Digital marketing complexities require expertise for entrepreneurs and their marketing decision makers.
To be competitive as a entrepreneur, you must be efficient. Over the past 5-10 years, digital marketing has become increasingly complex. One would think with all the automation tools, artificial intelligence, and updates to advertising and marketing platforms the opposite would be true.
What Is Going On?
- Consumers have become savvier on the web.
- The sheer number of ad platforms has increased, and each is unique.
- Companies that sell ads decided that complex and confusing ad systems equal higher profits.
- Digital marketing agencies/consultants aren’t fighting for your brand.
- Entrepreneurs and their marketing decision makers don’t realize the real cost of being inefficient reaching their “true” target audience with relevant messages online.
Consumers Have Become Savvier On The Web
It is pretty obvious that consumers have become savvier. They may not have a technical understanding of ineffective over-the-top advertising technics, but they sure know when they are being screwed with by advertisers. Consumers have become “street smart” on the web which has made it harder for advertisers to convert potential customers. Most entrepreneurs still rely on marketing techniques that are spammy, outdated, and offensive to the average consumer.
Furthermore, consumers ability to research products and services has significantly increased, and they need little assistance in making a final decision. The cost to market to consumers who are researching is significant, but at the same time, it is crucial. Entrepreneurs that aren’t willing to pivot on this point will see their customers leave them for larger companies who better understand how to convert consumers into paying customers.
“When consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is ‘Let me search online for it.’ And so they go on a journey of discovery: about a product, a service, an issue, an opportunity. Today you are not behind your competition. You are not behind the technology. You are behind your consumer.”Rishad Tobaccowala Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer VivaKi
The Sheer Number Of Ad Platforms Has Increased & Each Is Unique
When I started working with entrepreneurs, marketing online wasn’t difficult. We would advertise on Google Search, Bing, and work with our customers on their SEO. Over the past few years, the sheer number of ad platforms has increased significantly. It would be best if you decided how to balance spending and ad strategy between Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Waze Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Bing Ads, Pinterest Ads, Amazon Ads, and even Walmart Ads. Not only are there more platforms to consider; but there are also, different channels within each platform like: search, display, mobile, social, video, remarketing, and shopping ads.
Each ad platform and its channels have the potential to compliment your business/brand if appropriately executed. The problem is that many entrepreneurs are choosing to ignore the platforms and channels their customers and potential customers trust. As a result, they are slowly losing the trust of customers and never gaining the trust of new potential customers. All the while the Amazons of the world are winning the war for the hearts and minds of your existing and prospective customers.
Companies That Sell Ads Decided That Complex and Confusing Ad Systems Equal Higher Profits
Digital advertising platforms have become more sophisticated, do you think that was an accident? Of course not, it was intentional. To meet the desires of their shareholders, public companies that rely on selling ads must increase profits, what better way to increase profits than to continually launch new features and push out updates. Sounds great right? It would be, but new features in the digital ad world typically don’t save advertisers money if anything they have resulted in wasteful ad spend. Why? Simple, overwhelming users with new features and updates leads to confusion which equals higher profits. Let me explain with a couple of examples.
Google Ads Example
Ten years ago, Google search had mobile search campaigns and desktop search campaigns. It was so easy to develop a successful, affordable search campaign. Once Google understood that their future ability to increase revenue would rely on mobile ads they updated their platform. Google decided to do away with mobile ad campaigns. They were consolidating their system and making the advertiser’s job easier. Easier came with a cost to advertisers, and it was significant. If you don’t believe me look at Google’s mobile advertising revenue over the past five years.
Facebook Ads Example
When Facebook ads first launched, the cost was so low. I was able to help my clients turn huge profits from running Facebook ads. As Facebook continued to grow and revenues increased so did the cost of their ad platform. To the average entrepreneur and their marketing decision maker, Facebook Ads appeared to be efficient and effective. However, the truth is that their ad platform was never implemented in a way to help the average entrepreneur advertise efficiently.
Facebook was the first to offer an ad product that didn’t give the advertiser an effective way to control cost at the per click level. Facebook Ads took a different approach by automating bidding costs without transparency and can you blame them? It was smart and allowed them to grow faster. As a result of their success, I have seen many of the other ad platforms begin to follow their lead, even Google.
Companies like Google and Facebook don’t invest money into R&D on their ad platform to save you money. They are continuously improving their ad platforms to increase revenue. It’s not like they have all the data; or do they? If you think they have advertisers best interest at heart, you are mistaken and not seeing the bigger picture. Just think about it. They have learned how to gain the trust of your customers! They are willing to share in that trust if you pay them accordingly. It is still all about the Benjamins! Once you understand this concept, you can build your business’s marketing framework effectively. To be efficient, one must think outside of the box to stay on budget.
Digital Marketing Agencies/Consultants Aren’t Fighting For Your Brand
It has been my experience that many startups start out trying to advertise and market on their own. Nothing wrong with that at all, I started my agency as a result of trying to promote a previous version of my business in-house. At some point, entrepreneurs decide they need to hire an agency or marketing consultant due to their inability to be efficient advertisers/marketers. At this point, most startups will not hire a valuable digital marketing partner. Most of my customers work with me because they got burned by an agency/consultant that wasn’t fighting for their brand.
Are you searching for an agency or marketing consultant? Alternatively, maybe you already hired one, and you feel/think you are getting the short end of the stick?
Let me give you a few warning signs that your agency or marketing consultant may not be honest and isn’t looking out for your
Agency Marketing Consultant Warning Signs
- You don’t have admin access to your ad accounts, analytics accounts, website files, and domain name account. Maybe this is because you haven’t asked for admin access. If you don’t have access, email your account manager for access. If they won’t give you access that is a warning sign.
- You don’t own your website. I have seen many service-based businesses that are leasing their website from a company that is also responsible for their ads and SEO.
- You are working with a large agency. You are just a number, and they have their way of implementing a template based advertising solution for your vertical market. The agency has a proprietary ad system that allows them to deliver quickly, but it’s all cookie-cutter.
The True Cost Of Being Inefficient On The Web
Entrepreneurs and their marketing decision makers don’t realize the real cost of being inefficient reaching their “true” target audience with relevant messages online. You need to know your audience and craft relevant and helpful content to advertise effectively. The complexity of promoting online also requires careful attention to detail throughout implementation. Let me give you a few real life examples.
- An HVAC company wasted over 30k in two months because they were accidentally paying to advertise for customers who were searching for airplane tickets. It was a huge problem that I fixed in 10 minutes, their previous agency wasn’t paying attention to the details, and it cost the business 30k. The true loss of revenue was significantly more because the 30k didn’t had a negative return on investment, as it didn’t convert paying customers.
- An E-commerce website that sells tech parts was paying a consultant to advertise over 15k products with three ads on Adwords Express. The ad campaign wasn’t very effective due to its lack of organization and targeting. Since my agency has taken over, six months ago, the company is on track to double its sales this year (1.25 to 2.5 million).
- A construction company wasted two years working with an inefficient agency. They let this agency build and manage their website. The website had problems. The lead form integration didn’t work, and as a result, they missed out on 2-3 leads a week. They also paid the agency to work on their search engine optimization (SEO). Over that period, the agency wrote one blog post, did a poor job of optimizing their website, and didn’t even take the time to make sure their local listings were accurate. Their Google business listing had the wrong phone number. This company missed out on annual revenue ranging from 250k to 780k as a result of working with an inefficient agency.
Advertising Self Test
As a entrepreneur, you are most likely a jack-of-all-trades. You must adapt and think outside the box to succeed. I have found self-examination to be the best way to move forward. Please take a few minutes to think through the questions below and answer them in your mind (or write them down).
- Am I leaving additional profit on the table due to my lack of attention to advertising and marketing?
- Have we created a buyer persona?
- Is my advertising agency/consultant fighting for my brand? Are we on the same page?
- Does my marketing strategy add value to my business?
I challenge you to take 15 minutes and write down three action items related to marketing and advertising to complete over the next week. Don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers, make changes, and ask for help. It’s your livelihood take ownership and win!
I hope you have found this letter helpful. If so, please email me at [email protected] or text me at 270-505-8002. I would love to chat briefly, make a connection, and learn more about your specific marketing challenges. You can also click on this link to schedule a 30 minute call with me.
Solutions Architect – Partner
270-360-1258 Ext 605