For many people in charge of some facet of digital marketing (think email marketing, PPC, SEO, Social Media), it is usually not their core responsibility. They showed some aptitude amongst the group for “techy stuff” so got the gig. Granted, there are people hired who are more than qualified doing these roles. I’m not talking about you, I’m focusing mainly on the vast majority of others who have been giving the task as something they just have to do in addition to their normal responsibilities.

I don’t blame this person if their efforts are not successful. I don’t blame this person if they have no idea at all why they are doing what they are doing as many times they are just doing it because they have to do something so why not try this?

I DO blame the company who has given this role to this person. You might as well just leave some money on the road and hope someone stops in because there was money and just happens to need your services. But when asked, many business owners want to be able to say, “[many-hat-wearing-person] takes care of our web stuff so we’re covered.”

It feels similar to those who spend tens of thousands a month/year on putting ads in industry magazines. They might be valuable in a long-tail sense, but there is not a person out there who knows if they are doing any good. They give you hypotheticals of readership and subscribers and all that, but in reality nobody knows. And yet for some reason we keep dropping money on something just because…

There is no better time in the history of business, in my opinion, to leverage the immense power of the web, the critical power of your champions (aka word of mouth / social), the affordable tools that are also amazingly easy to use, and the data that is real and immediate. You can know immediately if your dollar turned around and gave you any value. Immediately! You know where to put more money that is having a greater impact to extend that even farther. And you don’t even have to guess! The data is there. You can see down to the most granular level, should you decide to dig in.

This is more than just a add-on function for a job. This is something to take out a credit line for if you need to and go all in on. If you’re going to go through the effort to put yourself out there online, do it right. Don’t just do it because.


With over a decade of experience, I have managed online marketing for a wide range of industries including biotech, high-tech, financial, higher education, non-profit, manufacturing, hardware providers, and startups. My specialty is helping business make the right turn with their online efforts focusing on lead generation and analytics.

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