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The Trouble With Long-Distance Relationships

Marketing relationships, that is. It’s interesting to me how so-called “national” digital channel marketing companies can truly be effective for clients from Bakersfield, California to Groton, Connecticut and all points in between. What I’ve seen points to these companies setting up so-called “click farms,” manned by young, low-paid folks who knock out social media posts. It’s even possible for these companies to generate meaningless results by paying offshore companies employing almost-free help to continually interact with the client’s site.

And that’s a shame. Because one of the beauties of social media is that, when done properly, it allows brands to share and even demonstrate a deeper look into their culture and their values – things that traditional ads didn’t usually take the time or dedicate the space to do. Sure, the brand might want or need help to take full advantage of their online marketing potential. But the brand’s content creators need to be intimate with the brand, its culture, its values, and those things that make it truly stand apart from its competitors. To do less is to simply create clutter, as opposed to creating meaningful engagement opportunities with customers. Sadly, some companies are paying good money for the clutter.

For those that seek to help brands with their online, digital marketing, I think the answer is in being small enough to maintain a close, in-the-know – and daily – relationship and interaction with the brand and its culture. Becoming an extension of the brand, really. That’s what our little company seeks to be for our clients. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eye on those large, national digital marketing companies to see if they can, somehow, provide the intimacy needed within their work while seeking to build a stable of a thousand clients. But I won’t hold my breath.


Frank Cox, co-founder of CMW Agency, spent 35 years in the advertising agency business including serving as CEO of the largest agency in the mid-south and being named Advertising Person of the Year by the Arkansas Advertising Federation.


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