Digital Marketing

The 3 Downsides of Digital

There’s no doubt that digital and social marketing are the buzzwords of late, the viral craze of the past decade which has everybody jumping on board the bandwagon. But is there really a solid basis for all this hype?

Not every marketing strategy is faultless, and although digital marketing certainly has it’s upsides and can pay off in a big way, there’s some unavoidable cons to this marketing phenomenon. Let’s take a look at what some of these major downsides are, and how it really isn’t for everybody.

1. Too Much to Handle- Not Enough Resources

There’s no doubt that social media platforms are a valuable business asset, and can improve your visibility tenfold. It’s easier for users to find you and contact you without having to track down your website. But there’s a challenge to this which is unavoidable, for all companies great and small. This lies in the ability to keep on top of it and give users what they want. A recent study by Social Media Today, found that most companies spend on average 6 hours a day responding, monitoring and planning their social media platforms. For small businesses especially, this can be a lot of time with very small ROI.

Not to mention the fact that not managing customer relationships properly on this platform can backfire greatly. Over 70% of companies ignore negative feedback and direct messages received through their social platforms, which is not ideal and can lead to negative reviews which can negatively impact your brand perception for future users looking to research your company.

2. Total Control Isn’t Possible

One slip up and all your hard work can go tumbling down. This is one of the greatest difficulties faced by digital marketers. We’re all aware of how fast news can spread on social media, and why this can be really beneficial to some companies, a lot of the time, such viral stories can be at the expense of a company’s blunder.

A great example of this? Pepsi’s now-infamous Pepsi ad, which featured Kendall Jenner. This ad sparked global outrage only hours after it was published on Pepsi’s Youtube channel. It created an international boycott of products and fiercely negative posts on their Facebook page, which the company just couldn’t get a hold of. Just over a year later, it’s still well-remembered for the viral discussion it caused, and the serious impact it had on the brand. Just another example of how hard digital marketing channels can be to control when things get out of hand.

Take a look at the ad yourself and see what you think:


3. ROI Can Be Overlooked

Many businesses can get so caught up in their own ‘success’ they can lose track of how exactly it aligns with their business objectives. So, you’ve managed to increase your Facebook following by 200 likes a week, great… but how valuable are those users to your business really? Most companies would agree that social platforms aren’t exactly the most valuable revenue channels, yet so many devote time and resources to social media anyway.

It can be easy to get caught up in numbers, and as it turns out, millennial aren’t the only ones at risk of becoming social media addicts… turns out the companies they follow can be at risk too. Only 1 in 3 digital marketers can accurately measure the value of their traffic from social media channels, so what’s the excuse for the other 33% of marketers? What exactly is their justification of spending 6 hours a day managing their social channels?

There’s no doubt that digital works, if managed correctly, but it’s still worth understanding the main ways companies go wrong, so you can be aware of these when developing your integrated marketing strategy in the future.

6 thoughts on “The 3 Downsides of Digital”

  1. Hey Amber! Great read!

    Really interesting to see how digital marketing can be overlooked and how many con’s can arise. I’d love to expand on your statement made on how “digital marketing is not made for all”. I mean I totally get why digital marketing is great (cost effective, fast reach and modern used technique), but let’s consider large and domestically successful companies such as Telstra who is ranked #9 as most successful in Australia and #1 as the company who least uses social mediums to market. It’s quite interesting to see and further reinforces your statement made. Not all companies need digital marketing to increase brand awareness and sales, I mean traditional marketing is not dead and still relevant to most successful companies we know of today. Therefore, I’m between being for and against digital marketing but least to say is still effective if intergrated with both traditional and digital marketing.

    Loved reading this weeks blog post!


    1. Hi Lindita, great to hear your feedback again, it’s always appreciated! Interesting example in Telstra, but really relevant too. Just goes to show that you really don’t need to invest such a large amount in digital marketing, especially if it doesn’t work for you. It’s not really a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach! I’m the same when it comes to what side of the fence I stand on, I’m definitely between, same as you, like everything digital marketing does have it’s pros and cons.
      – Amber


  2. Hi Amber, such an insightful post! I don’t think anyone will forget Kendall’s Pepsi Ad!

    I totally agree with you on the 3 downsides of digital marketing. Not having enough resources, like you said being in a SEO can have a huge impact on the amount of work that needs to be done. Having 70% of companies ignore negative feedback can definitely lose customer trust as they think the company is not dealing with their reviews properly.

    I find when I am looking at purchasing an online product, the first thing I look at is the negative reviews to see what the worst case possibility could be. If there isn’t a reply then I’d quickly question the product and rethink if it would be a good purchase.

    Thank you for writing about the downsides of digital marketing. I believe that everyone is engrossed by the positives that they forget the negatives!


    1. Hi Alice, thanks for your comment! Always great to hear your thoughts. yes, the Kendall Jenner example is just one of many that will always be remembered as a very big blunder on social media, it’s a very hard to predict channel, that’s for sure! I agree, there’s nothing worse than when you go to reach out to a company on one of these platforms and never receive a response. It certainly doesn’t generate much enthusiasm to use their product/ service again and does impact trust.


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