Digital marketing is an arena with many experts and just as many charts, graphics and articles about how to do it all better. But those tend to stay at the surface level. The deeper you go, the more murky things get.

Don’t get me wrong, digital works. But, in my 20 years of work in digital, I have found a laundry list of areas in digital where there is a serious lack of transparency and oversight. Where there is a lack of transparency, there are people and brands willing to make a buck exploiting them. For instance:

  • Were your banners really targeted to the list you requested?
  • Is your partner re-selling your pixel-scripted audience to competitors?
  • Is the site you are buying purchasing random traffic to fulfill the buy?
  • Are your metrics being manually or automatically inflated?
  • Are your emails boosted by auto-openers and auto-clickers?

Blockchain is touted in one article as a possible solution ( MORE). But, you might as well have columns about how AI, chatbots, machine learning and other digital buzzwords will solve it, too. And yes there are many routes to spend your way to greater comfort. MORE … But these are all symptom crushing rather than disease eradication.

Digital marketing needs to be professionalized from within. Just because you can hack a marketing problem doesn’t mean you should. My encouragement to you is to work with people you trust, ask deeper questions of those you want to trust but aren’t certain yet, and check/test everything.

Read the rest of the issue here: