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  • Writer's pictureStevie V Brown

Marketing ROI; a marathon, not a sprint.

Marketing’s role is to find prospective customers and bring them ‘to your door’. This process can be fast if your targeting is really tight and you just happen to put your message in front of someone at the exact time they need your services.

Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, so it shouldn't be expected that sales will be immediate based on running one ad campaign once.

Unfortunately, there are many businesses advertising their own services as being able to provide immediate results, such as 'Top 3 result on page 1 of Google', or 'earn $1m in a month with our proven system'. These claims forget to include the nuances of business and marketing. Different business services hold different levels of customer interest and engagement. For example, I'm pretty excited to buy a new iPhone, but much less excited to buy a new car insurance policy. Both of them provide me with reassurance, but one is tangible and fun, whilst the other is intangible and boring. So, the system for marketing an iPhone is very different from the system for marketing insurance. If you can call if a 'system' at all.

The first key to creating marketing that actually works is to set the right objectives.

When I work with my clients on developing a marketing strategy, we start with the objectives. We spend a long time on the objectives because these are what set the intention for the activity that will ultimately go into the marketing plan.

I never want my clients to say that they ran an ad and “it didn’t work”. If your expectation is to run an ad campaign once and get immediate sales, then that is likely misguided. However, if the objective is to drive frequent and continuous awareness of your business through always on Facebook advertising, then it did work. The ad ran and the some of the people they targeted saw it. If you want th erest of thee people you targeted to see it, then you'll need to run it again.

Before you run an ad campaign, or post some content, set yourself an objective or expectation for the activity - don't expect an immediate sale.

The key is frequency and consistency. Just like life, the often you repeat something and the more consistent your behaviours, the better results you can expect to see.

The key is frequency and consistency. Just like life, the often you repeat something and the more consistent your beheaviours, the better results you can expect to see.

Then there's the need for iteration. Review your marketing regularly, ensure you have tracking methods in place so that you can evaluate the results. Then, don't give up, just iterate! Improve on what you did and go again.

The role of an ad is to drive familiarity. It’s unrealistic to expect that people will instantly buy from you. The ad is just warming them up to turn them into a lead. It’s not the actual sales mechanic.

ROI on advertising is measured by brand affinity scores. If the scores increase, then that’s the ROI – x number of people like the brand and are becoming familiar with it. If the scores aren’t increasing, something’s wrong and can be adjusted.

For a small business, you can measure things like an increase in content likes, comments, shares and the growth of your overall audience, such as page followers, or list subscribers.

Legend goes that McDonald’s once did a test where they removed all advertising in the test market and waited to see how it impacted their business. Within 1 month their sales started to decrease. Seeming proof that advertising, or awareness driving activity is vital to the bottom line. However, it doesn't mean we can tell you that if you run X ad, or post Y content that you will get Z $ in sales, but we can tell you that if you don’t drive continuous awareness of your business, you will become irrelevant and eventually your business will die.

Ultimately, you should measure the entire customer experience of your marketing communications. From how many people your reached with awareness driving activity to how many people took an action from engagement driving activity to how many people converted to become a true lead and how many of those you actually got a sale from. Marketing is the journey that leads to sales and without it, you won't have the leads to sell to.


The Change Starter® is a boutique marketing consultancy that builds outsourced marketing teams for established businesses who are committed to growth. Apply for a FREE Marketing Accelerator with Stevie to get crystal clear on the next steps you can take to promote your business to the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.



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