You Can’t Throw Money At Digital Marketing: A True Story

money to digital marketing
Why you can’t throw money at digital marketing?

Investing in digital marketing is important. Research has shown that many people now start their product search on their favourite e-commerce site or Google. By ranking highly you can gain a strong foothold on the market and grow your business, or at least develop leads at an acceptable rate without much effort.

However, financial resources can’t be thrown at your digital marketing campaigns. There are so many people who do and then wonder why their internet marketing efforts are not returning results. Instead you need to invest wisely and plan your strategy carefully. Consider the pennies and wonder whether there really will be a return on your investment.

This was made clear by a recent tragic story of business failure.

Case Study

One of my first clients went from success to failure very quickly. They were unique in their approach for their industry and had the financial backing behind them to ensure they could last until orders came through. When we started out they wanted a blog post every day (at least one produced by me) and Twitter and Facebook management.

The statistics started out well, Twitter grew well and so did website visits. The site was getting about 300-400 visits a day (about 10,000 visits a month). Our content was also doing well. One article we wrote received 200 Twitter shares in just 24 hours and numerous other social media shares. Their following also increased steadily and their Klout score grew to 47.

All looked good but there were limited sales. The issue was with lead generation. While they concentrated on getting audiences to the site, they forgot about how to keep them there and remind them to come back.

Research has shown that unless you subscribe your audience to something, about 70% of your visitors will never return. The statistics held true, only about 30% were returning visitors.

To remedy this, email marketing needs to be employed. Email marketing is highly effective and contributes to about 13% of all online purchases, the third best performing marketing avenue.

But this was not the case. Instead they brought on a sales person to fix the problem, whose recommendation was to hire an in-house digital marketing individual. So our services were terminated. It was sad, but it was what the customer wanted. I did my handover and wished them the best.

Past Our Services

The problem was that the two new individuals in charge of the digital marketing aspect weren’t trained in the role. They lumbered from one day to another and new content diminished. They were posting at a rate of about one post per week and most of those were copies of articles they had published before.

Their Twitter feeds also practically stopped. This seemed to be a nail in the coffin. They had accidently left me on the traffic report sheets from Google and one day I received one. What was in it shocked me. Their traffic had fallen to about 2,000 views a month – 20% of what we had achieved.

I wanted to see how they were doing recently, so I looked them up. I was surprised to find their website wasn’t working anymore. Fearing the worse I looked for Twitter and found nothing. Then I looked on LinkedIn. Finally I found the announcement that the business had closed down. It was such a shame, they had a good business idea and strong leadership team – but there were a few digital marketing failings that had limited their success.

What Digital Marketing Mistakes Were Made

The obvious mistake was to do the work in-house, without those who had the training or experience to complete the work. Our work saw good results and fresh content. Without it, audiences probably grew bored and looked for new advice elsewhere. This was throwing money at the problem in essence because the costs of those two people in-house were substantially more than the cost of employing us and the returns weren’t as good either.

Secondly, the brand hadn’t the backend structure to keep audiences. Getting the audience to your site is only half the battle. You need to concentrate on getting them to stay and then come back for more.


Some of the best brands in the country, with products that are truly needed will fail if their leadership throws their money at digital marketing. Marketing your business online is a long term solution and one that requires a strong will, expert knowledge and experience. This can be obtained cost effectively and the results can be astonishing.

So next time you are asked how to improve your Twitter campaign, don’t just think of the financials, think of the value.

What do you think of this case study? What would you have done in their position?

Let us know in the comments.