Reach Local in Administration
Reach Local has gone into administration, and I can’t help wondering why?
Maybe it’s because they tried to sell digital marketing services as a commodity?
Maybe it’s because they tried to use the same model for every type of local business?
Maybe it’s because in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, and they used this in a hard-sell, exploitative manner to shift units to unsuspecting and busy local business owners.
Look, I don’t actually know why Reach Local have gone into admin (since Dec 15th 2015). Not only have I been through the pain of an administration myself (through no fault of my own), I also once sold adverts in the BT Phone Book back in 1991 – adverts that no-one needed at all, but which made the contract publishers, MacMillan, approx £100k per area of the UK. I don’t remember what that added up to, but I do remember the MD driving an Aston Martin whilst poor unsuspecting Dentists were shelling out £400 for a box in a phone book that no-one would be using unless they already knew the name of who they were looking for. Hence, there being no need for the advert.
But I sold hundreds of them. Using a script. Using closing techniques. Using high pressure. Needing my commissions. Pressured by my manager. Competing with my colleagues.
Why did the Dentists buy the ads? Probably just to get us off the phone. £400 was no skin off their noses, or teeth. Maybe because it seemed like a good idea. Maybe their ego. Maybe just because so many others were.
One thing is for sure. None of that advertising was measured in any way. And you had to keep paying to go back in.
I thought those days were long gone, but apparently not.
Reach certainly look slick:
But you’ve only got to look at the lack of expertise in this example of an adwords advert they are still running (as of January 11th 2016) for their client, Bell Yard Dental:
You can clearly see that the keyword entered was “Invisalign Dentist London” and not only is the Bellyard advert super-low down the page in position 6, the title of the ad does not match the keyword.
This is likely because they are running the adverts on broad match – a MASSIVE WASTE OF MONEY FOR MOST LOCAL BUSINESS!
Broad match is when you tell Google to show your advert if someone enters something in that broadly matches something like
The problems with this approach are manifest:
1. Lower quality score
2. Lower CTR
3. Higher Cost per click
4. Higher customer acquisition cost
5. You give FULL CONTROL to Google. However clever you think Google is, this means your ad will be shown for all manner of useless keywords.
To understand this better, watch my keyword research tutorial:
Not only that, but the advert when clicked on goes to a version of the clients website, and no their actual website!
They do this so they can track leads, phone calls and sales. Sounds good in a slaes pitch, but it’s a bit of a bummer though when the company running the campaign (in this case, Reach Local) has full control over everything!
This is what makes me angry about these one-size-fits-all-sell-on-ignorance type companies.
If only small business owners would take the time to understand, manage and implement their own marketing, or at least learn from someone who’s actually done it for a real business so when they do outsource, they don’t get fucked over like this.
That’s exactly why I made my digital marketing course for business owners. If you’re one, take a few minutes out of your day to watch these free training videos (click the link).
It could save you and make you a small fortune.
Ultimately, it looks to me that Reach over-reached themselves and have been disgracefully cynical about the way they’ve conducted their business.
Their prices are reasonable, but you simply cannot achieve anything meaningful selling this cheaply, and all the other agencies bandwagoning on the bones of Reach’s demise are also trying to sell on price.
When will business owners get it into their heads that price is not the criteria you should use for buying digital marketing services? It’s results that matter. End of.