Running a successful advertising campaign can really turn your business around as it’s a great way to bring your product to market and increase your revenue.
At the same time, however, the simple truth about advertising campaigns is that the most successful ones are often the result of extended trials and error.
It can take a long time and a lot of effort to optimize your campaign and get the results you expect and it rarely happens overnight.
It is common to have a few misses before getting your ads in check, and it is normal to experience a little frustration.
If your advertising campaigns are not bringing in the results you want, there is no reason to get upset.
It is much more useful to take a look at our post and make sure you’re not making one of these 4 common mistakes, brands often make when launching their ad campaigns.
With no further ado, let’s dive right into the topic.
#1 You Are Not Considering the Customer Journey
The first mistake that advertisers make is not considering the user’s customer journey.
Users, in fact, don’t go from problem to solution in a simple straight line. Quite the opposite in fact.
The purchase decision process is structured in at least three stages:
- Information Collection. This is when customers are not even sure what problem they’re facing. At the beginning of their journey, they’re just interested in collecting data and understanding the challenge they need to overcome.
At this stage, the purchase intent is low and as a result, customers are unwilling to buy, even if they’re shown the perfect ad. An organic media presence based on freely available content is much better suited to serve these customers.
- Evaluation of Alternatives. Once customers have figured out their problem and they have understood what options are available to them, social media content is usually the content typology that induces them to make a purchase.
The reason is that through social media, customers are usually better able to assess if a product is a right fit for them. On social media, people’s opinions are honest and unfiltered, and this is why review websites or social networks provide a trustworthy source of information for prospective buyers.
At this stage, advertising is not completely ineffective, but certainly less effective than a strong social media presence, as it is perceived as more authentic.
- Purchase. At this stage instead, customers have done their research and are now ready to buy. The fact to consider is that customers have made up their minds in terms of the type of solution they need to acquire, but they need to still decide which service provider is the best fit for them.
In other words, they already know what to buy, but they need to decide who to buy it from.
This is where advertising is the most effective and where your campaign can focus more profitably.
The point, however, is that your brand cannot only rely on ads. As we’ve seen, your media strategy needs to cover all bases of the customer journey, otherwise just occupying the “last mile” of their decision process may prove ineffective.
#2 You Are Not Focusing on Value
When it comes to actually designing the ad, the most common mistake is to sell the product, instead of selling the value that the product brings to the customer.
These are two very different things. If you’re selling a product, you’re focusing on material, - strictly functional - dimensions of the offer. You’re selling what the product is.
If this is what you are doing, your profit margins are likely to be lower.
If instead, you’re focusing on the value, or on the ability of a product to solve a problem for the customer, then you’re focusing on the ability of the product to make your customer’s life better. If you’re doing this, you’re focusing on what the product does.
The bigger the problem your product solves, the more people will be willing to spend in order to acquire it. In entrepreneurial terms, this is why you need to pitch your product as a “painkiller” and not as a “vitamin”. Vitamins are nice to have, but painkillers sometimes you simply can’t do without.
In order to do this, what you are required to do is spend time understanding the value that your product is delivering to the market by defining if it has only a functional value, or also a social or an emotional value too.
If you’d like to learn more about these three distinct types of value categories, then in this post we delve into the distinction among them with examples for each.
Once you have connected to the value your product is able to encapsulate, then it’s time to actually move the research further and understand how your customers are using your product so that your ads can focus on real-life practical situations where your product can unravel all of its potential.
Brands often don’t know exactly how customers use products and as a result, they miss an important connection with their audience.
If you’d like to read into this further, we recommend reading more about Jobs to Be Done Theory, which provides a strong academic underpinning to our strategy.
#3 You Are Not Learning From Data
As we said at the beginning of our post, it takes time to hone an advertising campaign and optimize it for the best possible results.
It’s unlikely your advertising campaign will hit the mark at the first round, and that’s ok.
What needs to happen however is that you’re able to use the information you’re collecting from the market and adjust your strategy accordingly.
In this sense, any failed campaign is an opportunity to learn, and in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, you need to make sure that you’re doing at least some of these things.
- You’re tracking conversion rates and all other profitable customer interactions. What this means is that you have set up a tracking code - as Google Tag Manager - to allow you to understand what your customers are doing once they are landing on your product page or landing page.
- You’re using heat mapping software to optimize your product pages and landing pages. By using software like Hotjar you’re able to understand where your customer’s cursor is moving, and by that understand how you could better layout your landing pages to increase conversion rates.
- You’re using broad match, phrase match, and exact match on Google Ads as well as negative keywords. As the campaign carries out you’re able to refine the keywords you’re targeting to optimize your cost per click.
It’s important to notice, however, that reading and processing data is not always simple, and this is mostly because of the bias that we involuntarily interpret information with.
It’s always a good idea to keep in mind some of the most relevant issues in interpreting data to avoid issues. We provide a quick summary of the most common mistakes in this article.
#4 You Are Not Focusing on Retention But Only on Acquisition
Last but not least, you’re too focused on customer acquisition and not enough on customer retention.
Acquiring a new customer can be up to 5 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
Unless you are developing a new business, with very little, if any customers, you should bear in mind that a marketing campaign can have three distinct goals:
- Acquire new customers. This is the option that most businesses go for, but in fact, these campaigns can be really expensive.
Most businesses know in fact that their revenue follows Pareto’s Law or the 80|20 rule whereby 80% of their revenue comes from 20% of their customers. This 20% is mostly made up of loyal, returning customers. This is why the second goal of a marketing campaign is not acquiring new customers but instead the following.
- Retaining existing customers. By doing this, you’re cutting your expenses as you don’t have to prove your business from scratch again. On the contrary, you may be able to re-activate your previous clients and get them to buy again with as little as a sales promotion.
By focusing on customer retention your ad spend could decrease, helping you to keep your advertising budget in check.
There is finally the third category of campaign goals, which is focused on:
- Attracting customers from the competition. To do this you may need to present a value proposition that is so attractive to win over a customer that has been happily served until that moment from a competitor.
Deciding which of these three strategies to pursue is based on many variables. In our opinion, the most relevant are two: your customer acquisition cost, and your customer lifetime value.
The first indicates your average spend to get a customer to buy, while the other indicated how much revenue you can expect to make over each customer during the whole relationship between your brand and him\her. The higher customer lifetime value the more you’ll be able to afford spending to acquire a new customer.
These two variables are really important in defining your campaign’s profitability and we address them in more detail in this article.
Great! Now that we’ve covered all of our 4 tips, it’s time to move to a few conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve covered some of the top reasons why you may be making a few mistakes in your ad campaigns and how that can prevent you from achieving your revenue goals.
In this post, we’ve shown how advertising is not only about writing good copy but actually expanding your vision on your brand’s media presence and looking into how your advertising campaigns are part of a broader customer journey where many other variables interplay in the final conversion rate.
Advertising is the “tip of the spear” of your marketing funnel but it can’t do all of the heavy lifting.
If you’re not looking into the organic search results and a strong social media presence, it may be harder to actually persuade your customer to purchase.
If you’re interested in this subject and you’re interested in learning more about how to develop a fully-fledged media presence for your fashion brand, we’ve got an article that is perfect for the job.
If you’d like to explore more free content on digital marketing, you should explore our blog, where we’re providing a wealth of information on these topics, for you to read and enjoy.