The Worcester Business Journal ran an article about online advertising the other day quoting 3 local marketing agencies about online advertising.
The majority of the article quotes Laura Briere, owner of Vision Advertising, which is good. Laura actually knows her stuff quite well. Not as well as she thinks she does, but if I had to pair someone up with a local full service marketing agency who gets the web, Laura is a good bet. She doesn't make the mistakes that marketing agencies outside of Central MA stopped making in 2001. (I haven't used Laura myself so I don't know what she does and doesn't know. But, on the surface, she's dangerous with this stuff.)
The other two are pretty hopeless. They're still placing online ads on newspaper sites, designing banner ads and all flash websites (SEO no-no #1) for their clients instead of doing search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, blogging, landing page optimization, and leveraging social media successfully. (Not just expensively.)
I am sure this problem is not unique to Central MA. But, if marketing agencies want to stay relevant they better learn how to shift their thinking of "how do I spend my client's advertising budget effectively?" to "How do I do things that generate a predictable and measurable ROI for my clients by generating leads that turn into business for them?"
If the WBJ wants to provide informative articles about online marketing to their readers and help Central MA businesses really leverage the web effectively to grow their businesses, they should look for some more experts past 495. Maybe even hire an online marketing expert to do the writing. This is such an important thing to get right for the future of the region's business health.
It's been awhile since I've ranted or called anyone out. Sorry, in advance, for those that I've offended. You deserve it, even though it should be privately directed.
I'll be returning shortly to educational blog posts about online marketing and my networks' activities.