3 basic marketing best practices that are often overlooked and how to fix them.

As you already know (since you are reading a marketing blog), marketing is one of the most important tools you will ever have to grow a business. Period. Marketing is your communication tool that reaches your target audience and tells them about your amazing services.

As your business grows, the complexity of communication grows along with it. You communicate internally and externally with more people – your customers and your team. Take a look at this chart below. This is a visual reminder of how complexity grows in communication with more people.

Source: Dave Nicolette via Leading Agile

If you are planning on growing your business further, increasing market share, and growing your team to support you on this journey, you want to make sure that your marketing infrastructure is strong, so your communication is strong.

When I say marketing infrastructure, I mean that you have marketing systems and repeatable processes that are clear and consistent. Why? When you have clarity and consistency in your marketing, it’s easier to get the marketing momentum going. In your business, alongside all the growing complexities, you make one aspect of the business easier and less complex when it’s clear and consistent.

Over the last 14+ years of working with companies of different sizes and various industries, I noticed these three unfortunate common mistakes that business managers and owners make. As I looked through a few new clients we onboarded in the last few months, I noticed that these rookie mistakes are often found in even seasoned, already-growing businesses – so it’s definitely worth a reminder!

So, if you are currently working on growing your business, let’s dive in and make sure these are covered in your marketing infrastructure!

1. No proper benchmarking of marketing data

Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint – you will never stop marketing your business as long as you are looking to grow and reach more customers. In today’s information-saturated world, we, as marketers, are in the best position we’ve ever been in terms of collecting the information about marketing campaigns we are running and using that information to improve marketing performance. If you are not tracking your marketing efforts consistently, you are simply missing out on opportunities that could maximize your marketing budget and overall marketing resources.

Think fresh with these questions:

  • Do you know what your cost per lead (CPL) is at the moment from digital marketing?
  • Do you know how much it costs to drive traffic to your website?
  • Do you know your conversion rate?
  • Do you know your digital marketing market share for specific terms you want to rank for?
  • Do you know how your CPL changes seasonally?
  • Do you know how your CPL is trending in comparison to the previous year?

Ponder on these questions or ask your marketer to answer these questions for you. The more data you have, the better decisions you can make about your marketing budget and your marketing strategy altogether.

2. No ownership of marketing platforms

You would think this doesn’t happen anymore, as most business managers and owners know how important a digital presence is. Unfortunately, it is very common to miss logins or not to have access to important assets like ownership of your business’s Facebook or LinkedIn page or access to your own Google Ads account. When we onboard new clients, we do their online presence audit. One of the first questions we ask them is to make sure that they own all their key marketing and social media platforms for their business with the appropriate login access level.┬áBelieve it or not, some marketing agencies do not share access to a managed Google Ads account for their clients. I am not sure why they would do this. Technically speaking, each client should be set up as a separate account that the client owns, and then the marketing agency would gain access to the account by adding it to their Google Account Manager. This way, the marketing agency has full control of the account, and the client owns the account.

The same setup should be followed for Facebook and other social and marketing platforms.

By the way, make sure that your Facebook Page is owned by your business and not by an individual.

Historically, this is how most Pages were set up – by a person, so they were attached to a person. Since then, Facebook has made many improvements for businesses, including an option to have a Business Manager setup for your Facebook Page. Keep in mind that your Facebook Ad account is separate from your Page, but it should also be attached to your business Page before you can run ads and track data.

Once you have your Facebook assets sorted out, you can add your marketing agency as a partner, which will give them necessary access to your Page or your Ads.

3. Ad hoc ad campaigns

When we do a marketing audit for a new client, we review their current ads and look for any low-hanging fruit opportunities to improve. One of the common bad habits we see is running ads sporadically without a proven, data-driven strategy behind it.

Here are the three things we often notice as part of their digital advertising audit.

Switching strategies too fast

It takes time for the platform to learn customer behaviour and to start working for you, so if you switch strategies too fast, too often, you are missing the opportunities within that platform – you are quitting too early.

In this digital day of AI, we need to run campaigns for at least 14 days to collect enough data for the ad platform to start seeing results. Keep this in mind when you are planning seasonal campaigns or planning to promote an event. It’s important to run the ads for a good 30 days to get enough visibility to get conversions coming in.

Not running experiments against your old campaigns before switching to the new ads.

Always be testing – you might have heard this marketing rule. When you are testing, make sure to always test new ads against your old ads and gradually move your budget towards better-performing campaigns. Don’t make drastic changes in ad campaigns. Make sure you gather enough data before switching your strategies.

Not evaluating your campaigns monthly to make sure your cost per lead is within your budget.

How much should the marketing budget be?

This is one of the most common questions I get on a sales call. Business owners are not sure how much they should be spending on their marketing. The answer is simple! Look at your campaign cost per click (how much it costs you to drive traffic to your website) and your accounts/services CPL. When you also know your actual conversion rate from your ads, it will be easy for you to know how high your CPL should be and how much you should dedicate to your monthly ad budget.

In conclusion

Like a good city infrastructure, clear and consistent marketing makes things run smoother in your business. Take care of your marketing, and it will take care of your growing business!

Are you looking for more clarity and consistency in your marketing? Get in touch with our downtown Vancouver marketing agency, we would love to have a discovery call with you to see how we can help you improve your marketing in your growing business. P.S. We always have chocolate!