Digital marketing expectation VS reality

Digital Marketing Tools | JDC EXEC

Digital marketing expectation VS reality

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Janine Do Cabo  |  Business Growth Strategist  |  Johannesburg

Expectation is a powerful thing.  It is by definition, a strong belief that something will happen.  If the definition of faith is complete trust and confidence in something or someone, then we could say that expectation and faith as in the same WhatsApp group so to speak. Psychologically, it is when we play out mentally what we hope the outcome will be.  It’s both exciting and fascinating with the powerful tool we have in our minds, known as – our imagination. There is a grave danger however when our expectations are not met, in whatever area those expectations may be. 

In business, where facts and figures are the reflections of the profit or loss your business may or may not be experiencing, expectations need to be replaced with reality. Unmet expectations come with it an understandable and justifiable disappointment.  Unfortunately, the marketing department is one department where expectations are not met resulting in disappointment.  We see this at the height of recession when directors meet behind closed doors to discuss from why whatever they hoped to achieve from the marketing department was not achieved.  As a result, when it is presented to the rest of the board members as fact, the creative team’s heads start to roll – something that could have been avoided with the realization that expectation is not the truth and shouldn’t be presented as fact.

In this article, we will uncover just 5 of the expectations companies or even individuals have on digital marketing and the facts which disprove them.

Expectation #1 – Increasing brand awareness guarantees increases in conversions

Conversions refer to the site visitors who convert to paying customers and is the ultimate goal of any online marketing campaign.  Brand awareness describes the measure of which a brand is credible.  It isn’t always that a brands’ awareness that converts to leads and sales, as the objective of it is to promote a new product or service or reintroduce an older one.  As its name suggests, it brings about an awareness of the distinguishing features this particular product has, that the competition may not have.  Brand awareness is a critical key in marketing and although it encourages repeat purchases, the reality is that it is not a guarantee for increased conversions. 

The reality is that only a strategy with the intention to optimize can increase conversions.  In marketing, this is called, conversion rate optimization or CRO.  It is said that only a fifth of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rate.  It is, therefore, necessary to use whatever strategies you can as early as you possible, to make a success of your optimization efforts.  The difference between brand awareness and conversion optimizing is that where the former focuses on promoting something, CRO is aimed towards existing traffic whose behaviour has been analysed and tabled with facts and figures to forecast how they may respond.

To create a winning formula, a combination of the creativity that is needed in increasing brand awareness as well as the facts and data of CRO should be implemented.

Expectation #2 – Digital marketing is only for big companies

While it is an obvious observation that big companies do indeed have larger marketing departments with impressive digital marketing campaigns, it does not mean that smaller businesses should be intimidated to jump onto the bandwagon and develop an online presence that comes with a well-thought-out strategy that puts the company on the map. 

The reality is that, in the Information Age where almost everything is digital, it is essential for every company to be online in order for there to be substantial progress in the future. Not only is there a need to be online, but to do so successfully.  For smaller companies, digital marketing is a necessity that appeals to a large audience and seeks to assist the efforts of traditional marketing.

Expectation #3 – Little risk in short time frames reaps a reward

Unfortunately, successful digital marketing takes effort and time to effectively establish if the strategy you’ve set in motion is indeed working.  With human emotion being as unpredictable as it is, it can be a game of trial and error which entails a high level of risk.  Strategies are made and revisited when what was rolled out did not have the desired outcome.  What this means is, one cannot try something for a month and expect to see a change.  It is in this instance where patience is indeed the virtue needed for online success.

Expectation #4 – Paid media = instantaneous rewards

Paid ads are the top results that show when a Google search is made.  They have the abbreviation “Ad” beside them indicating that they are advertisements.  With them appearing so close to the search bar, one may assume that they are the most visited sites, however, a very small percentage of the 94% of organic searches made on Google capture the intrigue of the visitors who are doing the searching.

In reality, paid ads should not be the stand-alone strategy but rather within a correctly set up campaign alongside actionable, historical data.

Expectation #5 – Digital marketing is easy and anyone with little or no experience can do it

This expectation is by far the most dangerous as it underestimates the crucial role digital marketing plays.  Unless you have a clear understanding of how to strategically position yourself for winning, rather leave it to people who do. Because the online world is highly competitive, one needs a qualified digital marketer spear-heading all online efforts.  Alternatively, a digital marketing company that has been in the industry long enough to know how to convert visitors to sales could be employed, so that your company whether big or small, can produce a return on your investment.

Here at JDC, we are committed to providing you with the necessary tools you and your business need to set you up for online success.  When you speak, we listen, and deliver top-quality digital marketing services so that you don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty involved in the industry, allowing you to focus on whatever you need to so that we can secure a return on your digital investment.