Don’t Overcomplicate Your MarketingWritten By Alan Hwang
Is marketing dead? If you do a quick Google search, or read the news, you’ll find articles from a variety of sources including the Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Forbes that make the marketing world seem like it’s total gloom. It’s no secret that the world of business has had some major shifts in the past 4-5 years (including a global pandemic, AI, the economy, etc, etc), with marketing strategies, roles, and effectiveness all in question. So, is marketing dead?
Kinda, but no…
If I was in your shoes, I would fully be expecting an executive leader of a marketing firm (that’s me) to say that marketing is thriving, the best investment you could make, and brand is everything. Well, I’m not that cynical. I’ve been in the agency space for over 12 years now, and the shift in marketing trends now is something a lot of nimble marketing leaders saw coming. It’s simple - marketing needs to produce results. Today’s conditions have put a magnifying glass on every dollar spent, with the expectations of a return. In addition, consumer behavior and the pushback on data collection has made it harder and harder for marketers to target, but more on that later.
Here is what is dying…
- Hyper-targeted digital advertising with definitive ROAS
- Singular marketing tracks that lead to sales
- Large marketing teams with huge budgets
- Thinking impressions are enough
There is next to no current appetite for…
- Huge brand projects
- Huge web projects
- Large spends on video production
Here are the shifts you should make
- The marketing team is part of “team revenue”
- Prioritize marketing tactics, including how deep you invest into each tactic
- Utilize tools (e.g. AI) to make your life easier
- Strategists also need to be producing
- Content needs to be quick and nimble, not just high quality
- Story means everything
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Marketing
The biggest mistake we’ve uncovered while working with clients is that their marketing strategy was overcomplicated. It generally fell into one of these categories:
- Marketing investment was spread too thin across too many tactics
- They overly invested into one tactic (like a website build or a new brand)
- They didn’t know what was working and what wasn’t
- Their marketing stack was too complex and their team size shrank
Here’s how we’ve simplified their marketing strategy to drive more results:
- Prioritize tactics and level of investment
Historically, organizations have been comfortable investing heavily into larger marketing campaigns. As we’ve needed to be more nimble with budgets, the mindset here needs to change. If your annual budget is $75K, chances are you shouldn’t spend the entire budget on a brand refresh or website. Why? They likely aren’t your sole greatest opportunity to scale your lead and revenue generation.
Instead, have your team audit all of the opportunities that will help you reach your goals (create more conversions, unlock higher profit margins, expand customer lifetime value, etc.) and prioritize based on level of impact. During the audit, don’t just be general, be prescriptive. You may need a refreshed homepage or product collection page, but not an entire website. Maybe your brand is good enough, but needs to be refined. Maybe your messaging needs to be tweaked and 2-3 ideas need to be tested.
Through this exercise, you should be able to prioritize your tactics, start executing, and get a lot more impact for your marketing budget.
- Start with the basics
How do you overcome complicated strategy? You start with the basics. Time and time again, we see clients deep down a rabbit hole on execution, while they’re missing the end purpose of the tactic, and the basic fundamentals. Before you automate your workflow on your lead nurturing, draft some impactful lead nurturing and manually hit send. If you automate, it’ll likely take 2-3 months to build out the tactic. If you write some emails and hit send, it’ll take you 2-3 days. Generate the impact now.
The same goes for your digital marketing tactics. Teams are quick to get incredibly technical with paid search and SEO without the basics. Is your ad copy compelling? Are you targeting the right terms with intent? Does your website have optimized SEO basics like H1s, title tags, and meta descriptions? Start with the basics, then invest more into each tactic as you see momentum.
This is your official call to action to pause, take a step back, and review your marketing strategy. Do you know what is working? Do you understand your marketing tactics? Are all of your eggs in one basket? If you need some help, we have a pretty simple framework we’re happy to share. Just reach out!