In life, nothing is guaranteed. Why would digital marketing be any different?
Agencies that put out sales guarantees as part of their advertising are trying to turn your head and lure you in. They can’t make a cold guarantee on a brand they know nothing about and so shouldn’t be doing it. It gives all of us a bad name.
When these companies don’t make good on their guarantee 3, 6 or 12 months down the line, you then break up the relationship, but the rub is that they still have your money in the bank. Avoid anyone who makes you rock-solid guarantees like this. We’ve picked up the pieces left in the wake of agencies who’ve made claims like this so many times, leaving us to make the best of what we can from a messy situation.
You might, no offense intended, have a rubbish product with a poor reputation, or you might make false claims or claims that sail close to the wind. You might not be the cheapest on the market. You might be in competition with Amazon – Amazon will always win. You might have a great product but really poor fulfilment, or post-sales customer service that has earned you a bad reputation. There might not be a market for what you sell, and if you are selling something that no one wants to buy, no amount of money spent on ads, video creative and photography is going to make people part with their money for your product.
All of these scenarios are very real factors in the influence they have on your sales income, and digital marketing is not the silver bullet that will fix them all. If you have poor customer service, you need to fix it. If you have product quality issues, you need to improve on them. If you are trying to sell something at too high a price, you need to look at your pricing structure. And if you are trying to sell something that no one wants to buy, it’s time to take a long, hard look at what your company does for its core business.
Embarking on a digital marketing journey with a new client is a little like backing a horse at the races. You look at the form, you see what successes the horses or the jockeys already enjoy and where there is opportunity for improvement or an outside chance of success. This process helps you make decisions about what the strategy should be and what sorts of parameters will deem the ventures you take in digital marketing a success or not.
We always sit with clients and look at what they define ‘success’ as. We urge them to go a little deeper than just stating they want ‘more sales’ by breaking down how people ordinarily become customers and what marketing can do to try and find more of those people. We urge them to look at other success criteria too so we can examine the bigger picture for their brand. We then construct KPIs (key performance indicators) and start to measure against these objectives.
As a business you also need to look honestly at your product, customer service and your competitors. Product, Price, Place and Promotion are the original ‘4Ps of marketing’, and only the last two are covered by digital marketing activity. If you haven’t got the product or the pricing right, it leaves digital marketing doing a lot of heavy lifting that might be too much of a stretch if not aided by looking at the core fundamentals of what you sell.
If you are new to market and have a really strong competitor, you might not ever knock them off their perch unless your business has a USP that enables it to compete with the bigger brand. In price-sensitive markets, competitive pricing is King. If you sell an identical product to a competitor that is £2 or £3 more than their price point, you are not going to attract the sales. If undercutting that price is not possible due to margins, then you need to increase your value proposition through customer service offerings, P&P offers (it’s amazing how free P&P can seduce more than a discount on products to the same value), or by pushing your core business ethos to persuade customers that they are better placed paying a premium to buy from your instead.
As for percentage lift, a beloved promise of ‘growth marketers’, you need to be realistic and look at where the sales ordinarily come from and how marketing can help either assist that process or open up a new sales channel for you. Simply stating that you want sales will not make sales come.
Applying techniques such as SEO, email marketing or Google Ads can be put in place and examined for their results. These results will then show you the value of investing in these techniques, and in turn will help you make decisions in concert with your marketing agency in choosing to invest more or less time working particular channels, and in growing tangibles like PPC ad spend in alignment with assured ROAS. Keeping lines of communication open and honest will get you the results you need, working together rather than outsourcing marketing in a silo will keep your expectations management in check too.
Take a look at the full series of myth busters about digital marketing:
We’re proud to say that we’ve helped many businesses generate millions of pounds of revenue through digital marketing. If you’d like help with your digital marketing email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01629 810199 for a quick chat.
If you’d like help with digital marketing, ads management, SEO, copywriting, websites, branding or social media management… or anything else related to the internet and digital, then get in touch with us. We’re a friendly bunch.