When digital marketing is not enough

We are in an era where digital marketing is in the spotlight of more and more students, entrepreneurs and companies. Its market both at the training and labor level is increasing, and with the proliferation of so many articles, tweets, agencies, freelancers etc dedicated to this world and that they only talk about marketing as something related to digital,I have been able to notice from my experience how more and more traditional marketing is being omitted and it is something that I consider really worrying.

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“Surely more than once it will have happened to you that your digital marketing campaigns are neat, perfectly designed and executed but still the business objectives are not achieved, why will it be?”

We all go crazy with SEO, SEA, email marketing,networks, etc. and we can not deny that it is vital to manage these disciplines for a business to work today, but all of them have in common that they are the tip of an arrow of which we do not know if the stick or the base are as they should be.

For a business to work properly it is necessary to work thoroughly all the marketing of a company from the strategic to the operational scope,going through each of its phases until reaching the fourth “P” of “Promotion”, if not, the shot is likely not to go to the target. There are more P’s and every day 3 new ones come out, but we are going to simplify it to the 4 of a lifetime to make it easier for the reader.

In this article I present examples from my experience in a digital marketing agency, of deficiencies found in companies (more than 160 currently and most SMEs), insurmountable not even by the best of the campaigns of the disciplines that I have named previously no matter how digital they are, from strategic marketing to operational marketing to guarantee the success of the business, in a summarized way, and in order to be more involved in the world of traditional marketing that is the basis that little by little it seems that it is being overwhelmed by the boom in online marketing, and that has its consequences.

Deficiencies in strategic marketing 

In marketing, the first thing is always the research, collection and analysis of data related to all the important aspects related to the company, the market and above all and now more than ever to the customer.

The mistake that is usually made especially when it comes to SMEs and more in the digital world, is think that what users write is a reflection of their needs,when this is a half-truth. They are declared needs, those that the user tells Google, but does not say anything about what he expects, what he would like or what motivates him.

An example of a deficiency in strategic marketing is the case of a website that receives 90% of the traffic of its SEA campaign in Google Ads that works perfectly, high CTR, they search for your products, click, enter the page, browse, the behavior is apparently normal, several A / B tests are carried out related to navigation and conversion, and yet there is virtually no contact. Digital marketing is pristine.

There is a market, there are searches, and apparently everything works as it should, but they do not contact you. You know that market is there but you don’t know what it’s like or how to address them or why they buy, nor do you know the buying process, you just know that they are looking for you, which is what Google tells you, and information such as demographics, location, interests, but the whys are not answered there nor will they be given to you by the keyword planner or the search console.

If this is the case, an exhaustive investigation of all these aspects must be carried out using market research techniques to find the necessary keys and modify any element that allows improving the sale/acquisition rate and making the investment profitable.

This is also applicable to the   creation of the target by eye or by experience, which is something quite common especially in small businesses, although it is understandable since invoicing does not allow much working capital to be allocated to research, but it is also always advisable to keep market research in mind; the company that does it will undoubtedly be above all those that start from the premise “is that my business has always gone well like this”.

When we do not have a customer segmentation defined

Another fairly common mistake that I have encountered on many occasions is to see companies that treat all their customers equally. They do not segment, they practice the “patronage socialism”. It does not matter if a customer has purchased products worth € 1000 that one has done it for € 10, all are the same. This means that the one who has contributed the most obviously ends up going with whoever rewards him and rewards him as he deserves for his trust and his economic effort.

I recently read a tweet from a digital marketing conference that said:

It is more important to attract customers, but even more important is to retain them 

It had hundreds of retweets. Well, this same thing was said almost 40 years ago when the relationship marketing boom emerged and the case of the “hunter, shepherd, farmer” was studied, as you can see it is nothing new, and in my experience, SMEs tend to have as their only weapon of loyalty the good treatment with the client,something that is already understood to be practiced by 100% of companies.

Marketing   makes use of the psychology of   learning precisely to contribute to loyalty;good customer behavior must always be positively reinforced, and good treatment and more in competitive sectors, is not enough.

Segmenting customers into B2B and B2C should also be mandatory for any business. If it is already a serious mistake not to segment between individuals, not to make a distinction between an individual and a company is already very serious, for all that this entails.

It is also essential to carry out different loyalty programs that guarantee that they will be faithful to you both, of one type and another (not to be confused with retaining, which is not the same). 

In general, segmentation, one of the pillars of the most basic marketing, is something that is quite neglected and the   difference between who makes use of it and who does not, is abysmal.

Deficiencies in operational marketing 

The second block of marketing once we have finalized the strategic part   is what to do with all that information when moving to the operational. We went “from science to engineering.”

When the error is in the Product
 

Starting with the P for product, I have observed on many occasions that it does not adapt to the customer, perhaps due to   lack of data.

Sometime it will have happened to you that the same campaign has ended up working because some type of innovation has been developed in the products or services, that new ones have been added expanding assortment, categories, or making innovations / changes in their design, characteristics, quality, aesthetic aspects depending on the target to which they are directed and a long etc.

All this is always polished and improved over time, but obviously if you already part of a well-defined and justified product strategy,you will save a lot of time and money and you will not need to spend years to obtain a profitability adequate to your objectives, and of course, the better you do this the better the results of your digital strategy.

An example of a success story in this regard is to have obtained with an identical Google Ads campaign an increase in conversions due to having expanded the catalog of services and elements of it, thus giving more options to the user and providing more confidence and professionalism when acquiring that service, the error in this case was not the keywords or the copy of the ad or the snippet, nor the web, but the service itself and the few possibilities it offered from the beginning.

Price deficiencies 

Continuing with the P of price, this depends on many factors and can have a direct and fundamental impact on the profitability of your company. It is something that it should be studied very carefully. Both yours and that of your competitors.

I have found cases in which before an identical online marketing campaign, revenues have experienced a notable increase due to both a drop in the price of the product, as to an increase   in it. Yes, to an increase. This obviously after analyzing the elasticity of demand, maximum acceptable price, among other factors.

In some cases, always keeping the same price “because it has always been like this” was the deficiency that weighed down online marketing actions while from e-marketing they ate their heads because “you have to look for other keywords”, “we are going to raise bids” or “we are going to make another sending of emails”, the problem was in the P of Price.

The P of square or distribution 

Here mainly due to lack of data, the only deficiencies that I have been able to observe have been part of the digital sphere. Most of them are related to the usability of the web itself, since this is the showcase and in many cases the “place” of the business: in the same way that a person walks through a physical store, he also browses an online store. 

A nonsense such as putting a “we are under construction” on a page without content, changes the perception of the user who enters, or adapt the readability of the information you are offering to your target, are aspects that any website or online store must take good care of.

In any case, it is always advisable to study and apply the appropriate communication strategies within the distribution channel (pull and push) or the optimization of its costs because it can lead to income with which you could face, for example, a PPC campaign.

The P for promotion 

This P. which in turn is subdivided into several sections such as communication, public relations, CSR, sales promotions and advertising, among others, is the most versatile of all and the spearhead of marketing. 

I would give for another article at least, but the most important errors or deficiencies that I have been able to find here have been mainly derived from communication and promotions:

Communication errors 

Each target has a communication filter that you can only apply if you have studied it enough. Mistakes such as targeting a target over 40 years old as one of 20 throw away all the effort made in everything we have seen earlier in the article.

Needless to say, it has the danger of this type of errors in social networks, where the image and brand reputation are constantly at stake.

Spelling errors on a web page, or on a Facebook page, are not admissible nor should they ever be, I have also seen them in Google Ads. They generate distrust and the advertiser loses credibility.

The sales force of the company, is something that I have seen on several occasions that is neglected a lot because “people already contact online”, and I have come to see cases of a lot of conversion for a considerable potential value end up in nothingness for not having known how to close those contacts.

In marketing it is so important to study what you earn, as what you have not earned 

Promotion errors

Constantly taking promotions lightly is a manual marketing error that can end in a deterioration of your brand image. However, I have found cases of 3 and more than 4 promotions in the same week, which could perhaps translate into income in the short term, but in the long term they can end up being counterproductive.

The promotion decisions   in 90% of cases have been the result of an impulsive act and not of a previous study   or having read it in a blog, or because a competitor is doing it (that the same thing has its strategy defined and you are doing the same thing without knowing what that action responds to).

The lack of control in promotions is also another mistake that generates distrust and harms the brand image; entering a website in October 2018 and seeing “promotion valid until April 2018” you will imagine that it is something that company should skip.

Conclusions 

There are many basic marketing mistakes that many companies, freelancers, agencies make… derived from not knowing enough about marketing marketing, and that focus all their knowledge and concerns on digital disciplines such as SEO, SEM, RRSS, Email, Display … when in many cases the deficiencies exist in the most basic aspects of the business itself.

Marketing is something that is not learned in 6 months or in a year but you have to read a lot and have knowledge of various disciplines to understand and understand it; I recommend readers to read the real gurus like Lambín, Kotler, Peters, Cottle, Friedman, Levitt, Porter…  because you will realize that many of the famous phrases that are retweeted today were already said in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and because they also that seemingly obsolete knowledge in the end is what ends up providing the answer to the biggest headaches and current problems of any business.   regardless of its size.