As a digital marketing consultant, I hear from many of my clients that they fired their digital marketing agency. I ask why, and the answer is that they did not generate enough leads despite spending a lot of money on digital advertising.
Therefore, the question arises why don’t we treat digital marketing like traditional marketing, which generates visibility but not immediate results?
Another question is, who is to blame? Is it an agency? Or is it digital marketing platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc? Let's dig a little deeper into this.
For a better understanding, I suggest comparing the efforts and the results you expect from digital marketing with traditional marketing. Based on an expert’s media planning, conventional marketing practices allocate a brand's budget to different media outlets, including newspapers, hoardings, public transportation, radio, television, etc.
A colossal amount of money gets spent on bringing mass visibility. Nothing is instant; everything from media planning to campaign designing to publishing and monitoring results takes time. If a product is good, frequent visibility builds consumer trust, and popular brands start generating profitability.
With traditional marketing, there is a direct matrix for measurement to some extent; however, the effectiveness of the campaign depends on overall brand awareness and sales increase. Whether or not you achieved the expected result, your media spent is gone, and no questions are asked of MEDIA. This reminds me of a time-worn citation: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half" by the US retail mogul John Wanamaker.
Now, let us understand what changes with the Digital way of marketing. First and foremost, an OVER expectation of brands from digital marketing is an instant result bought for a song.
Besides the fraction of cost, a brand can measure real-time instant results such as the number of times advertisements are displayed, clicked, website visited, lead form filled, or direct orders placed online. Unlike traditional marketing, where campaigns are planned for an entire year, in digital marketing, everything is INSTANT, in real-time, and you can decide when and where to run ads.
Due to the digital delivery of the campaign, you can change campaigns more easily than in conventional media; therefore, clients/brands have the freedom to experiment rather than focus on clear brand communication.
With a click of a button, media planning narrows down to what the platform provides based on computer-programmed artificial intelligence. It allows audiences to be filtered by age, sex, marital status, location, interest, etc. Results show a large target audience, which tempts you to spend more. The reason for this lies in the platform results, which show that reach vs. cost is nothing in comparison with traditional media.
When you see everything is available instantly, you start expecting results INSTANTLY. This is where clients/brands immediately measure the performance of their digital spending. It helps them gain expertise and knowledge of digital marketing agencies based on daily/weekly reports. Overall performance is calculated on a daily basis instead of monthly as with conventional media.
No one blames Digital Marketing Platform. No one considers the short window you get to capture the attention of the prospective target audience to your campaign or advertisement. The prevalence of pre-filled lead forms results in non-serious audiences sending leads, and we end up accusing the agency of bringing poor-quality leads. This results in the client switching agencies.
Another mistake clients/brands make is that they feel the only way is the Digital way and rely more on the digital platform. The best course of action is to stay on both platforms; you can change budgets based on performance.
The solution does not lie in changing agencies but understanding how digital platforms work compared to physical media. Last but not least, don't forget that marketing is all about visibility and brand recognition, if we succeed, sales follow, and the same RULE applies to DIGITAL too. Do not isolate your marketing media expectations from the methods you choose.