An independent digital agency is challenging the multinational advertising agencies and the “cowboys” of the digital marketing industry by pushing for businesses to be able to better understand how their dollars are being spent.
Melbourne-based Next&Co has launched a tool, called Prometheus, to cut jargon from the murky world of digital marketing and better serve clients by allowing them to examine what their digital marketing budgets are delivering dollar for dollar.
The tool, designed to be used by small to medium enterprises, large multinationals and ASX-listed companies, has already been used by more than 300 companies.
It found on average 32 per cent of digital media ad spend was “wasted”. In other words, $3 billion of the $9.1 billion spent annually in digital, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, was not delivering results.
Next&Co founder John Vlasakakis wants the tool to make it harder for digital marketing charlatans to rip off businesses with dodgy practices, especially as more businesses must enter the online world post-COVID-19.
“Before brands decide to spend more, they need to refine what they’re currently spending before they scale. Otherwise, they’re building the wrong foundations of their business and ultimately affecting their bottom line,” Mr Vlasakakis said.
He suggested the tool could be used by companies of all sizes to shed light on the value they were generating from their agency arrangements or from an independent contractor or to even assess how well an in-house digital marketing team might be doing.
We want this to be a very easy way for people that don’t have an understanding, that are spending a lot of money.
— John Vlasakakis, Next&Co founder
“These audits validate that there are large Australian companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on retainers with holding groups, and they’re not getting the service they need,” Mr Vlasakakis said.
With digital advertising spend making up 48 per cent of total ad market in Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, the tool is designed to cut through the jargon and provide a simple assessment of what is performing and what is not.
It aims to help companies avoid being burnt by digital marketers looking to take advantage of businesses trying to diversify their operations online.
The tool can be accessed by any company for free, and they can assess metrics of their own choosing such as lead conversion rates or returning versus new visitors, and evaluate what marketing across Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or Bing is performing and what is wasting dollars.
The tool taps into Next&Co’s philosophy around transparency and wants all companies to be able to better see how their digital dollars are being spent and what that money is delivering for their business.
“We want this to be a very easy way for people that don’t have an understanding, that are spending a lot of money with internal staff doing the work or agencies, and actually be a global environment where people can understand how successful something is and eliminate all the jargon,” Mr Vlasakakis said.
“This tool is a way of simplifying it, we want it to be a global standard. It’s a legacy we want to leave behind so that everyone can help lift up the game a little bit to help for people to actually get more value out of every dollar they’re spending.”