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Digital Marketing Sales Overload

Digital Marketing Sales Overload

By Marc Reifenrath on December 1, 2016 in Digital Marketing

It’s no secret: digital marketing is exploding. It’s not uncommon for us to hear from existing clients and potential clients that they are getting several calls a week from someone wanting to sell them “Digital Marketing.” These calls are coming from an interesting array of companies, all claiming some expertise in the digital realm. These companies include:

  • Newspapers
  • T.V. Stations
  • Radio Stations
  • Billboard companies
  • Phone book companies
  • Pretty much any traditional media advertisers
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Digital Agencies

It’s great to have options, right? So why are all of these companies chasing the same audience? Why would a phone book company, for example, be selling digital marketing? Let’s take a step back to evaluate the status of the digital market. Traditional media had a great run. We used to be glued to the newspapers, radio, tv and we used to pay attention to billboards. But are those channels still effective today? I always like to objectively look at my own behavior to see where I land as a consumer, and I encourage you to do the same. So let’s do that for each one of the above mentioned mediums.

Q. When is the last time I actually read a printed copy of a newspaper?
A.  I have no idea. Seriously, I can’t remember.

Q. How many T.V. commercials do I see?
A. Hard to say. Some, but I watch most shows online or on my DVR so I fast forward through them.

Q. How much do you listen to the radio?
A. I either listen to Spotify or Sirius/XM radio. With both I don’t hear ads.

Q. Do you pay attention to billboards?
A. Not sure honestly, my gut would say no.

Q. How many phone books do you own?
A. Zero. Follow-up Q. But how do you find phone numbers or addresses when looking for something? A. I talk to my phone or Google it.

I’m guessing most of you will have similar answers. So what does this tell us? Traditional marketing efforts do not have the same impact that they once did. People like you and me have totally changed the way in which we find out about news, sports and things of personal interest. This is why everyone is trying to sell digital marketing. That’s not to say that traditional media is dead. Quite the contrary - a recent Nielsen study found that radio and television continue to reach the most users in the U.S. each month. Traditional media still has a place, but companies can no longer find success advertising with just one medium. Today, with multiple options available for consuming information, traditional mediums are losing share of the market and companies that specialize in those mediums are looking for ways to replace lost revenue. The problem is that it is not a simple transition from traditional media to digital marketing.

How digital agencies are different from traditional agencies

The distinction that comes into play is specialization. A digital-first agency is able to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape in a way that a non-specialized firm simply cannot. Digital agencies specialize in web interfaces, understand the value of creating content around consumer search behavior, and use data and results to deliver measurable value to clients. A true digital partner will not just optimize your message for digital channels, but rather create tactics to help your business succeed online.

So, with all of these choices on the market how do you choose a digital partner? The answer may be different for every company, but here are a few tools to help you evaluate potential partners for online expertise:


How knowledgeable are they about changing algorithms? Can they lay forth a clear strategy of what they will be doing and why? Does the firm have Google Partner status?

Clients and references

Are you able to contact their other clients? Can they provide case studies of successful projects?


Will your team work well with theirs? Do the individuals you will be working with seem like someone you might like to have a beer with?


How does your potential partner define success and why? What type of reporting do they provide and how often?

Final thoughts - it’s not an either/or. You do not necessarily have to choose one partner. Many clients choose to hire a digital agency to compliment their efforts with a traditional ad agency. A good digital partner will work effectively hand-in-hand with your other partners. And if a company calls guaranteeing magical Google rankings, it’s probably a little sketchy. And we’re not referring to the design tool.

If you are looking for a qualified partner we'd love to talk and prove ourselves.

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