Tom Marriott: A punk’s guide to busting digital marketing myths – MAF206

This week my guest is Tom Marriott, who describes himself as a digital marketing punk.

For many, digital marketing is a black art surrounded by jargon and mumbo jumbo. And perhaps some agencies like it that way.

I talk to Tom about busting the digital marketing myths and how we can make it easier for everyone.

Welcome to episode 206 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Tom Marriott: A punk's guide to busting digital marketing myths - MAF206

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why DIY marketing is more accessible than ever
  • How some agencies are using underhand tactics
  • The ‘Punk’ approach to marketing
  • The importance of transparency
  • Why Tom educates his clients on how tools work
  • Why you should be selective with the platforms you’re using

Who is Tom Marriott?

Tom says he’s had a varied career, but he was always interested digital marketing and worked for several agencies. He’s a millennial, growing up as the internet developed and digital communications exploded.

He imagined a glittering world of technological advancements, but the reality was somewhat different. He believes that some agencies have given their clients the wrong idea about digital marketing and tarnished the industry.

His intention with Digital Marketing Punk is to show people that marketing isn’t as difficult as they think and to help them remove their fear. He’s worked with both big-name companies and start-ups, and says the smaller companies are his passion.


Summary of our chat

Marketing has evolved into a digital world – old methods don’t have the same reach, and associated costs are lower. Tom could make a video on a smart phone and create a YouTube ad for 1p within 48 hours. Smaller businesses don’t have to pay high agency fees to market successfully.

Some agencies overcharge customers for little effort. Websites rank highly for keywords that have no search volume, obscuring the real data. They’re also using out of date tactics which could be considered spammy by today’s algorithms. The client is often confused by jargon because they don’t know about digital marketing.

Tom tells clients: “Digital marketing is easy; don’t be scared by the technical aspect of it. With new platforms and the evolution of tools, it’s now easier than ever to do your own marketing. There are benefits to having experience and knowledge, but the accessibility of information means you can learn everything you need to know.”

Transparency is really important, especially for smaller businesses. We need to strip away this ‘digital voodoo nonsense’ and making ridiculous promises. Instead, explain to clients how it works and how they can help themselves. Marketing strategies need to be combined with an understanding of their business.

Agencies work on a task-based system, but rarely tell the clients why they’re doing something. Instead, Tom explains the background of the tool he’s using, how it works and how the company can work with him to use it more effectively. Once they know what Google looks for, they understand the importance of producing content and using keywords.

Many clients come to Punk wanting to use a social media platform or marketing technique because they think they should. Tom encourages them to think about why they want to use it, and where their audience is. Trying to do everything is exhausting, so choose the channels that are effective for you.

One thing Tom would like listeners to take away

Don’t be afraid of digital marketing. If you want to develop and grow your business, you can’t be scared of it, and it’s important to learn more. It can be a pain, so Tom tries to give as much content and training as possible to help people.

It can be daunting to go and learn digital marketing on your own, as you don’t know if the information is viable or up to date, but find good sources to learn from. Test and track what you get back from it, and apply the relevant data to your business.

An example of simple marketing

Tom says the Greggs vegan sausage roll was simple but genius. One of the main takeaways is that you can be one of two types of people on Twitter: you can be the person who’s constantly tweeting and pushing for sales but not getting any traction.

However, the Greggs approach of creating one post with a clear image of the sausage roll in the box to mimic a new smart phone model was enough to generate thousands of likes, comments and retweets. You don’t have to tweet multiple times a day to do well on social media. One piece of quality content can make all the difference.

An example of marketing madness

People often ‘over-write’ or over-create content. We’re told over and over that for organic content we need to be writing constantly and publishing blogs three to five times a week.

However, Tom says he can guarantee that what people are writing is absolute tripe! Nobody’s reading it and nobody cares. What people do care about is the one piece of content which is really valuable. It’s long-form, quick-fire, with videos and images, and answers a question that every one of your customers has.


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