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E-Marketing Performance Blog

The Taco Theory of Digital Marketing Proposals

taco theroy of digital marketing proposals

One of my favorite restaurants is a local Mexican place called El Campesino. In the almost ten years I’ve been eating there (four or times per year) I have probably ordered two different dishes. It’s not for a lack of selection either. There is probably somewhere close to a hundred meals to choose from.

The funny thing about Mexican food, though, is that no matter how many combinations there are, it’s really just the same five basic ingredients. Every mean is a different combination of those ingredients, yet somehow, they all taste different.

Web marketing proposals are not that much different. Web marketing services are a combination of the same basic ingredients. You’ve got on-page optimization, social media, site architecture, link building, etc. etc. There are a lot of ingredients, but almost all of them are needed in order to build a successful campaign.

Look Beyond the Menu

So, what is the difference between one digital marketing proposal and another? It’s all in the execution. And like a good restaurant, the execution of the meal isn’t something that the menu does justice to. Same with web marketing. It’s difficult to convey the execution of the services in the proposal.

This is why so many shoppers look at the cost outlined in the proposal. But the cost doesn’t tell the whole story any more than the cost of the meal tells you about the restaurant.

Or maybe it does. When you go to El Campesino you expect a better caliber of food than when you go to Taco Bell. But if you’re only shopping on price, then Taco Bell is your joint. You just can’t expect El Campesino quality at Taco Bell prices!

The real difference between two web marketing proposals isn’t in the ingredients, but how those ingredients are implemented. Or the degrees in which each service is performed. Two proposals might call for link building, but each plans on getting a different number of links. Both proposals might provide social media implementation, but one might invest an hour a month while another an hour a week.

On the menu, these might appear exactly the same. But by being mixed differently, you wind up with a totally different quality of meal. Noting a service being provided won’t necessarily tell you everything you need to know about that service.

Beware of “Fast Food SEO”

Shopping on price alone is dangerous. That leads to fast food SEO. Maybe that’s for you, but most people want something more than that for their money. A little thing I like to call results.

When¬†analyzing proposals from digital marketing providers, you need to look deeper than price. Instead, seek to understand how each part of the service will be implemented. You don’t have to buy the most expensive web marketing taco, but you should always know what you’re getting for the money.

How to Understand Value in a Web Marketing Proposal



  • Research the company. Find out how long they’ve been in business and whether or not they have any type of industry recognition.

  • Talk to them about the proposal. Ask questions that help you understand why each service is included, and to what degree.

  • Discuss performance expectations. Success might mean something different to them than it does to you.

  • Never buy the cheapest price. Always seek value first.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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