Slingshot execs team up with advertising veterans in digital marketing audit venture

“Why don’t they go and do a health check of their digital marketing to make sure that over the course of a year, everything they do is optimized? ” he said.

“At the end of the day, [what] we wish we could do is make Australian small businesses the smartest digital marketers in the world.

The report, which will cost around $5,500, aims to educate businesses on digital marketing terminology, help them understand their current and potential customers, and make recommendations on where to spend their marketing dollars.

Former CEO of Publicis and Ogilvy, Andrew Baxter.

The bespoke reporting service is also designed to assess their current digital marketing efforts and offer clear, actionable advice on how to improve ROI.

“If you’re a small business and you’re spending $50,000 to $100,000 on digital marketing, $5,500 is a pretty good investment to make sure you’ve got it right,” said Andrew Baxter.

With SMBs typically spending their money through Google and Facebook, the report focuses on these areas to assess whether a business is investing enough or overspending on its category.

“There are also really basic elements that we noticed, even today [there are a] number of companies that haven’t built their websites mobile-first,” Rutherford added.

In March last year, small business ombudsman Kate Carnell urged the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to look into predatory practices in the digital marketing industry, saying there were too many “cowboys” taking advantage of small businesses trying to diversify their operations online.

Mr Rutherford said the independent digital audit had seen examples of poor performance before, pointing to a fashion company that had poor backlinks used to help the website appear in Google search.

He said “questionable” backlinks would likely see the business banned by Google Search, meaning the search engine wouldn’t bring up the website for four months.

“That company was basically trying to transform into a digital-focused company, that would have stopped them in their tracks,” Rutherford said.

Cathy W. Howerton