Digital Marketing’s Value is Disrupted without Gauging Your Target Market’s Perception
If you are searching for a new, and critical, perspective on digital marketing then Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble is a good option. The book came to my attention after hearing other digital marketers’ mixed reviews. The book is an account of author Dan Lyons’ time with HubSpot, a popular digital marketing platform. It was described to me as funny but lacking an understanding of tech companies in general, but digital marketing specifically. While Lyons’ criticisms can be harsh at times, they often had merit. I think the sentiment that the book is a disgruntled employee whining about a past employer is an unfair review and overlooks one of the biggest lessons learned that can be taken from the book. Your target market’s perception of your digital marketing campaigns is what assigns value to it.
Lyons largely covers the culture clash he experienced at HubSpot but also touches on some of the contradictions he saw with their digital marketing tactics. Specifically when reviewing HubSpot’s digital marketing strategy he states that they claimed to hate SPAM and showed their disdain by flooding their customers and their customers’ customers with SPAM. He also writes about predrafted content that HubSpot employees were strongly encouraged to mass share to social media feeds to flood those channels with repetitive content.
Most digital marketers would counter the SPAM claim by citing opt-in processes or content engagement. They’d probably also suggest that the social content would be organically posted so that it was not a content or link blitz.
Lyons has a point in these examples. There are a lot of digital marketers that skirt a fine line, or blatantly cross it, with list building. To suggest that a digital marketing platform will reliably enforce CAN-SPAM practices is unrealistic. Flooding social media with duplicate content is an obvious abuse.
It’s important not to get so caught up in our own digital marketing campaigns that we start disregarding outsider analysis. After all, our perception of our digital marketing is secondary to how our target audience perceives it.
Digital marketing data analysis, if done consistently and credibly, is designed to supply an objective view of how our content is being received which dictates its effectiveness. But even that will still contain some subjective judgment calls. That’s where outside perspectives can provide poignant insight on how your digital marketing can provide more value to your target audience and you in return.