If you’re a big fan of reading the articles on Marketing Week (we are at this digital marketing agency) you’ll have caught one of Mark Ritson’s most recent and possibly most contentious rants about people that work in marketing and refer to themselves as “marketing experts”.

We like Mark Ritson, he’s a bit like the Charlie Brooker of the marketing world. So if you like Charlie Brooker, and you like marketing, then this pretty much hits the nail on the head.

 

What even is a marketing expert?

We agree with Mark on some of his points. How can one person (or even one digital marketing agency) truly be a marketing expert? Marketing is an outrageously varied industry. From print to digital, SEO to coding, social media to email marketing, there are so many different aspects. Then there’s different vertical markets, all with their own rules and regulations.

If you’ve really managed to master them all, well hats off to you sir/madam. However, when it comes to referring to yourself as a “marketing expert”, we think it’s much better to be specific.

You might be an email marketing expert in the legal sector, but if you pick up a client in the renewable energy market and they want to spend their budget on paid social, have you sold them short?

 

Tailoring your approach to marketing

A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work in marketing nowadays. If you work for a digital marketing agency with a range of clients, you’ll know that certain processes which work spectacularly well for one client can also completely flop for another.

When you go through the on-boarding process with a client, make sure they outline exactly what it is that they want from you. At the same time, make sure you outline what you think you will be able to achieve. Promising clients the world will not only stress you out, but you’ll also end up disappointing them. This is not only pretty wanky, but you’ll also run the risk of them bad mouthing you to potential future clients. And no one wants to work with a digital marketing agency with a bad rep.

When we begin work with a new client, we all put our heads together and strategize how about we can get the best results for that client. As a digital marketing agency we focus on clients with a high net worth audience, but every one of them is still unique. This means that the tactics we use for each one can differ wildly.

 

Be a digital marketing agency with integrity

Obviously, we only want what’s best for our clients. If we think it’s not worth them paying a little extra each month for email marketing because it won’t work for their brand, we’ll advise them that their money is better spent in other areas, or not at all. As the cliché saying goes, “honesty is the best policy” (we’ve just been sick in our mouths a little bit).

Some marketers try to spread themselves thin across far too many channels. Robert Allen of Smart Insights recently encapsulated this in his latest blog post:

Marketers are increasingly distracted by the latest 'shiny object' and go chasing after it. This leaves them with less time, inclination and ability to sit down and think long and hard about the things which really make marketing campaigns successful; proper research, segmentation, positioning and strategy.

Think, for example, about how many brands are jumping on the Snapchat wagon. Sorry to be harsh, but not everyone cares about your client’s tree surgery/financial advisory/skirting board business. You might, but other Snapchat users probably don’t. People go on Snapchat to be entertained, so unless you’re dressed up as a goat and bleating whilst you’re Snapchatting yourself chopping trees down, stop it.

At the end of the day, this may just be another channel that your digital marketing agency will have to look after, without seeing much reward. Ask yourself the question, “what will the ROI be on this?”

Align yourself with your clients’ needs, assess which channels will work for them, look at what their competitors are doing and create them a bespoke strategy. It’s obviously very easy to do the same thing for each client, but you could be wasting your time (and their marketing budget) on things that won’t really work for them.

The times are changing, outbound is outdated and in some cases, can be potentially dangerous for your brand financially and in a reputational sense. Big fines are being handed out to serial data offenders. With inbound you can avoid this and get the best from your leads so read our blog “How to create Inbound Strategy Masterclass” for more information.

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