It’s Been Grinding My Gears
For a while now, I have been meaning to get some important thoughts out. If I were on an episode of Family Guy, this would be a segment called “What Really Grinds My Gears.” But rather than ranting on about Lindsey Lohan, I have some real beef with my industry.
In the ad world, clients get taken advantage of a great deal. Offers that sound too good to be true tend to be, there is plenty of misleading information, and the bait-and-switch tactics are prevalent.
Too Good to Be True
In the past few weeks, I’ve been reached by several marketing agencies via their Facebook and Instagram ads. Just yesterday, I saw an ad for a website company that can build your entire site in 24 hours. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
A site that is built in 24 hours has zero value. First and foremost, a good website requires thorough research and a good user interface —not to mention search engine optimization tactics, stellar copy, and content.
A site with no purpose and no relevant content has no value, and therefore it’s pointless. Clients won’t visit a site that won’t serve their needs, so do not bother to build it. Don’t be fooled by an ad that claims they can quickly build you a website at a low cost that will work hard. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This also applies to brands built in an hour and for $5.00. A brand is your most valuable asset! Take the time to research your market, and do it right the first time. Whether it is a new brand or a rebrand, a bad choice can have lasting repercussions and expensive results.
A website or brand worth the investment requires expertise, time, effort, and a decent budget.
How many times have you heard that your site can be ranked top ten in a week? Or that you can get followers in as little as a month? The problem with these statements is that they leave out crucial information: it takes several months to get a site to rank through the proper channels. Of course, a company using black hat tactics can make it look like you are ranking quickly, but this will get you blacklisted— and that’s extremely hard to overcome.
A good agency partner works alongside their clients and keeps them well informed of the entire process.
Anyone can get followers by paying for them, but large numbers don’t add relevancy. What your company needs is quality fans, people that will actually engage in your business and that care. Again, getting uninterested people to visit your site offers no value. It’s better to have ten loyal and relevant followers than 1,000 who were paid to do it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only misleading information that gets spewed by ad agencies. Many of them will do whatever it takes to secure a sale, and that simply isn’t ethical. On occasion, we’ve lost business because we refuse to mislead clients. We won’t tell prospective clients their sites will be done in a week, or that we can get them to rank immediately. We are ALWAYS honest, even if it means not being the crowd’s favorite.
What we do promise clients is that we will work side by side with them every step of the way and that we will always seek to inform them and act in their best interest. We gain nothing by pulling the wool over their eyes; after all, we are in this as partners.
Bait and Switch
Much like if it sounds too good to be true… This one is pretty prevalent. The client gets offered a full website build for $1,500, only to learn that it does not include any of the actual tools he needs. What happens then? The client ends up with a $10,000 bill for a website that is not as good as one from a reputable vendor that would have charged that price to begin with.
Too often, we hear these kinds of stories from clients who become paranoid after a bait-and-switch situation. They believe we have given them a base price and that later on we are going to surprise them with other charges. No hidden costs here; that just isn’t our style, and it shouldn’t be anyone else’s. Honesty is always the best policy.
Another common bait-and-switch practice is that you meet with the owner and the creative director who instill confidence in you. However, once you hire the agency you discover that the actual team working on your brand is inexperienced. This tends to happen because you are sold on the executive team which is by far more knowledgeable, but since your account might not bring the revenue for them to be involved, they push it to the lower budget team. On that account, you are sold on experts but get interns.
When you work with us, you’ll never have to worry about these typical ad agency woes. We were designed to be a better breed of agency and that’s what still drives us today.