Intelligent business people that run small and medium-sized business are still ignorant about digital marketing. I don’t mean ignorant in a malicious way because these are typically intelligent people (like someone who didn’t know that a new iPhone just came out). I meet with them every week and a majority of them either are grossly misinformed or have been burnt in the past by an “SEO” or “Social Media” company. Those burns still hurt so instead of educating themselves, most of them continue to make bad decisions when it comes to digital marketing.
I’ve been meeting with the upper management of a fast-growing industrial manufacturing company here in Dallas regarding upgrading their website and on-going digital marketing. Because they are friends of mine, they frequently ask me to look at the proposals they get.
What I saw shocked me
Before I go into the shockingly bad proposals, let me explain three things: 1) What the true purpose of a website is. 2) What they think they need. And 2) What the industrial manufacturing company really needs.
What is the purpose of a website? The purpose is to tell visitors 3 things: 1. Here’s what we do. 2. This is what it will do for you. 3. Here’s what to do next. Wrapping those 3 things into one sentence: The primary purpose of a website is to capture leads you can follow up with later.
What do they think they need? They think they need an “agency level” website, created by a big agency. They also think that because most of their deals come from referrals, they don’t need to do any on-going marketing. (But they did say, “We want to be on the first page of Google” … See what I mean when I say ‘ignorant’?)
What do they actually need? Yes, they need a beautiful “agency level” website. But I explained to them that they don’t need an overpriced agency to build it. I’m also trying to explain to them that on-going digital marketing is critical. Their website can’t remain static and they have to show their current customers and prospects that they are the thought leaders by consistently providing content.
Again, keep in mind that they requested proposals for an elegant, but simple and easy to use website.
Proposal #1: $200,000. I was shocked. This company was asking for $200,000 to build a simple website. Thankfully that proposal went into the trash.
Proposal #2: $92,000. I was still shocked, but they were not and have met with this company 3 or 4 times in person already. The proposal included line items for “Assessment and Planning” as well as “Custom Programming.” This proposal did not include any initial on-page SEO and zero on-going marketing. Really?? A line item for planning!!
Proposal #3: $20,000. This is my proposal. This proposal includes on-page SEO for every page created and 6 months of on-going digital marketing (done by Mingle Media Marketing in a pay-for-performance model)
First of all, I explained to my friends at the industrial manufacturing company that “custom programming” was a big red flag. That typically means that the company that created the “custom programming” owns you. If you want to make any changes, add content or move the website, that agency will make your life very difficult. I said to them, “Hey, remember how you got burnt in the past by that “SEO” company? Well, get out the milk and honey because you’re about to be burnt again.”
My friends told me that they didn’t want some “basic WordPress theme website.” That was obviously the argument the $92,000 website agency was using in their favor.
My response was that there’s a big difference between a “custom-tailored” website and a “custom programmed” website. Both agencies were going to create beautiful, effective, custom-tailored website. But our agency was going to use WordPress as the CMS and avoid any custom programming. Why? So they could easily add content, manage the website and own the website. Then they could not be held captive by the agency that built the website.
No more scamming! Get What you Need! Nothing more.
Long story short, it makes me sick to see digital marketing agencies scam people. These are highly intelligent people they are scamming that are experts in their industry, but they are ignorant about digital marketing. (And why shouldn’t they be? I’m ignorant about the inner workings of my car’s engine – a mechanic has probably scammed me in my day)
They don’t need to spend $92,000. They can get exactly what they need (and more) for $20,000.
Spoiler alert: They ended up going with us and saved $72,000. (I asked them if I get a % of that $72,000…still waiting to hear back about that)
One way to avoid getting scammed is to find out the right questions to ask a prospective digital marketing agency. We can also help:
If you want to know if your website was worth the price you paid for it, let us help you find out with your free Website Analysis. We’ll do a 10-point audit that will analyze the effectiveness of your website and send you 3 recommendations to get a few quick wins.
To your continued success,