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Own Your Data, Own Your Destiny

 

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Hiring an outside company to build your website or create online marketing campaigns for you can be very daunting. It seems every marketing company does it differently, from their pricing to their transparency to their data ownership. As the client, it is imperative that you understand what liabilities are involved if you hand over too many keys to the so-called experts.

It can be easy to overlook, but the content your website contains and the data it generates represents one of your most critical business assets. It’s important to thoroughly vet partners, contractors, and companies that are offering digital services to make sure that you – the client – will always retain ownership of your digital assets. This ownership ensures that as professional relationships change (because they most certainly will) you can rest easy that these transitions won’t cause the loss of years of historical data, important business records, domain names, or worse.

A digital marketing partner should stand by the work it does, the results generated from its campaigns, and provide transparency to clients. Your digital marketing partner should be able to educate and enable you as a client to make your own decisions to protect your data. You should stay in control of your accounts, be it Google adwords or your hosting provider. If anything were to ever go wrong with your accounts you would be motivated to fix the problem immediately. How do you know if some other third party owner will fix the problem in a timely manner? Or if they will be bothered to pay past-due bills which result in your website being down? You should own this power – after all, it’s your business.

When seeking out a marketing partner to help grow your business, be wary of contracts that lock you – the client – out of data, accounts, and digital properties. Additionally, always ask what happens if you want to switch to another digital marketing partner? Oftentimes the answer is “well we take down your website and lock away all of your historical data on all of the campaigns we ran, so good luck with redesigning the wheel… again.” Often these contracts leave a client with no legal recourse should this happen. After all, the client signed away ownership of critical accounts.

At Red Cape Group, we are passionate about you owning the keys to your own destiny. Your data, your historical information, your business.

Take a look below for Red Cape Group’s Guide to the Top 6 Tips to Regret-Free Website Ownership.

You – the client – should always own:

1. Analytics Accounts

Not owning your analytics accounts may not seem like a big deal, but it can sink your business. You should always own your Google analytics, statcounter, and any other account where you can access historical traffic data. Even if you don’t use the data right now you must own it, or every marketing campaign you launch will start from scratch with no record of how well it worked. You will get to redesign the wheel forever.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Accounts

Any account that you spend money on for advertising, you should own. Never give someone your money for reports that they provide, without allowing you access to the source of the report data. If they are buying Google AdWords ads on your behalf, make sure you have direct access to the metrics and can take over the account if needed. Otherwise if you ever stop working with this company, all of the historical campaigns are lost and once again, you will have to start from scratch with your next marketing agency with no record of what worked in the past.

3. Affiliate Program Accounts

Same as with PPC, affiliate programs can represent a significant monetary and time investment. There’s absolutely no scenario where you should not own this too.

4. Email Accounts

If you let someone else own your email accounts and you cannot pay, well then you lose all your emails. That feels a lot like losing your mind.

5. Hosting Accounts

Would you let your architect own your building once it was constructed? Allowing someone else to own your hosting account allows them control of crucial details which could result in your website disappearing temporarily, or worse, permanently.

6. Domain Names

Own your own domain names. Your brand depends on your domain name, all your marketing points to your domain name, so what if it were just gone one day? What if some other company forgot to pay the bill? You should be in control of this, too much depends on it going right.

As a general rule of thumb, only work with companies who maintain you as primary account administrator. Those companies who insist on owning your accounts are definitely following their own destiny… but is it yours?

Daniel Bonomo
Daniel Bonomo dons a cape as our resident Data Man. He is Marketing Director for Red Cape Group and has been in the industry of digital marketing and data analytics since 2006. He has always maintained the necessity of owning your own data, and better yet, making sense of it!

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