Constant Vigilance: Protecting your brand online

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By Craig K. Hall | Founder, Marketing Wiz

A client of mine recently used the term “constant vigilance” in an email to me, and I adopted the term immediately. Often times when we think of threats to our business, we think of hackers and scammers who are trying to defraud us or steal money from us. From my experience as a 15-year veteran of marketing, the real threats are much more benign and way more subtle.

To say the digital world is changing rapidly is an understatement, but it’s true. We live in a digital world in every way, and regardless of whether you are running a startup business or a worldwide brand, threats to your success are everywhere.

Even if, like most of my clients, you don’t run an eCommerce platform, your customers and prospects are developing perceptions of you and your business every time they interact with your digital profile. This happens in a number of different ways including searches for your business or service on Google, visits to your website, interactions on social media, and the list goes one.

When you have incorrect or outdated information in Google Search Results or your Google My Business Listing is incomplete, it impacts the customer’s impression of your brand and can erode trust in your abilities. If a link on your website does not work or links to the wrong information, it impacts the user experience and adds to the erosion of trust. And if it is the first impression…well, we all know what we say about first impressions.

One of the most frustrating parts of this is when you are actually investing the time and resources to keep up on all of this, and you still find something incomplete or missing. This can happen at any time to any size business, regardless of investment in marketing. The world of digital is a complex web of mutuality, and if one service provider like Google, Amazon, Facebook, or Akamai changes one thing in their protocol, it can have a ripple effect through the entire online ecosystem causing something that was once fine to need updating. Only by diligently monitoring your digital profile and adopting a mindset of “Constant Vigilance” can you identify and correct inconsistencies that damage your reputation online.

To do this, we at Marketing Wiz build dashboards that pull in key online data and metrics across a variety of online platforms so that we can quickly see anomalies and inconsistencies in digital activities that we need to investigate. There are a number of low-cost or free dashboards out there, which may be a good place to start depending on where you are with your digital marketing efforts. We build custom dashboards using Google Data Studio because it offers a lot of flexibility in how we can present and view the data.

So yes, digital criminals are a concern in today’s digital world, but the impact that incorrect or incomplete information will have on your long-term growth is likely a much greater threat than hackers and thieves.

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