Top 5 Digital Marketing Scams
Digital marketing has become the de jure technique in the marketing industry. Everything is now available online and delivered at our door step, be it ice cream or cookies (pun intended). The idea of taking your business online and connecting with potential customers all around the world has fascinated entrepreneurs.
From small business entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 conglomerates,businesses are now sold on digital marketing. Prior to the pandemic, there were fence sitters who did not deny the importance of digital marketing, but were not sure if it would work for their organization.
Marketing techniques changes day by day. Some work, some don’t. Hence, we digital marketers innovate and experiment by being spontaneous and taking calculated risks.The tactics and methods used by competitorsmay not always be fruitful for a similar business. Unfortunately, there are a few digital marketing agencies that take advantage of the constant flux and chaos to cheat clients and make a quick buck. We have listed a few steps alert customers should follow to ensure that they do not fall for the mirage created by these fly by night operators.Being a digital marketing company with more than two decades of experience, we can see through their tricks clearly.
5 Common Digital Marketing Frauds
- Misleading you into thinking that your digital marketing sucks. This is one of most common tactic used. The fraudster uses a free tool that churns out an automated report on SEO, usability, content, security, etc. Although the report is usually too technical to understand, it ranks the website in question very poorly on all parameters. To get a world class website that will magically double your business, you will need to hire the agency in question.
Solution : Since the agency claims to have done a thorough audit of the website, they should have some idea about what the website is about. Asking a few questions about your product/services and the profile of your customers should be enough to make them disappear into the darkness.
- Creating urgency to buy packages Fear of losing out on an opportunity may result in committing to a bad decision.
This holds true for digital marketing packages as well. After executing their so called “one in a lifetime offer”,the rate of follow up calls increases. They highlight only the fact that the offer ends in the next few days with prices set to increase manifold beyond the date. These showcased packages are not only overpriced for the services that they are actually offering, some of it might actually be available for free online. With lack of knowledge about the services, you might end up spending more.
Solution: Googling the service/offering along with the word “FREE” is a good giveaway. For example, a search for “Free SSL certificate”reveals that what is being sold for close to $100 /yr is actually free!
- Fake client profiles When it comes to clientele, remember its always too good to be true! In order to get you to buy their services, scamster agencies use a fake list of high-end clients. By showcasing marquee logos, they tend to attract customers and try to build a trust factor.
Solution: Simply asking the service provider for references that you can check on can help. Be sure to get official email IDs and not just phone numbers.
Do more research. Try to see if there are any client testimonials from real people on their website, which can be verified through LinkedIn. Also check online ratings and reviews.
- Not interested in listening In order to provide right solutions to resolve an on-going problem, it’s necessary to study the problem and its equally important to describe the problem in the right way.
Let the service provider know what you’re actually looking for in terms of your requirements and the goals that have been set for the organization. Of course, at the onset, a fake digital agency mightmake the right nioses by asking what exactly the business is looking for, the targets for next year and so on. But without concentrating on the answers, the focus shifts from what the requirements are to what they want to sell.
They will end up selling different services in a short span of time which may not help the organization meet its goals, but ensures a fat recurring paycheck for the agency.
Solution: Try to find out whether the digital agency really understands your requirements by asking specific questions. Had they provided a questionnaire, answers to which might have helped them understand the business? Are they taking an initiative to have frequent meetings? Do they share regular reports on tasks and results?
- Offering a limited set of services vaguely related to digital marketing The digital world is full of new ideas and platforms. There are new developments every single day. Offline marketing is vast,so is online (digital) marketing. Digital marketing allows you to customise your plan according to your needs. Its flexible and if used optimally, can make your business touch the sky. Digital marketing helps you acquire potentials customers globally with personalized messaging. Unlike traditional marketing, digital enables you to track and measure the results too. So question and research before you invest.
Solution: A boutique brand selling white shirts has its place, but not when you are shopping for a pair of blue jeans. When a specialized digital agency has a hammer in hand, every problem looks like a nail. A social media agency may be great at what they are doing, but if the product/service is a misfit for social, no amount of expertise will help.