How to Spot a Bad Digital Marketing Company

How to Spot a Bad Digital Marketing Company

With some services you can easily see they’ve done a poor job for you, if your car starts making a clunking sound after visiting the mechanic, you’ve probably got a bad mechanic. If your haircut looks horrible, you probably have a bad hairdresser. If you get the wrong leg amputated, you probably have a bad doctor.

Digital marketing can be a little more difficult to come to that conclusion.

How can business owners avoid being preyed upon by unethical digital marketing agencies?

The following are sure-fire things to watch out for when working with your digital agency, or to keep an eye out for when trying to procure services from one. (more…)

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Quitting my Job a Year Ago

5 Things I’ve Learned Since Quitting my Job a Year Ago

A year ago I quit a job that was comfortable to join a partner in building a business of our own – NorthIQ.

He had been doing it for some time prior, but it had gotten to a tipping point – he needed help that was greater than me pitching in during the evenings. If we were going to make this happen it had to be right then.

There were other benefits, we could change our positioning, offer more breadth of digital services, and change the company significantly from “just another web development firm” into a true digital marketing company that could bring something entirely different to the table.

My family had understood this was an eventuality but the sudden decision to quit happened over the span of Easter weekend, and I started my first full day at NorthIQ on May 15, 2018 and everything changed. (more…)

4 Simple Behaviours That Will Make Your Digital Marketing Better

4 Simple Behaviours That Will Make Your Digital Marketing Better

I’ve worked in marketing for many years, and I’ve lived through the entire coming of age of digital marketing. I have done it all. I am humbled and honoured to have had the opportunities I have had, to learn (the hard way usually) and to hone my craft.

My 20 year old self (an aspiring graphic designer) working at had to perform a manually implemented “fax” campaign. I had to literally print out hundreds of personalized letters to prospects and fax them one at a time. 20 year old me was not happy, but 40 year old me is thankful for that one.


I believe it started me on a sometimes rocky path that has result in several behavioural traits that have really paid off.

When I review which behaviours or traits have most often afforded me success it’s easy to pick out the most important.

I always keep in mind these four key behaviors:

1 – Don’t be romantic about the medium or the platform

It’s important to remind yourself that the medium you most enjoy or the social platform you like the most isn’t always your best option.

I see this mainly in younger marketers who ignore the numbers to pursue a romantic vision of what “should” work. They play in Instagram when maybe a simple text email campaign is your best bet. One is fun, one is not. But one works when the other might not.

Don’t let yourself become too attached to anything.

2 – Set aside time to try new things

Similar to the romantic view, is the reliance on your tried and true.

Be open to the fact that there might be better options out there and afford yourself the time and energy to try your hand at it.

Be open to the fact that your vision of what’s going to work best isn’t always right.

Try other things sometimes.

3 – Don’t be afraid to fail

I was luckily a very average C student. Lucky because the fear of failure died long before I hit the work force. I had already had a proverbial punch in the face and survived it….lots of times.

Just like you should always try new things, you shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t work like you had hoped.

At the very least you’ve gained experience. Experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

4 – Always be practicing

Always aim to be the best when it comes to actually implementing any type of marketing campaign. From top to bottom, inside and out.

I’ve worked with teams who relied on me for things like understanding the in’s and out’s of the CRM but that’s not the right mentality. The right mentality is to know it better than anybody.

You should never be fancy.

Even if you have a team of specialists in an area you still need to be a practitioner.

You always need to be willing and able to roll up your sleeves and do some old fashioned hard work

Bonus thought: It’s Not About Skill

Skill is often overrated. People think that others are “particularly talented” in marketing, or have an “innate sense”, but skill is just really applied acquired knowledge.  Anyone can be skillful at something, you just have to put the time in.

These four traits have helped me over the years to achieve repeatable results and large returns often on small budgets. None of them rely on “talent”, or “gut instinct”.

They don’t fail me when the chips are down.

If Your Site Isn’t Mobile-friendly You Might be in Trouble

If Your Site Isn’t Mobile-friendly You Might be in Trouble

“Mobile-friendly” now officially reads as Mobile-first with the news that Google is officially rolling out its plan to use the mobile version of your sites content to index its pages. Mobile versions will also be used to understand its structured data and to show snippets from the site in the Google search results.

Mobile-first indexing means Google will use the mobile version of a web page “for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” the company writes in a blog post.