Digital marketing tactics are changing so fast that most businesses simply don’t have time to respond, those that have tried to keep up have simply thrown money at SEO, PPC, social and content marketing. This leads to businesses to get in the rut of yesterday’s marketing approaches.
In 2015 a study by Smart Insights detailed that over fifty percent of businesses carrying out digital marketing had no plan or strategy. If your digital marketing agency is not providing you with a strategy with clear objectives and laid out goals, then walk away.
Let’s provide an example of how old tactics rather than strategy can lead to the sinking ship scenario.
We have a client that operates a large company in the UK. The business has historically had a target market of customers around the UK and still does. Over the last ten years or so, several new competitors have seen the opportunity and wanted a part of the action, after all the sector is worth around £2 billion a year. There are now around thirty large competitors in the same industry in the UK. Unfortunately the marketing strategy has never changed — this is done with SEO on a micro level and PPC on a macro level.
Despite a large spend on PPC and top-of-the-page results in the local and organic listings, the business has been suffering. The answer to this been to spend more and more on PPC to continue to target those customers, but this is now leading to less and less profits. So this is strategically flawed. Anyone who has used this company will know that they provide the best service out of all the other companies (likely the UK, possibly in Europe). To everyone else simply using a company can come down to the primary factor, location and price. Sure, our client really is better, but every company boasts of greatness online, and prices are much the same across the board.
This strategy of ever expanding keywords and paying more and more for PPC to convince potential customers to bypass other well-known businesses is simply not working, especially for those who don’t know otherwise.
So how do we tackle this? How do we shift gears? What about utilising what they already have? They have already had thousands of past customers, where are they? Why not tackle this by reintroducing those customers? Our research has shown us that they already produce the best service and product, the cheapest prices, the greatest locations, the finest customer service, then it is time to introduce something new, with a different strategy.
Once we made this swing in thinking and found our client hiding over 40,000 people in their database, we realised that there were an extra 40,000 people we didn’t have the day before, who already knew of the great service that our client provided. However, our client provides a one-time service, in other words, its unlikely in the industry our client has that the past customer will use the service again. So this needed addressing, and to slightly change the service provided. We had to make a conceptual change from trying to persuade the existing customer base looking for a service they had already had, in a saturated market, to raising awareness with our already established clientele by introducing a similar service that was under a different banner. They get everything the same as before, but its just under a different name.
Hey, and even better, think of the thousands of past customers telling all their new friends about their new experiences, and think of those friends of friends! Exactly, and then those new customers will turn into customers later down the road, and the process keeps going on, whilst also increasing the awareness of the original product.
Without thinking about strategy or revisiting our objectives and goals, we would never have made this strategic variation. We would have continued to feed the ever increasing mouth of AdWords with continued diminishing results, as the enemy is encamped around us and eating into our historical customer base.