Advertising Metrics vs. Real-World Business Outcomes

I recently had a conversation with someone who thinks one of the biggest issues confronting marketers is losing sight of how advertising and marketing affects real-world- business goals.

I tend to agree.

As someone who enjoys the ins and outs of platforms, analysis, and data, it’s very easy to get lost in the numbers or caught up making small, inconsequential changes.

Keeping business goals top of mind is crucial to client success and, from an agency perspective, client retention.

Sure, you now rank #1 for some keywords. That link placement was on a DA 70 site. Click through rate increased 25%!

But are your ads converting?

Are your efforts profitable?

You’re driving sales, but how do the margins look?

This even comes into play during client proposals and early discussions, especially with e-commerce clients.

I like to find out what the client’s margins are and work out scenarios to demonstrate how campaigns will perform at different levels and metrics. This gives potential clients a better idea of what to expect. These included conservative, moderate, and aggressive estimates.

There are even clients that we’ve talked out of advertising through certain channels because the numbers just didn’t make sense.

Attribution plays a huge role in this process. Some channels (organic, Facebook) do a great job driving awareness, but only play a supporting role in conversion. Are you evaluating assisted conversions before you write off a channel?

It’s crucial to keep business outcomes top of mind when evaluating performance. Share of voice, non-bot traffic, and viewable impressions are great, but are they making you money?

Entry Level Employees Need Training

One of the struggles when working for an in-house marketing department is deciding whether to outsource work to a third party or bring someone on internally that can handle the responsibilities. Maybe hiring an experienced employee in’t in your budget. You could bring on someone completely green at entry level who will require time and training to provide value to your team.

There are many opportunities for them to learn marketing and advertising skills online, although they can be expensive and out of date. Sure, there are some web courses that can teach you the mechanics of SEO or how to run an AdWords campaign that sound good in theory. You can send employees to conferences, whose costs add up fast.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to have someone experienced on call to answer questions and help guide your employees?

There are coaches and consultants in other areas of business. A sales director brings on a coach to improve their team’s performance. A CEO has a board of directors that lends its expertise and insight to important decisions. Marketing is no different.

You can have that by bringing in someone to train your team in certain aspects like e-mail marketing, AdWords management, getting up to speed with the latest developments in Facebook Ads. These are all areas we can help with by offering in-depth training and coaching for your employees as well as on hand support.

THE CONTINUED RELEVANCE OF PAID SEARCH

Are you using currently using AdWords? Or did you try paid search once and fail to see ROI, have a bad experience with an agency, or simply dismissed it as passe?

If you aren’t using paid search, or haven’t considered giving it a second shot, you’re missing out on a huge revenue source. Paid search still has a place in today’s world of programmatic and social advertising. there’s a reason that Amazon spends nearly $200m per year in AdWords alone.

What continues to keep paid search relevant? Intent. There hasn’t yet been another channel that harnesses customer intent quite like paid search.

The ability to target by actual user search queries allows you access to customers in the middle of their buying journey. We urge our clients to at least dip their toe in the waters of Google and Bing.

Because Google reigns supreme, many clients are surprised when we also recommend Bing Ads. “Who uses Bing these days?” is a typical response. Clients who are willing to give Bing a try are often pleasantly surprised by lower costs and better conversion rates.

Don’t discount something just because a certain type of marketing or advertising isn’t in vogue or relies on a channel you don’t use personally. That line of thinking is a quick way to fall into a rut and close yourself off to potential wells of profit.

Want to learn more about how you can use paid search to harness customer intent for your business? Get in touch with us today.

BRANDS CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

What happens when your brand finds itself caught in the middle of a very touchy subject?

This recently happened with Delta Airlines in the wake of the Parkland school shootings. After the incident, Delta wanted to stop offering discounts to NRA members. On the surface this seemed like a good move. Public sentiment seemed to be moving in that direction and several companies had already changed their policies on guns or the NRA.

However, Delta’s decision to end the NRA discount quickly caused an uproar with the lieutenant governor of Georgia pushing back. Ending this program cost them millions in tax benefits. They had been offering the NRA discounts for years now and it’s only recently gotten attention. In fact, Delta only sold 13 tickets with the NRA discount.

If you think about this from Delta’s perspective, they didn’t really do anything. This just kind of happened around them. While they may have thought they were doing the right thing by ending those discounts, avoiding any public backlash, but now they have backlash from the opposite side. It just seems like in this situation no matter what they did, they couldn’t avoid it. They were caught.

This happens all the time with different businesses. Public outrage grows and companies sit by, almost as innocent bystanders. No company wants to find itself the target of a boycott. Part of Delta’s statement even admits their “objective in removing any implied affiliation with the NRA was to remove Delta from [the gun control] debate.”

Time will tell if this ultimately hurts the airline, but their courage to address the issue head on instead of backing down or attempting to appeal to both sides is commendable.