Home' micenet eMag : micenet February 2017 Contents MARKETING | MALCOLM AULD
ever before has trust in
marketers been so low. While
marketing and advertising types
have always been close to the
bottom of most consumer trust barometers,
the current levels are plumbing new depths.
And the reason is simple – the digital
marketing industry. The dishonesty, fake
data, poor performance, digital agencies and
constant stream of scammers and chancers
claiming amazing new ways to succeed just
because their “system” is digital, have driven
the industry’s reputation down.
Online advertising rip-off
Take the online advertising industry. The rates
agencies are charging their clients for digital
advertising are rarely legitimate. For example,
last year global media giant Dentsu admitted
it had incorrectly overcharged more than 100
clients for their online advertising. Apparently
this occurred at least 600 times - and it is just
I currently have a client that is an
international brand trading in numerous
countries and languages. They are in court
with their global media agency. They simply
want the agency to buy online advertising on
their company’s account. The agency refuses.
The agency is allegedly hiding behind a tiny
phrase in the contract that states all advertising
will be bought on the agency’s account, not
the client’s. For some reason, this wasn’t
highlighted in the original discussions.
The reason they are avoiding using the
client’s account is simple. The minute the
The marketing industry is in crisis, says Malcolm Auld.
THE DIGITAL MARKETING
TIDE IS TURNING
RAPIDLY AGAINST ITSELF
account is switched, the client will know how much they have been ripped off to date by the
agency, as they will have access to their previous ad rates. This will only end badly, either with a
lawsuit, or at the very least the agency will lose the client and damage its reputation.
Click and traffic fraud
Bob Hoffman in the US has been very vocal about the fraud in the online advertising industry. In
a number of articles he has revealed that the percentage of clicks on online ads by robots varies
from 30 per cent and up to 90 per cent. Agencies have no way of telling how much “traffic” or
“clicks” are by robots, as even the publishers themselves don’t really know. Yet marketers are
charged for this fraud.
Then there is the “fake profile” industry. Software can now create social media accounts for
anything connected to the internet. So your grandmother’s new fridge, or your sound system
running from an app, will be hacked and a profile created using the device’s unique IP address.
The fraudsters will then buy fake followers, they cost as little as $2.95 for a thousand, and pretend
to have a following. The “profile” then publishes fake content, either stolen or created by slaves
with no subject expertise, working in Eastern Europe, the subcontinent, or South America. Ad
space is then sold on these “fake profile” sites to computerised advertising networks and
marketers have their ads appear on the sites, without a clue about what’s really going on.
As the system is fully computerised and rarely has a human eye analyse it, the ability to scam
the programmatic ad networks to create fake sites and earn automatic “fake revenue” is huge.
One estimate says the fake digital marketing industry will be second only to the black market
within a decade. But the digital marketing industry seems uninterested in addressing the issue.
One of the drivers behind this lack of interest is that very few marketers care. They never look at
their digital analytics. It’s more important to be seen to be “digital” and mediocre, than to be
using digital channels profitably. A recent Australian report suggested more than 60 per cent of
senior marketers didn’t bother looking at or using the analytical data their digital marketing
generated. So they have no idea what works or what fails.
Apparently Unilever is removing the term “digital” from all marketing job titles, as they’ve finally
woken up to the fact the job functions are about marketing, not about channels. After all,
nobody ever called themselves a “Male Urinal Advertising Manager” just because they placed
ads in the troughs in public and commercial toilets used by men. Smart marketers are realising
that just sticking solely with digital marketing channels is, more often than not, a mistake. For
the best results, you need to promote across numerous proven channels, and run tests to
determine the best ROI - just as marketers always did prior to the internet.m
Check out Malcolm’s blog www.themalcolmauldblog.com or visit www.thecontentbrewery.com.
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