Too many mistakes being made has me like

On Repeating Mistakes from the Past

I left a job at a high profile local marketing agency to found Digital Pudding with the best of intentions. We were going to do everything the right way. Transparent, fair digital marketing for small and midsized businesses became our raison d’etre. It would shape our culture and define our existence. After all, I had just learned all the wrong ways to do business. It was time to make things right.

We’re just about half way through 2017 and it feels like we’re repeating some of the mistakes of the past. It turns out some things are harder to unlearn than others. With that said, here are some of the course corrections we plan to make in the second half of the year as we right the ship and get back to our purpose. Read More

Interview with a Marketing Partner

What to Look For in a Marketing Partner

Now that 2017 has started, many businesses are out there looking for a new marketing partner. Maybe sales declined last year. Maybe the holiday season was underwhelming. Maybe they just want to improve on mediocre. Whatever the reason, now’s the time to find a marketing partner that can help you achieve your goals for the new year.

The good news is there are a ton of marketers out there who will tell you they’d like to help you solve your problems. The bad news is that most of them have no idea how to do it. Worst case scenario: you’re bound to a marketing partner that can’t deliver and keeps you under contract, causing even more problems for your business.

How do you avoid that? Here are three things to look for when evaluating any marketing partner, either in-house or externally. Read More

Proof Reports Are Analysis

The Power of the Proof Report

We just started August which means it’s Proof Report season at Digital Pudding. Every one of our clients receives a Proof Report every month. These simple documents you’ll only find in The Pudding are part itemized invoice, part idealized strategy and part beautified statistics. Think of it as a summary of our work for the previous month along with analysis of the metrics we’re watching and what we plan to do next.

Proof Reports generally have three parts: What We Accomplished, Proof Points and Next Steps. The first is retrospective, looking back at what happened. Proof Points are established as markers we want to monitor for progress. These could be things like web traffic, ad conversions and, of course, sales. Next steps are always offered as a way to improve on what we saw last month.

Here are some of the ways Proof Reports help us and our clients figure out how well their marketing is working and what we can do to make it better. Read More

Marketing Fiduciary Standard Handshake

Creating a Marketing Fiduciary Standard

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the fiduciary standard for financial planners becoming law in 2017. So much so that John Oliver even delved into the topic recently to show just how confusing the whole process is. That got me thinking: What would a fiduciary standard look like if it applied to advertising agencies and marketing consultants?

To be clear, a fiduciary standard is a guideline means that the person or agency performing a service on behalf of a client needs to act in the client’s best interest. Sounds simple, right? Not so much. In the case of financial advisors, they often push products and services that have much higher fees so that they can reap the rewards in higher commissions, essentially dooming their clients’ finances.

You have no idea how often agencies, especially smaller ones, engage in similar behavior. High hidden management fees. Accounts being held hostage. More expensive media plans than necessary, with payment on the backend from the media receiving the placement. It happens every day. How do we get agencies to look out for their clients, as opposed to looking for ways to make a quick extra buck? Read More

Definitely not Sonic, but also definitely not trademark infringement

Hidden Benefits of a Fast Marketing Team

I’ve wanted to write something about fast marketing for a while. My personal hero growing up (and maybe still today) was Sonic the Hedgehog. Why? Many reasons, but mostly because of speed. I’ve always wanted to be fast. Run fast. Think fast. Work fast. Do everything fast.

For 25 years, I’ve followed the Hall of Fame game character on a quest to improve my own speed and efficiency. It’s helped me create a value system and overall lifestyle that combines equal parts precision and velocity.

This obsession with speed has carried over into what the marketing team at Digital Pudding does. What can fast marketing do for you? Some really wonderful things. Read More

Billing Practices for Marketing Services, Explained

In a perfect world, marketing and advertising would take care of itself. You wouldn’t need to go out and hire anyone for marketing services. Demand and awareness would be created organically, almost magically from the simple fact that you’re open for business. Customers and clients would beat down your door, begging to give you money.

How Marketing Services Work
Dramatization: May Not Happen

This is a dream for most businesses. The reality is you’ll either have to manage your own marketing or find someone you can trust to provide your marketing services. Once that’s done, the next step is to figure out how you’re going to compensate them for their time, effort and brilliance (hopefully).

We’d like to think we’ve given you enough reasons to trust us throughout this website, what with our methodology and strategic thinking and whatnot. Now, let’s take a look at all of the different ways we could structure a partnership for marketing services moving forward. Wishful thinking? We hope not.

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What Makes An Extraordinary Business?

An Extraordinary Business, Defined by Numbers

“Extraordinary” is a word that gets thrown around a lot to describe something that may be special, or otherwise interesting. But like many superlatives, its meaning has been watered down through overuse. There’s something special about being extraordinary, though. Something not inherent to many other similar adjectives.

What makes something extraordinary? Or ordinary for that matter? And why should you want to have an extraordinary business? Let’s learn. Read More

What Is The Proof? A Marketing Campaign Manifesto

Digital Pudding is a silly name for a business that creates marketing campaigns, not baked goods. It’s nonsensical. It’s irreverent. It’s confusing. Do we make pudding? Everyone loves pudding! Sadly, no. We make advertising. Everybody hates that! In fact, there are entire industries built so people can avoid it.

So why would I leave a well-established marketing company VP job to start my own agency with such an outlandish name? Because Proof Matters.

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