Don’t get me started.
Digital marketing consultants, are some of the most in-demand professionals around, but they are also some of the most misunderstood professionals.
Because they are expensive. And secondly, because you can’t really tell how effective they are.
For this article, we went on a hunt for the different digital marketing agencies in Singapore, trying to understand just how much it cost to hire their services.
But before you actually go into the rates, let’s look at when it might make sense for you to get a digital marketing consultant.
Going digital is all the hype now
With Singapore’s government offering grants such as the Productivity Solutions Grant for Digital Marketing packages which can subsidise 70% of costs, it may seem stupid not to take the money.
But here’s why you might want to pause, before taking the money.
Digital marketing is not always the first solution
You shouldn’t market your product, if you’re not sure that the product you’re selling has even found a product-market fit.
You will just see your money burn.
Marketing is a three-step process of segmenting, targeting, and promoting.
Segment your market
It’s about first identifying the segment of the market that you want to establish a beachhead, as Bill Aulet explains in his book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship.
Often, we think that the most important thing is about finding a ‘mass market’ product that can have as big an audience as possible. But doing this is not the best way to start. If you target everyone, you risk having no customers.
For example, during our product launch for QuirkBee, I initially thought that we should target all parents. But this didn’t work.
We saw that targeting a limited number of expat parents, who were regularly travelling with young children, would have been a much better start.
Target them accurately
After you know who the segment is, you can then start targeting them accurately. Often, we think that the best way is through online advertising methods such as Google or Facebook ads.
This is a myth.
Google and Facebook ads might give you clicks, but they don’t give you insight on why people are not clicking. In a world where data is ‘God’, we might be able to observe impressions and clicks, but we aren’t able to tell why exactly people aren’t clicking through.
But I would suggest that you look at other ways that get you in front of customers too, such as networking events.
These events help you to get real-life feedback on what’s working and what’s not, so that you can move forward with developing a better product.
Marketing is the easy part
This is the easy part. I repeat, this is the easy part.
If you have a good product, that people put up their hard earned money for, and which current customers refer others to, then it’s clear that you have achieved product-market fit.
Raising the visibility of it via digital marketing is not that difficult.
That’s why the not so easy part is finding the product market fit.
In digital marketing, you do the four actions below, with online tools such as:
- Google or Facebook ads to do tactical marketing, targeting people who already have the intent of buying these products/services
- SEO tools such as Ahrefs to understand what people are searching for
And some ‘digital marketing’ consultants, just don’t really know their stuff
In my work, I get to meet many digital marketing consultants, and I’m slowly realising that actually, some don’t really know what they are talking about.
I remember the time when I started speaking about Search Engine Optimisation, and the consultant started staring at me blankly.
Finding the right digital marketing consultant is key.
One way you can do that better is to simply ask them to present you 3 different case studies of their work, and the specific return on investment they have generated.
Some consultants will do a cop-out, saying that they can’t guarantee results.
You know that.
Don’t take that. Just walk away.
Test them before you actually try them. My advice is that you give them an assignment, or a small task, such as asking them to do marketing for a month, at a low fee, before you commit even longer. See the results they produce.
Is the expense of $999 per month worth it?
Just look at the package below from Impossible Marketing, a ‘digital marketing agency’ in Singapore.
This is one of the biggest agencies in Singapore.
Prices start from $999 per month, with a one-time set up fee of $1070.
If you’re a small business whose profit is under $3000 per month, I would suggest that you not go for the larger agencies.
This is because their starting price is already 1/2 of your profit, and in terms of the Return on Investment, you cannot be absolutely sure that it will pay off immediately.
Then there are those which start at $50 per ad campaign
But if you go for those which charge less, you might find that the quality really differs.
When I first started my business, we paid $100 for someone to run 2 ad campaigns for us. The cost to us, was low, but the output was even worse.
Anyone can run a ‘digital marketing consultancy’ today.
It’s easy because there are almost no barriers to entry. All you need is a Facebook account.
You just need to spew some jargon like ‘top of funnel, click-through rates, CPM,’ and people start thinking you’re God-like in terms of your marketing prowess.
Anyone can run a bunch of ads on Facebook, and say they are converting.
Of course, you would convert, if you spend enough money. Of course you would convert, if Facebook is putting your ad in front of thousands of people.
The real skill comes in being able to convert at a rate higher than the industry average. For example, today the industry average for click-through rates is 3 to 5%. If your digital ad is arresting enough, it will stop the scroll, and prompt people to click on it.
The industry average for conversion, is about 1%.
That means that people eventually checkout from your page.
So what should you get?
Ultimately, you should first make sure that your product has considerable product-market fit, demonstrated with people who buy, and who refer others to buy, before spending more money on digital marketing consultants.
Finding a digital marketing consultant is easy, but finding the right one is tough.
Why not speak to us if you’re struggling? We might be able to provide some advice.