January 29, 2019

Why doesn’t Digital marketing work?

We have witnessed the switch from expensive TV ads and high spend on creative agencies to low pay per click and next to nothing costs for social media marketing. This might sound like a great development. In fact, the majority of companies have been quite happy to cut their marketing budgets. Experienced marketers have also been running to grab new qualifications in Digital Marketing. Newbie marketers quickly realised Digital Marketing was the only way forward.


We all thought Digital Marketing was perfect so what happened?

Everything seemed to be running smoothly. Facebook and Google grew stronger each year and provided business with new “best working” algorithms. Then suddenly, something appears to be going wrong.  Posts on our Facebook pages get barely 10 likes. Google charges us more money for the same keywords. Our e-mails go straight to spam folders and our overall ROI decreases. Why did this happen? Let’s analyse a few digital marketing channels and discuss their actual effectiveness.


What’s The Real Digital ROI?

We were overwhelmed by all the metrics social media provided us. Each year the variety of metrics was increasing. Platforms were quick on calculating the cost per click, and this looked very attractive. It felt like platform owners cared about us since they were providing us such great, detailed metrics. Sadly, the truth is: each platform cares only about themselves.

According to eMarketer, digital metrics are quite problematic  

Let’s face it, click through rate doesn’t really reflect ROI. Even if the customer clicked on your digital ad, it doesn’t secure the sale. What digital marketing is calling “Conversions” does not represent real conversions. Most digital conversions are tracking the action on the website page. Such metrics can be quite confusing as they show engagement, but these metrics do not necessarily reflect the sales.

Consumers soon became aware of digital marketing tactics

Clicks on display ads on average are less than 1%. People learned to ignore digital advertising and just focus on user-generated content. Do your Facebook ads really reach the audience numbers that Facebook shows you?  Or maybe, viewers just scrolled down and didn’t even notice your ad?

Do you work for Google or your company?

Over the past 10 years, Google AdWords rules have updated at least 10 times. Each time we would hurry to adjust our campaigns, add more details, links, phone numbers etc. But did you notice that bids for the same keywords simply get higher and cost per click increases? Well, no wonder. It is advised to start using long tail keywords, as they are less expensive and bring more conversions. People tend to search the way they talk, so they are more likely to click on the long tail.

Therefore, should we stop spending marketing budget on AdWords?

Should we invest our time and money in SEO instead?

Studies show that overtime SEO increases ROI, whereas PPC brings approximately the same number of clicks for X amount of money. However, Google keeps changing its algorithms. The trick here is that we never really know how it works, we can only guess intelligently.

Keeping this in mind who do you work for, your company or Google? Are you adjusting each campaign with every new update and your website content with every change of algorithm? Sounds like a full-time job. If you think about it’s most likely you work for Google by making your content look neater on their search page.

Email or Mail? Your choice

On 25 May 2018, GDPR was finally enforced. Remember that day filled with a bazillion number of e-mails from various companies trying to opt you in? But did all of them really need to send those e-mails to us? The answer is no. Unfortunately, not everyone fully understands regulation rules. However, it did annoy most of the customers and cut off a good portion of marketer’s databases.

Are you battling against apathy and boredom?

The problem with e-mail marketing is the same as social media advertising – people got used to it and cease to notice or care. A report from Royal Mail MarketReach says that people tend to take mail more seriously, than e-mail. They feel that receiving information through the mail will make them feel more valuable. Maybe it’s time to remember the good old direct mail channel and include it into your marketing mix?


Channel performance

So, it brings us to our final question, what else, if not digital? For experienced marketers, it’s time to remember old tricks and use other channels. For young marketers, it’s time to learn how these other channels work.

Ebiquity produced a fantastic report comparing what advertisers and agencies expectations were from various channels versus its actual performance. It revealed that the top 5 channels for short-term sales are still TV, Radio, Direct mail, Newspapers and Magazines. These channels still perform better and are worth considering for your next marketing campaign. Since people jumped on digital marketing over a decade ago the traditional advertising significantly dropped in price, so it’s more likely that you can afford it now.


We are definitely not saying that you should stop using Digital channels for your marketing campaigns. What we are suggesting is that marketing channels need re-evaluation. You cannot necessarily put all your trust into reports from your digital platforms anymore. Inevitably these platforms show you only what they want you to see. They also do not expose the information that will move you away from their platforms. Why would they?

The best way to run your campaign is to consider using various channels through different stages. Implement your digital campaign with Direct mail and follow up by Radio ads. Or just create it in the order that is more suitable for your niche, product or service.

We can help you make your campaign work by adding the Direct Mail channel to your marketing mix. If you have any questions or have never explored direct mail, we would be more than happy to assist you. Please give us a call on +44 (0) 020 8293 8550 or e-mail us at hello@romax.co.uk.

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