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Ryan McAweeny from San Diego: How Unethical Practices Threaten Digital Marketing

Posted December 28, 2017

Ryan McAweeny is one of the top marketing executives who has been very vocal about unethical practices that he believes threaten the digital advertising industry. McAweeny hopes to see San Diego become a digital marketing hub. He sees advancements in technology as having the potential to make this a reality and also poses a serious risk.

Guerilla and Scare Tactics

McAweeny asserts that he does not necessarily have a problem with guerilla tactics. If done ethically it has the potential of helping a business achieve its objectives faster and more effectively. However, certain techniques such as using misleading photos and viral content not directly related to the product sold are some of the black hat tactics whose use has been amplified by technology.

Scare tactics have also become a more commonplace in step with growing popularity of social media. Just like some guerilla tactics, fear is not necessarily bad if what is cited is factual. However, inventing false danger to compel prospects to buy products is another unethical practice that has become increasingly common with some marketers.

Pop Up Shops

He also points out that ‘pop up shops’ are more frequent on social media.  He refers to a situation where marketers sell defective products using misleading advertising. This becomes easier through social media because once caught they can simply reboot their system and start another campaign. He has referred to a particular technique where unscrupulous people cloak their ads on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in such a way that the platforms think they are serving a different ad, while they are actually repeating the same ad over and over again.

Marketing Firms

The use of unethical methods is not limited to the seller or producer of the product. McAweeny points out that some marketing agencies have been using these techniques to get better results for their clients. He explains that it is possible that the client may not be aware that the agency they hired is not using acceptable tactics. It is therefore important for businesses to establish whether the agencies are using methods that are acceptable in advertising, social media marketing, facebook marketing, pinterest marketing, and digital marketing. Otherwise, they risk putting their brand and entire business model at risk.

McAweeny recognizes that digital advertising can provide real value to prospects and can help small businesses and startups realize their bottom line. His 15 years experience in marketing has made him both aware of the potential and danger of technology. His views are driven by his passion for marketing which he believes could be threatened by new technological innovations and tools.

Ryan McAweeney San Diego Entreprenur Helps Startups Realize the Potential of Affiliate Marketing

Ryan McAweeney has been a veteran of digital marketing in San Diego for the last 15 years. He is the founder of Vertical Direct Marketing which was established in 2009. He has been working with brands such as Toyota, Wells Fargo, Direct TV and NFL. Now he wants to help individuals and SMEs to understand the benefits of affiliate marketing and make full use of it to improve their bottom-line.

Affiliate marketing started long before the internet revolution. The internet made it more practical. In the 90s and early 2000s, online affiliate marketing was weighed down by numerous issues. It was much harder to track results and use data to tweak and perfect your marketing campaigns.

With the advent of web 2.0 affiliate marketing was supported by better tools. It was easier to understand the impact of advertising at every stage of the buying cycle. The tools available for tracking are cheaper and easier to acquire now and can track the buyer at every stage providing valuable insights backed by reliable and easy to interpret data.

Ryan McAweeney and his San Diego team is now focusing on helping startups in San Diego make the most of affiliate marketing. According to a report from the US Chamber of Commerce, the city is the fourth most favorable place to launch a startup in the country. San Diego has been one of the cities that have consistently ranked high as a digital hub. In 2016 it was ranked fifth in the country.

McAweeney believes this is the best place for a startup. The city has cheaper office space compared to Silicon Valley and other cities considered to be top digital hubs. It has also been praised for its industry specialization and regulatory environment.

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing digital advertising segments. In 2009, affiliate marketing spending was projected to rise to $4.8 billion by 2016. It is expected to continue growing by 10% every year to reach $6.8 billion by 2020. This is proof of how far affiliate marketing has come since its early days when it was plagued by numerous issues particularly those related to tracking.

Now McAweeney who has been in direct marketing for 15 years wants to help small businesses make the most of this channel. Affiliate marketing is still not perfect and is plagued with issues which he hopes to guide small and medium-sized businesses address. Using evidence-based strategies and effective tracking tools any startup can realize the full potential of affiliate marketing.

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