In the time since my post about the five lessons I have learned in my 10 years in marketing, a few more have sprung to mind which I wanted to share here. So here they are.
Never switch off
You are surrounded by marketing messages nearly 24 hours a day, most of which you will have trained yourself to filter out. My advice is to stop filtering, and start paying attention to them.
What do you like about that advert, what would you do better? By critically analysing as many marketing messages you can you will find working on your own much easier.
Bring the boom
Subtle, long term and complex marketing campaigns are fun to work on, and require a lot of planning and work, but in my opinion it is rare the return is worth the investment.
The best marketing is in your face, simple to understand and easy to act upon. Additionally, the more aggressive the promotion (e.g. the amount of money off), the more sales you will make. It’s not rocket science, so don’t try to turn it into that.
Carve your own niche
If one of your competitors does something well it can be tempting to try and do it yourself. A great example are the price comparison websites that are all reacting to comparethemarket.com’s successful meerkat campaign by trying to find their own quirky and funny advert that goes viral.
Most have tried multiple comedy spokespersons or campaigns with nowhere near as much success. Rather than aping this style they should be looking to find their own voice in the market and emphasise their own USPs. And this goes for you too.
Social media is a luxury, not a necessity
For small business social media should be viewed as a luxury item, to be done if you have the time and the resources to commit if they do not impact email, SEO, PPC, PR, reputation management, and dominating your local marketing.
Don’t over analyse or second guess
I have often found that your gut reaction to a situation or your first idea is often the best, and it is personal doubt that makes you reevaluate and make changes. Have the conviction to see through your idea without watering it down to please others or to avoid sticking your neck out.
Banners do work
Banner blindness is real and it is increasing as click through rates (CTR%) are decreasing, but banners are still an effective form of marketing.
Where people go wrong is thinking they should be judged in the same way as PPC adverts using CTR% and conversions.
Banners are disrupting a user’s website experience whereas PPC adverts are complimenting it so you can’t compare them like that.
Well designed and targeted banners (very, very important for them to be successful) are hugely effective branding tools. Banners should be thought of in the same way as print, radio, TV and other non-direct marketing tools.