Barriers to Entry

Why, oh why don’t all Web design shops, PR firms, and others want to start their own search marketing practice? This seems like such a no-brainer to me. But the barrier of entry is commonly a senior executive who won’t do anything because they are scared. Scared of the unknown. Scared that they won’t be able to control the department because they don’t understand what they do. I’m telling you this, search engine optimization and PPC is NOT HARD, but it is very time consuming and you can mess it up if you do it wrong. But if you have someone who can show you how to do it right, and do it well, and even how to sell it…Well, what’s the problem here.

Sorry, just had to have a little rant before my next meeting with another director who will most likely be interested, but not interested enough to pull the trigger. Frustrating.


  1. It’s amazing isn’t it? I recently experienced this when talking with a friend’s design firm. They are experiencing limited growth because their relevance to business is slowly being diluted due to them having no internet marketing knowledge and no desire to offer it to their clients.

    Even when they come to understand the power of the medium and the quantifiable, reproducable, predictive nature of SEM they still just shrug and say, “Hmmm. I can see how that would sell.” And then proceed to do absolutely nothing about it.

    I believe that as businesses become more familiar with the medium of SEM they will start to demand it (with proof and the firms abilities) and lots of design firms will be behind the curve.

  2. …Perhaps they see it from the other side – if PPC and SEO isn’t hard then everyone could be doing it. Maybe they see it as a commodity that would be difficult to differentiate and profit from.

    We’ve resisted moving in that direction for this very reason. In an industry as crowded as branding is we’re looking for things that are hard, different, valuable – and stuff that no one else does. Our junk-mail is filled with a dozen or more SEO offers a week. We don’t want to link ourselves to that in our clients minds…

    …at least that’s my opinion today.

    Great to hear this from the other side though. Made me think about my own position a bit more critically.

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