Pardon us if it seems like we’ve titled this post in a moment of panic, but something needed to be said, and we just couldn’t take it anymore.
Companies are constantly deploying marketing activities to drive higher engagement. More subscribers, increased website traffic, and so on, but we need to talk to you about that.
At least for now.
Let me talk about why. We see countless businesses and their respective marketing and advertising teams deploying tactics focused on a variety of metrics, but they may be misguided and don't always have the right strategy in place before deploying the tactics.
For the rest of this article, I want to talk about why that is and what to do to ensure you are making progress. Not just making progress, but the right kind of progress.
We’ll start with the metrics.
Metrics Don't Matter
Yes, I said it. With marketing, there are lots of ways to measure your activity and most marketers are guilty as charged. Open rates, reach, clicks, and likes all seem very important, but ‘likes’ don’t equal sales. Much like ‘exposure,’ you can’t make payroll or build out a new office with open rates.
Reels don’t deliver results, customers do – when they buy something.
That’s why the only metric that truly matters at the end of a marketing campaign is whether anyone bought something from you. So often, marketers are focusing on getting large amounts of engagement on their social media posts, instead of a long-term marketing effort. A marketer just last week said to me, “that can be good for brand awareness,” but I would challenge that.
Brand awareness is nice, but it is only good if it is the right brand awareness, which means you are sending the right message to the right people.
I don’t want you to toss out the idea of brand awareness, as it is valuable. I simply want you to move it down in priority. Maybe even push pause and then focus on “sales” as a metric first. If you position this as the most important metric, you can better judge all of the other metrics.
Tactics To Waste Time
Being busy is not the same as being effective. A very important marketing term is “frequency.” It means sending an email each month, or each day, or being on as many digital advertising platforms as possible. Frequent tactics like posting content on social media may feel like a very active marketing strategy because of frequency, but activity is not the same as results. Before you add one more tactic, focus first on building the strategy to ensures those tactics are productive. Here is what we mean by strategy:
- What does a successful customer look like for us or our business?
- Where are they when they are making purchasing decisions?
- What do we want them to believe, think and feel?
- How do we say that in their language?
After these questions are answered, the next step is to identify how you optimize your marketing spending budget for things like advertising or content creation to build a brand to reach your customers at the most effective cost. For many of you, that means don’t do “reels” at all in tick tock or instagram, because for most companies these yield lots of metrics that marketers like to celebrate (look how many views we got!) but almost no real results. There are exceptions, of course. Those exceptions usually started with the proper strategic planning stage, and proved that reels were not just “a way” but perhaps “the way” to get to their audience, and inspire them to act.
Focus on getting in front of the right people by being smart with your approach. That might mean doing less and getting less engagement – but if you do it right, it can also means more business!
Stop Being an Expert
For those of you who sell something complicated, it’s time to stop being an expert and start being a guide. Much of a successful brand strategy relies on educating the consumer, who might be at the very beginning of their journey at the top of the funnel.
If your client is a novice, bragging about your expertise may be asking them to reach too far at that stage of the consumer experience.
Asking someone to buy a private jet before they’ve ever bought a plane ticket could result in most of your audience taking no action at all. So, before you market perfection, start by marketing something simpler.
When products and services are more complicated or require a bigger spending commitment, customers need to understand their problem and the unique solutions you offer to make a buying decision. That might mean you focus less on the perfect end result and more on that easy first step.
If you are an HVAC company, your first step could be to invite your customer to receive a free consultation rather than the expense of a whole new air conditioner.
A gym may focus on camaraderie in pursuing health – not six-pack abs and winning a gold medal. When it’s all said and done, your customer may make that bigger decision, but most bigger decisions are preceded by education of your brand identity and a first step that has a lower risk, but the potential for a greater reward.
Now that we’ve made that clear, it’s okay to push play on your brand marketing tactics, but make sure you are starting with the first things first.
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