With the wonderful Internet, we have at hand, the answer to all our problems and in some cases, we have the root of all our problems. For centuries, if you wanted to know anything of any importance, you went to the highest authority you could find. Twenty years ago, if you had a medical query, you went to a doctors whereas today there are an alarming number of people who ask for advice from friends and acquaintances on social networks, a somewhat disaster waiting to happen.
Professionals v Amateurs
So, has technology made us lazy? Well, maybe not exactly lazy, but we seem to more readily take advice from sources who either aren’t au fait with the situation or are sadly lacking in professionalism.
For instance, a quick search of the Interweb gives us the following headlines,
• Five months of heavy snow for the UK starting November. Temperatures to plummet to -27 degrees.
• Warm weather set to continue until the end of November at least.
Slightly conflicting reports there from two different sources and if your trying to make long term travel plans, it’s not exactly helpful. A simple Google search will bring up scores of media outlets many of which are totally different to the one above it. So what should you do? Well, strangely enough, nothing has really changed here, you simply ask a professional/specialist/authority on the matter and in this case, for me anyway, the answer is the Meteorological Office. Easy as.
Don’t Program Yourself
There is another problem though. Lets say that you really, really want it to snow on Christmas Day this year. If you search long enough you will find some organisation on the Net who will explain that this indeed, will be the case. You will then inform friends and family with great excitement and before you know it, you’ve programmed everyone. The fact that this snippet of useful information came from a spoof website (or similar) is of no consequence until at Christmas you realise you should have just taken The Met Office at their word.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you want something bad enough, you will find someone or somebody out there whose advice will coincide with your ideas. Heres’s an example where it can go so wrong for a business.
www.gotugoing.com is a small fledgling company selling laxatives from it’s website. Now the owner wants to compete with the big boys, his competitors, and to do so he knows he needs to appoint an online marketing agency to both build his brand and to compete in his chosen market place, so an SEO and PPC strategy is required. Now this owner decides that he will ask his friends for advice and hit business forums on the Web. The absolute worse thing he could do. Firstly, if his friends don’t own an online marketing agency or are Google partners, then it just isn’t going to work. Secondly, forums are notoriously adequate in providing conflicting information. Hit these forums with a question and it turns into an online scrap between armchair experts. Usually without including the original poster.
Cheap as Chips
However, the owner of our nice little company absorbs much of this information and makes an unconscious decision. He wants a professional industry blog every week, his whole site optimised and wants to spend £50 per month on Google AdWords. His total budget? £200 per month. So, he now has this overall figure in mind and won’t be swayed by anyone. He hits the phone and emails organisations and will continue to do so until he eventually finds someone who will tell him EXACTLY what he wants to hear for the price he is prepared to pay. Like the above example, he will be disappointed. The problem is, when he leaves that company, which he will when he discovers he has listened to the wrong people, he will always believe he has been hard done by.
Use a Reputable Online Marketing Agency
The problem is that whilst searching for an alternative online marketing company, he will consider that the (reasonable) costs quoted by a reputable agency are “far too expensive”. The result? Constant disappointment as he moves from agency to agency and ultimately ends up with the cheapest option he can find which usually means the company he engages does very little knowing that for the price, doing anything is just not viable and so they ride out the contract period.
As in everything in life, you get what you pay for, spend peanuts, get monkeys. That always has and always will be the case. So, don’t destroy your company; the very fact that you have your own business means you can make the right decisions, why change that when it comes to online marketing?