Why we won’t win the ‘Top 10 Canada Digital Marketing Agency’ award.

Creating Excellence is shortlisted for the ‘Top 10 Canada Digital Marketing Agencies’

Exciting news! We were recently shortlisted in the “Top 10 Canada Digital Marketing Agencies” by a reputable Marcom publication. Are we breaking out the bubbly and taking the team for lunch? Not quite.

Why would we not make that list when we are instrumental in winning awards for our clients? If you dig into our results, we consistently deliver on campaign objectives and in most cases, crush our KPI’s, which keeps our clients (and their executive teams) coming back year after year. So, why won’t we take this prestigious honour home? Money. If we want to be on the list we need to pay for our spot. 

Is it a good return on investment? For our investment, we will be featured in a customer-centric profile. The profile will “provide an in-depth perspective on Creating Excellence Marketing offerings, strengths, and unique proposition to your prospective clients from the Digital Marketing domain. The resulting readers’ engagement will ensure Creating Excellence Marketing to secure and convert more business prospects.”

If this wasn’t enticing enough we receive a certificate, full-page ad space, and a logo that we can use on any marketing material. 

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The ROI could be worth it. Every industry has these ‘Top of the industry’ lists. Here is how we would approach things if our client would come to us to discuss:


When building a client’s marketing strategy we recommend that a % of their marketing budget is set aside as an “opportunity expense”. While we strongly believe that planning in advance is critical to your marketing success, we know that opportunities come up that weren’t in the annual plan. Leave yourself a small % that you can use to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities.

Planning ahead and having a pre-determined checklist of what that opportunity expense needs to meet in terms of requirements, will help your company stay on track and give you a great reason to politely decline all those last-minute marketing opportunities that fill in your inbox.

Analyze the source

In our case, this publication claims that they are a leading Marcomm publication. We would do some quick research to determine their Domain Authority. Are they a legit publication? Will the opportunity provide some quality backlinks that could help the company’s own DA (domain authority)?

Analyze Domain Authority

Google has many ranking factors, but we focus on the EAT principle. The basics behind this principle are expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. We know that Google wants to serve up the best results that satisfy a user’s search intent. Google does not approve of paid backlinks and the old marketing tactic of getting featured in every directory is not best practice for content marketing. 

Objectives & KPI

We will never spend a dollar of our client’s money without asking the question, what is your company’s objective? Are you look to grow your website traffic? Increase your market share and create brand recognition? Establish industry authority and credibility? 

By pausing to focus on what your objectives are we can ensure marketing opportunities are maximized and measured.

Measurement Marketing

Let’s assume that you determine your objective with this is website traffic. We would then put things in place so we can measure the success of this campaign over time. We would use GA4 (Google Analytics) and track source traffic from the publication site and calculate cost per objective.

Remember, that it isn’t just about the number of people that came to the website. It is about the quality of the traffic to the site. How many pages did that individual visit when they were there? How long did they stay? Did they convert on any of the key events that we have set up in GA4? With traffic being our key objective, we would also post about this on all active social media channels to drive traffic.

Measurement Marketing

The byproduct of this would be that we establish authority and credibility with the customer base. When posting to social, UTM’s are an important part of the strategy. The UTM’s are simply a tracking code assigned to each link which provide more detailed data in analytics and assist in the the next phase of analyzing data in the post-campaign measurement phase.

Post-Campaign Measurement 

Let’s pretend for a moment, that everything checked out, and the advertising campaign is now complete. The post-campaign analysis is critical to your next year’s planning. Based on all results:

  • What is the final cost per objective?
  • What was the quality of traffic that came from that placement? 
  • How does that compare to other placements? 
  • What was the cost per objective and quality of traffic from the LinkedIn campaign you ran or your Instagram campaign? 
  • Where does it make the most sense for you to spend next year based on the results of your initiatives? 

Final Thoughts

In our case, this publication assures us that by being listed as the Top Canada Digital Marketing Agencies we will have our company name into the hands of many decision-making executive teams in the US and Canada. Do we want to grow our business? Absolutely. Do we want to get in front of C-suite executives? Of course! Will we invest in this opportunity? As a small agency, our Opportunity Marketing line is not significant enough to take advantage of this, despite all of the checkboxes that made it a very interesting consideration for us. 

Guess we will just have to settle with being shortlisted for the Top 10 Canada Digital Marketing Agencies and leave the top spot for those agencies with deeper pockets. But, think we may still break out the bubbly and do lunch. 

If you want to find out more about how we can help your company with your digital marketing plans, get in touch and let’s chat.

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