Managing Digital Strategy

One of the biggest trends that we’ve seen over the past 10 years is the mass migration from traditional media towards digital media; and it makes sense. Smart marketers like to provide solid returns for their clients/employers and digital marketing provides an easy way to attribute a solid gain or ROI.

But what if Facebook advertising isn’t enough to drive real, lasting growth to your organization?

Let me give you a scenario…

Most people have been caught by and ad or two for a really sexy shirt or pair of shoes while scrolling social media. It catches our eye and attention, and maybe we even click on the ad. After that we either make a purchase or close the window and continue on with our day.

In theory, we can get a reasonable cost per customer acquisition that pays for the ad and the product cost. Maybe there’s even a little bit of profit. This is how drop shippers make money and why every 20 year old kid seems to have a drop shipping business.

Make no mistake, it’s not easy to get a profitable conversion from a facebook (or Instagram, google, etc.) that can drive real revenue into your bank account; but what if there’s a problem with this system?

I’m proposing that digital marketing needs to be managed better and both agencies and marketing professionals need to have hard conversations with companies to educate them on the pitfalls of over-reliance of these strategies.

Back to the drop shipping example, if you’re like me and you’ve actually been converted by one of those Facebook ads, do you remember the name of the organization that you purchased from? I mean sure, they’ve probably captured my email address and it’s very likely that they’ve been spamming me for the past two years but I, like many other people, have spam email accounts that we use for purposes like this.

I honestly can’t name one single shopify website that’s actually converted me to a customer. Not because they don’t exist, but because they didn’t acquire my business properly.

Here’s another scenario for you that might illustrate the point a little more clearly…

Let’s say that same brand was selling shoes, but instead of discounting cheap Chinese product and ramming it down my throat with a targeted Facebook ad, they served me 3 pieces of content and managed to convince me that their shoes were sexy and their brand was cool enough for me to follow on Instagram.

Instead of going after the purchase right away, they convinced me to become part of their audience volunatily.

The downside of this strategy is that it takes significantly longer to recapture the amount of money you spend on acquiring me into your audience. The upside is now I care about your brand and what your company has to say. My attention isn’t focused on a product, it’s now focused on a company.

If you’re smart you know what we’ve just done – we’ve opened the door to lifetime value as opposed to quick one-time conversions.

Now, if you can nurture that lead (not customer) over time, convert them to a customer, provide them with a killer product and experience, and then sell them more product later on down the line?

Well that just sounds like every business that existed before the internet. This allows us to spend significantly more money on our customer acquisition and focus on building a real company that lasts for years or decades, instead of pouring all our working capital in to expensive new customer acquisitions.

Back in the day real businesses had to convince someone that they were worth buying from, provide them an amazing product, and convince them to buy again. A new customer is 10 times more expensive than repeat customers, so businesses made damn sure that they were fulfilling their customers expectations to the best of their abilities.

I propose that the internet has comedized the customer acquisition experience and because of this, businesses are far less likely to build the foundation that their brand sits on.

The moral of the story is always be weary of the young professional selling you targeted Facebook campaigns designed to deliver you ultra-cheap customers. You might be moving product, but you could be losing something equally as important along the way.

Think I’m crazy? Let me know in the comments below!