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3.5 Common Pitfalls of Modern Marketing (and How to Address Them)

By August 16, 2022Marketing
Marketing pitfalls graphic

There are a number of marketing strategy questions we get asked about on a regular basis. As a leader in your organization, you may be experiencing some of these thoughts yourself.

Below we’ve outlined 3.5 common issues organizations face, and offer some perspective from a Fractional CMO on how you might address them.

1. Viewing Marketing as a Cost Center vs. an Investment

He was the sole proprietor and provider of services at an exciting new chiropractic clinic. With a tight budget, we discussed where and how he could begin making moves with his marketing without “throwing money out the window.”

It’s a natural tendency for many to view every dollar that leaves our pocket as an expense. Because of that, it’s a common conversation we have as marketers, trying to explain that, in reality, nothing will likely happen without word getting out about your organization and the services you provide or products you sell.

We need to invest in ourselves in the form of marketing, and the return is increased leads, traffic, conversion, and ultimately sales.

This isn’t a phenomenon reserved to new or small businesses either. When things are tight, the tendency for many is to restrict funds for marketing. Medium and large businesses, and those who are well-established, also work through these challenges during difficult times.

While we’re obviously biased, one thing we do know is that many of the world’s most successful, long-standing organizations understand that marketing is the last department who’s budget should be cut when things get difficult. In fact, many forward thinking organizations double-down and place more money in this area.

So what happened with the chiropractic practice? We started running small but smart experiments to learn and fine-tune how to be most effective with the small budget to which we had access.

Soon enough we realized we were able to get $6-7 in new business booked for every dollar invested in marketing. And it was then the good doctor realized good investments can yield terrific results.

2. Marketing is Too Complex 

If there’s one thing we’ve said to most of our clients it’s that we should avoid overcomplicating things. “If you confuse them, you’ll lose them” is a common mantra shared when discussing our strategies.

At the end of the day, even with all of our complexities, people aren’t difficult to understand. We love a good story, we want to engage our emotions, we like to feel like we’re a part of something larger than ourselves, and we speak with our wallet.

Don’t force it when trying to develop a strategy, craft a marketing message, or develop an advertising campaign. Keep the premise simple, treat your efforts as an experiment and learn from them. Engage with customers and incorporate their feedback. Lather, rinse, repeat.

3. It’s Hard to Track Effectiveness, There are Too Many Analytics

CPI, AOV, CPM, LTV, CTR – What do they mean and which are most important?

The number of different ways to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can seem intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms. Even if you have a decent understanding of and familiarity with the discipline of marketing, keeping up and interpreting the results is not always easy.

Unfortunately, we need to throw a few of our own under the bus here. Many marketers get a bad rap for using the potential for confusion to their advantage, and rightfully so.

With as many different ways as there are to measure our efforts, it’s not difficult for marketers to find some way to showcase a positive result, even if in the macro we’re struggling to get the desired results.

If you’re looking to make heads or tails of what’s actually going on with your marketing efforts, we’d be happy to help clarify which info is worth paying attention to and which is bogus.

3.5. It’s Impossible to Measure Return

Earlier we suggested that organizations should look at spend on marketing as an investment rather than an expense. If that’s the case, it would also be wise to look a bit deeper at this line item in our budget and ask one very important question; what’s our return?

In the world of investing, a best practice is to make an investment that will yield a positive return, and ideally a large one. Fortunately, with modern marketing tools, measuring return on your investment (ROI), or your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), has become a lot easier.

Whether or not you use a software package or calculate it manually, tracking your ROI or ROAS isn’t as difficult as one might assume. At a basic level, measuring ROI is done by taking the total spend for an effort and dividing it by the amount of sales that resulted from the campaign.

More important for some is measuring Incremental ROAS. With a holdout group made of a similar audience, sophisticated marketers can track how much gain was experienced with the target group and compare it to that of the gain from the holdout group.

This slight change in the calculation allows us to remove any assumption about how much the target audience might have spent with us regardless of whether or not they were recipients of the campaign.

Make Your Marketing Investment Work for You

Want to chat about what potential benchmarks should be for ROAS in your industry? Wondering what a Fractional CMO can do for your organization? Give us a call today!

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