Marketing company versus online marketing company

noneedforphonebooksSince I started in online marketing about 6 years ago I have seen many changes. The yellow pages is all but dead, Social media has grown to be the biggest thing on the internet even overtaking adults only sites and Facebook has become more popular than Google.

In this rush for businesses to “get online” many business owners turn to their existing or even a traditional marketing company for help.

Of course calling your local marketing company makes sense right? Well they should know about all this online stuff right?


In many cases traditional marketing companies really have no idea, and often no experience in the online world. They are so use to letterbox drops, billboards, TV and radio ads. They still have the same spray and pray mentality and then apply this to social media.

Does this sound like a whine about a lot of marketing companies? Well………… is, as I have witnessed first-hand on more occasions than I can count, business owners wasting their money going with their old marketing company and seeing little or no return on investment.

Many marketing companies employ people with fancy marketing degrees from university or Tafe, which is great, but all too often, they have no field or online experience. Many simply set up a Facebook page and now “claim” to do online marketing.

In my experience they simply do not understand “pull marketing” versus “push marketing”. They are all about flashy ads, or pretty designs or blasting messages to as many people as possible.

This is where they get it wrong. I mean you only have to look at their Facebook page or Twitter account to see what they are saying, and often it’s not much at all or it’s all the wrong things.

Your customers are “sick of traditional marketing” and ads being pushed in their face. If your customers are TV watchers then use TV advertising. If you want loyal, repeat customers that will recommend your business to their friends then social media is where you should be.

Recently I witnessed a company spend a few hundred thousand dollars employing so called “experts” to get their message out.  They all thought this would work, and that I did not know what I was talking about. The business owner went with the loudest or best display and thought these “experts” know what they are doing.

However what they failed to see was “what is it that the customer looking for, how can we keep our consumers loyal to our brand. How do we get our message out virally with interesting content that will drive buyers to our products? Instead there was lots of flashy stuff and no increase in sales.

Traditional marketing companies are better to “hook up” or do Joint ventures with expert online and social media companies or hire a brand new social media and online expert, rather than give false promises to business owners when they really don’t know what they are doing.

Traditional marketing companies still have their place, as people still watch TV and listen to the radio, but you only have to look which businesses are booming today and they are the ones that have a big online presence.

My advice is always “do your research” or ask for examples of other online or social media work that the company has done.

It could save you a lot of money, time and headaches.