Don’t be fooled. That “digital marketing agency” you are planning to use is not really a marketing agency at all. They’re a digital agency, “managing” your marketing. Big difference.

You see “marketing” requires an understanding of your business and your customer and a good dose of creativity. In short, a human touch. But most of today’s digital marketing agencies, especially those that are somewhat affordable, step into the trap of ignoring the human touch completely. They rely almost exclusively on software to do your marketing, making them more like a “digital communications back-office”.

It is a bit of a software frenzy, really. There is literally software to do every bit of “marketing” on the internet. Analysing what your competitors are saying? Software does that. Publishing to social media? Use software. Figuring out what words you should use on your website? A software package. Communicating with your customer via email? It’s an automated email, via software. Making your website look pretty? Software.

It’s software all the way. The only thing missing? The human touch

The result? Marketing that is bland, like an end of the month salty crack. Or worse – a rice cake.

You see, the best marketing involves people spending time thinking about how to talk to people. Company people, talking to customer people in a way that is compelling. Very little about this can be automated.

Take your typical blog post – this one for example. I spend time thinking about what I want to say based on what I learn from my customers. I then spend time writing it. I then ask others to spend time reading it, before spending time publishing it – complete with an appropriate picture and a highlighted sentence. Humans spending time.

And humans spending time = money = expensive.

So how does that digital agency manage to give you such a great social media package for under R5,000? How do they manage to build your website for only “ten triple nine”? They cut out the human touch and rely almost exclusively on software.

I attended a social media course last weekend presented by a “digital marketing agency”. Guess what was the one audience question that they refused to answer? “ What software do you use to schedule posts?” Is this the sum total of their intellectual property – a commonly available software package? Why are they so protective of that info? Because if you know of the same software, you’ll quickly figure out how to do your own social media better than them.

Don’t be fooled! Your digital marketing agency is quite likely more of a internet control room. They watch software dashboards all day long. Your marketing, is your business.