Posted on July 7th, 2020
If there’s one thing for-sure happening during Covid-19, it’s companies taking a hard look at their marketing.
Some of it was by necessity (“should we really feature photos of a crowded conference room?”) and some of it was because of unprecedented amounts of downtime. The day to day slowed, and suddenly brands were noticing what they’d neglected in the everyday running of their business.
However, there’s a conundrum in realizing things during this time period: businesses may be reluctant entering into a contract for marketing services. They’re noticing what needs to be done because they have time…because there’s less work going on.
Chicken, meet egg!
This is where an audit can be a great fit: it gives you all the insights that would be used by a marketing partner, but it leaves the implementation in-house.
Audits can be channel-specific or ecosystem-specific if you really want to go all-in.
We have audited a lot of paid media and email marketing, and it’s surprising to see how many things they have in common. Here are the three most common ones we find.
Audit Find #1: Lack of Audience Targeting & Segmentation
It’s easy to get locked into a tactic and forget marketing principles still apply to them. What you learn in channels should be applied accordingly.
For example, we see a shocking lack of Observation audiences in Google Ads frequently.
Because there’s so much tunnel-vision on the search terms, it’s often forgotten these are still people with different wants and needs! With a few simple clicks, you can turbocharge the insights you’re getting:
This isn’t limited to advertising, it’s also something we come across in email marketing.
People sign up to your list, and you churn out content. But, as your audience grows, there will be factions within it you may not be attuned to.
Test list segmentation and tagging. Most email platforms give you the option to create your own tagging, and they can be applied based on things like what people open, or what they click on. This can help you segment your audience smartly in future sends, without having to create a million lists to keep up!
There are many more examples of audience neglect, but these are two examples of the mindset required to maximize your marketing.
Audit Find #2: Lack of Adaptation in Creative
Social platforms change, and email preferences have, too. It’s easy to fall into a habit of doing what you know.
But, if there’s one constant in digital marketing platforms, it’s CHANGE!
For example, in Facebook Ads accounts, we frequently see one creative made that’s just auto-applied to all the placements where the ad can run. This can turn out looking pretty bad on some of them. Here’s an example of an auto-rendered ad on Instagram Stories that was created for the Facebook feed:
While it’s not “ugly,” it doesn’t take advantage of the Story placement strengths at all: vertical, captive creative, with a single call to action that’s compelling via the imagery or video used.
Email can sometimes suffer from trying to be too fancy. By default, most users don’t see images when they open a marketing email – they have to choose to have it render.
Does that mean you shouldn’t design and style it? No. But you may also want to test what happens if you send an email that’s just text and feels more one-to-one in nature. The results might surprise you.
Check out the results we’ve seen in our related post on boosting Facebook ads performance via creative adaptation.
Audit Find #3: Stale Audiences
There are certainly the less sexy parts of managing any kind of marketing.
Some of it is day-to-day stuff that falls by the wayside, other times it’s things that are done so infrequently, they’re easy to forget about.
We see this with email lists very often.
In most plans, you pay for the number of users on your list – regardless of whether they are active or not. Thousands of bounced emails, unsubscribes, and flat-out not engaged email addresses clog up the list and can add costs, not to mention affect deliverability at a certain point.
The same happens in paid media with remarketing lists. There are amazing amounts of retargeting to users from the past 60 days when most users buy within 7. In those cases, brands wind up paying for impressions to users who have almost no chance of converting.
Don’t be lured by quantity over quality. You’re better off with leaner lists of highly engaged users than a false sense of audience security by a large list that isn’t active.