Avoiding Wannabe Marketers

Every marketer has to start from somewhere. Over time we grow, learn, and gain industry experience.

Whilst a lot of young, new marketers develop their skills overtime, I see a lot of other marketers not doing this. This tends to be people who have heard that online marketing is highly profitable, so take it up as a career, and then learn the bare minimum knowledge for them to pursue it professionally. Of course, this is a generalisation, but usually these are middle aged who chase business trends.

What makes it so hard to notice these “wannabe marketers”, is that they are older and have sales experience. Meaning whilst they speak intelligently and look experienced, they hold less expertise than someone half their age doing a marketing apprenticeship. Annoyingly, because they’re only interested in marketing for a quick buck, they never learn beyond the basics of marketing, and usually don’t deliver a return on investment for clients.

Here are a few tropes of a “wannabe marketer”:

Social media only advertising campaign

Social media should be part of your marketing, but any professional knows that just posting on Facebook is not enough to build a brand. Sure, for community based businesses or restaurants, your customers are probably active enough on your social media for regular interactions to generate more sales. For a plumber, though, posting everyday won’t benefit sales.

Staples of a “wannabe marketer’s” social media campaigns include:

  • Prices based on frequency of social media posting, with no other differential factors (e.g. £50 per month for 2 posts a week, £75 for 4 posts a week).
  • No paid or display advertising services, or just “sponsored posts” when they do paid advertising.
  • Constant posting on their own page with recycled articles or clichéd motivational posts.

Template based websites design

Speaks for itself, really.

How can you provide websites when having no experience in web design or code? Simple solution, use templates or click and drag websites. If you want to use a template for your own business or blog (like I have here), that’s fine, but don’t charge people £300 for a “bespoke” website design service if it’s not actually bespoke.

Most people in online marketing know the numerous issues with using templated services like Wix or Yell, and it doesn’t take long to research some of the issues; slow load speeds, bad SEO, unoriginality, often limited scalability, mobile usability problems etc. A website designer that uses templates probably isn’t very talented, and is likely charging you a lot of money for something you can do yourself within a few hours.

Pay-Per-Click campaigns with no website services

In order for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to work, you usually have to tweak the website design whilst carrying out the advertising campaign. Over time, these changes then improve the success of the advertising, creating more cost-effective leads. Additionally, you need to monitor the effectiveness of the PPC, so have to install conversion tags (in addition to analytics) on the website.

Because PPC is currently a hot topic, everyone seems to be selling it as a service even if they have no expertise. If the person managing the advertising has no way of improving your website, or at the very least install conversion tags; how can they monitor the effectiveness of the campaign? They probably can’t, and might be doing the bare minimum for their PPC management charge.

Vague consulting services

Consulting is an industry which I’ll dive deeper in a different post, but for now I’ll briefly go into it. To put it simply, why pay someone to talk about your issues when you can pay for someone else to fix them?

Rather than paying for consulting where someone can hazard guesses to solutions for your marketing issues; I recommend paying someone to actually create a plan of attack based on your industry, competition, products and put it in place. It may be initially expensive, but if the person knows what they’re doing it will result in a return on investment.

Event marketing… But with no experience in event marketing?

I have never attempted event marketing. If I was to hold an event for a client, I would hire an event organiser as opposed to attempting to do it myself.

Event marketing seems to be the USP of the majority of “wannabe marketers”. They include this on their services despite never previously organising an event. I think they’ve heard that event marketing can be lucrative, so tag it on to their services, even though they have no prior experience within the industry.

Been stung by a “wannabe marketer”? Don’t give up.

Too often I meet potential clients who have been robbed by “wannabe marketers”, so simply decide to shut the door on marketing altogether. Marketing works for every business, but finding what marketing process that works best for your services and industry is a difficult process. Each business requires an individual plan, and it can’t be fulfilled fully using a template.

If you don’t want to outsource your marketing, simply try doing it yourself. At the very least you’ll have almost as much experience as these “wannabe marketers” have, but will be saving on management costs.

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