The world of digital marketing comes with its own quirks and tells. While there is no emoji that can point to a digital marketer’s tell, there are certain striking behaviours that can easily be attributed to the marketer’s attempt at harmless deceit. Digital marketers may often think of these methods and techniques as effective strategies, but a wide community of peers regard these behaviours as unconstructive and often counterproductive.
Here are five of the biggest ‘tells’ that any digital marketer should be wary of:
1. Driving home noisy data instead of actionable insights
Regardless of it being in SEO, social media, or pay-per-click, a digital marketer who relies solely on hard metrics instead of helping to predict outcomes is usually guilty of winging it. Not being able to convert the raw data into information that can be leveraged to form a digital marketing strategy, is yet another ‘tell’ that any brand engaging the services of a digital marketer should be cautious of. Another folly of digital marketers is to lean exclusively on machine learning to make meaning of the data and completely forego human insight.
If you find a digital marketer unable to articulate a ‘why’ for the data, then you know that you are interacting with one who is not completely sure about what he’s saying.
2. ‘One-trick’ experts instead of comprehensive ecosystem understanding
This is one tell that has two opposing yet worthy arguments. While one section believes that knowing and pushing only one type of digital marketing, let’s say Social Media, is the ‘tell’ of someone who holds little value in terms of overall brand strategy.
On the other hand, some believe that in the vast, vast world of digital marketing with its many mediums and fields, someone saying they know it all may come across as ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. What any digital marketing team can do is leverage their collective strengths and form an image of a powerful strategist.
3. An ‘expert’ without a portfolio
When your C.V has impressive stats and percentages but no proof of having led successful digital marketing campaigns, the potential employer may take your expression of aptitude with a rather big pinch of salt.
Another ‘tell’ is when you are the leader or expert on the team but haven’t actually done the metaphorical ground work. When presenting your expertise to someone else and talking about your successful digital campaigning, ensure that you mention that you had a creative and efficient team by your side.
4. Long-term campaign on ‘default’
While your campaigns may take-off based on default settings or data points, it does little to reach the right audiences without regular tweaks and human inputs. Your default setting for a particular ad may have target a whole city but it is only wise to presume that you will have to change that target based on certain data that you receive through the course of the campaign. A sure shot ‘tell’ of a digital marketer who still needs to learn the game, is not updating their accounts.
5. Taking ‘expert advice’ at face value
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned player in the field of digital marketing, if your validation and acceptance for a new (or old) marketing technique starts with, “…because John Smith said so”, it is a big ‘tell’. Always understand the practical application of the advice to really upgrade your knowledge base.
Up your own game and back up your talk with some substance by understanding and working on your own ‘tells’!