Marketing can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Why is it that some brands seem to have it all figured out while others can’t seem to find anything that sticks? So, here’s the deal, your marketing should be an investment, not an expense. Now that doesn’t mean every marketing campaign you run will be an instant hit, but it does mean that marketing is only a benefit if you are actually able to generate more revenue from the campaigns you run.
So how can you increase your return on investment? Here are four marketing mistakes you could be making that will cost you thousands along with easy steps you can take to improve your results.
You may be asking, what’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing campaign? Think of a marketing campaign as a marketing project within the overall system. It is a specific plan to accomplish a particular goal. Marketing campaigns usually specify a segment of your audience, define key objectives (conversion points), and are geared at a specific offer you have.
Why is this important? So many reasons! Let’s talk about a few. By organizing your marketing efforts into campaigns, you can measure how well your campaign performed. This is crucial to understanding if this particular method resonated with your intended audience, how much it cost you to buy a lead, how many hours went into the endeavor, and also which types of methods worked better for any given offer. You may find that one campaign style performs better with Google pay per click, while another performs better on YouTube ads. You may even find that some campaigns convert well organically, which is a total money saver. Marketing is a numbers game, and organizing your content into campaigns is the best way to track the numbers. It is the easiest way to interpret your data into usable information going forward, and how you apply this information is up to you! These results can be used to gain new customers, upsell current customers, get a repeat purchase, get reviews to increase awareness, and even build up value to increase your price moving forward.
Marketing becomes expensive when you are starting from scratch every month. That’s why big brands spend megabucks on advertising. Advertising is about establishing a brand’s value. It’s not just about selling an item, but more about selling the ideas an organization stands for in order to establish themselves as the leader of an industry. Advertising efforts work for you long after you’ve run your campaigns. It’s why people will spend more on a Coke than a drug store soda. When you’ve created a successful brand strategy, there is an understood value for your offer that doesn’t need to be verbalized with every campaign. For instance, you don’t need to ask or even wonder why a Nike shoe costs more than a Walmart shoe. There is already a widespread accepted assumption that Nike is worth more.
Of course, your work isn’t done as soon as the campaign has run its course - It is crucial to examine your campaigns after they’ve run. This is how you learn about your market and improve future outcomes. A lot of small business owners never even take the time to go back and review how well a campaign performed, and most of those who do only look to see whether sales were impacted or not. It’s
important to look over each point of the campaign to truly understand where the breakdown of an unsuccessful campaign occurred and where the magic happened for the ones that worked well. This will help you determine how you can reduce your costs on the next run or even implement some of those successful elements into other campaigns.
There is certainly a time and place for discounts and coupons! However, if your brand can only experience increased volume when they run a flash sale or circulate 50% off coupons, there is an issue.
There are two common ways a business can “over discount”. One is offering too deep of a price cut and the other is holding discounts too frequently. One of the risks that you run with over-discounting is that it skews your demographic profiles. Every time you spend money on a marketing campaign, a portion of the money you spend is to test the theory that who you are pointing your ads to are truly your ideal market. So, if you are running 80% discounts, what you are actually finding are the people who are willing to pay 80% less than you wanted to charge for your product or service. These people that your campaign has found may not be may not be willing or able to ever buy at full price. The one possible exception to this rule is when you have a new business or product. This is because deep discounts work as a “what have you got to lose” pitch. For example, a customer already has their “go to” ice cream brand, but company “x” has a 50% off coupon. The customer already has a strong affinity to their usual ice cream brand but may be convinced to shop around if there is very little risk to doing so. However, if you have been in business for a while, your brand reputation should eliminate the trust issues that new brands face.
The issue with discounting too frequently is that it makes the sale event non-unique and removes the sense of urgency. Let’s break it down. We know that sales work because they offer a discount for a limited time frame. This creates a heightened sense of urgency to buy, because you never know if that deal is going to come around again. However, if your brand is running a sale every single month, you lose that sense of urgency. Not only can it create the idea that only a sucker would pay full price, most people can wait a couple of weeks before buying to ensure they get the discount and they won’t feel the need to take advantage of a deal if they get a deal offer almost every month.
Marketing is a skillset that takes time to master and is always evolving. Even if you’ve been in business for awhile, it’s easy to find yourself scratching your head. Markets shift, audiences evolve, and technology expands, so give yourself tons of grace and just keep at it. So, now that you have a better understanding of how to utilize your marketing campaigns to the fullest, how are you going to make them work for your business? What goals can you achieve by targeting your key audience more effectively?