Home Articles We Call Your Bluff: 5 Digital Marketing ‘Tells’ You Need to Stop Right Now
Articles - Search Marketing - December 2, 2019

We Call Your Bluff: 5 Digital Marketing ‘Tells’ You Need to Stop Right Now

Good marketers are hungry for knowledge and always looking to hone their craft so they can win for their clients/brands/themselves.

We all start at the basics and no one should ever be made to feel bad for not knowing a tactic. It brings me so much joy to learn something new, and to empower a fellow marketer when I can.

That said, when someone is “faking” their prowess they invite ruin and ridicule on themselves (and often drag the brands they serve down with them).

I asked some of my favorite perspectives about their favorite marketing ”tells.”

Their answers turned into a really useful reality check on which tactics are still relevant and which ones need to be retired.

What are your favorite tells

1. Leaning Heavily on Data with No Strategy/Action Items

This tell came up in all disciplines (SEO, PPC, and Social), but how it manifests itself varied depending on the practitioner.

In SEO, experts cited not being able to explain the “story” in data.

talking datat instead of strategy

In PPC, talking “vanity” metrics over profit is a huge tell:

vanity metrics in ppc

Data is a crucially important part of digital marketing.

Yet data can turn into noise the moment there isn’t a guiding strategy/perspective channeling it.

What separates a true expert from the bluffer is being able to distill data into actionable insights.

Being able to articulate the how and why

When it comes to clients, committing to hard metric outcomes can also be a tell. Rarely will a practitioner be able to predict an exact outcome, and that should be a red flag for any brand assessing an agency/hire.

Far more important is being able to achieve percentage growth, and be able to explain why.

correlation vs causation

If there is no context as to why the gains were made, successful campaigns could lose their budget because they didn’t receive proper attribution.

mobile gets turned off because bad attribution

2. Over Compensating on a Single Discipline, Instead of Owning Holistic Point of View…


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