investment.
In order to generate this kind of momentum, your online marketing strategy must be in alignment with your business objectives and priorities. Online success requires a strategic versus a tactical approach.

Buyer Beware!

Unfortunately, virtually every day we are seeing service providers who are either not qualified to develop and execute proper online marketing strategies, or worse, those who are just flat out dishonest.
That’s why we are starting a new blog series called “Buyer Beware”. We want to help businesses understand what to look for and what to avoid when choosing an online marketing company to work with.
In the last twelve months, we have secured a number of clients who were either not getting what they were expecting from their online services providers, or were having a bad experience. Our hope is that these articles help you avoid these pitfalls, thereby saving you time and money and allowing you to achieve positive results sooner.
Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • Black hat versus white hat tactics (coming up next!)
  • Getting locked into long-term contracts
  • How websites should really be developed
  • Reporting and transparency
  • Understanding what you’re paying for
  • Managing disparate service providers
  • And more!

The bottom line is that you must clearly understand not only what your online marketing services provider is going to do, but how they are going to do it. If not done well, or dishonestly, you will ultimately be disappointed.
Even worse, some of these practices can have a detrimental impact on your business.
Please watch for these articles, because in the Wild West of online marketing, it really is buyer beware.
>> Core Online Marketing is an outsourced online marketing company with expertise in email marketing, content creation, SEO, and other related services! Contact us or sign up for our free online marketing seminar.

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Ben Molfetta
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