When Annastasia Webster founded Webster Digital Marketing, Inc. in 2014, she noticed some problems with the digital marketing industry. One of her goals for her business was to combat these industry issues in her own business and educate customers about them.
Problems with the Industry
- Some agencies charge way too much for their services (especially SEO, website design, and review building)
- Some agencies will do more harm than good
- Black hat SEO practices can result in penalties from Google.
- Websites that are slow or not built with marketing in mind can harm SEO.
- Some agencies chain their customers with contracts or unethical practices
- Year-long contracts they cannot break.
- Purchasing the domain name on behalf of the customer, but not releasing control of it to the customer without additional funds.
- Claiming ownership of website content which should belong to the customer.
- Taking money for services never performed.
- Some agencies lie about the state of a customer’s marketing to get business
- Telling them their Google My Business listing has problems or is down.
- Listing problems with SEO which are not true.
- Some agencies falsely claim to be employees or representatives of big-name businesses (like Google).
- Some agencies over-promise the results of their services, claiming immediate results
- Digital marketing is not a quick fix, it’s a journey.
- “Overnight” improvements can hurt your online presence in the long run.
With these issues in mind, Webster Digital Marketing (WDM) has formed the following guidelines and philosophy for how we interact with our customers, employees, and the business community at large. We train our employees to live up to these principals in every way possible.
12 Principals to Our Philosophy of Business
- Provide our services at a fair price. Price our services to be affordable to small- and medium-sized businesses. Don’t over-charge for services like SEO, website design, and review building.
- Be fair, ethical, and truthful in our dealings. Whether with customers, employees or the business community be ethical and fair. Never sell customers products they do not need. Do not lie. Money is not the most important thing to WDM.
- Do what we say we will when we say we will. If we have to miss a deadline, let the customer know before that deadline arrives. If we say we will do something for the customer, do it or explain why we cannot. Don’t miss deadlines.
- Always keep ROI in mind. Our goal is to pay for our services and more with new business and clients for our customers. To do this, use tracking and measuring tools whenever possible.
- Spend our customer’s money carefully and conservatively. Always try to find the least expensive way to accomplish a goal.
- Be marketing problem solvers. Look at marketing as a process and understand we may not start at the final solution for each customer. Report on our marketing efforts and results honestly and be prepared to change our recommendations based on customer feedback.
- Consider all our customers’ marketing efforts. Even if the customer is doing marketing which is not through WDM, it should be considered and included in the overall marketing strategy and reflected in the advice we give.
- Be clear about our communications. We strive to communicate effectively. Each customer should hear from us at least 1/month, and we always ask for approval when we do anything on a client’s behalf.
- Value our customers’ time. Keep meetings as short as possible. Strive to provide all the information a customer needs when communicating with them so they can respond quickly (definitions, data, links, etc.)
- Give free advice. Freely give our knowledge and expertise to almost anyone who asks. Other than a few proprietary tools, we are happy to teach people how to be effective at digital marketing and to answer any questions they may have.
- Always be learning more and improving. Keep up with the changes in the industry and take advantage of those changes on behalf of our customers whenever possible. Constantly look for opportunities to improve our knowledge of marketing in general and digital marketing in specific.
- Be as flexible as possible with our customer contracts. If the only way we can keep a customer is through contractual obligation, we are not doing our job properly. Our services don’t come pre-packaged and everything is customizable to your business’s needs.
Webster Digital Marketing is proud to be founded with strong guiding principles that help define who we are as a company—from the employees we hire, to the clients we work with. Our goal is to always be honest and fair.