What Two Companies Got Wrong About Digital Marketing
Sitting in a local restaurant for lunch last week, I overheard a conversation (debate) between two local business owners about the performance of their recent digital advertising investments.
The owner of a very well-established business seemed to take great pride in the number of engagements his digital advertising was generating. He spoke of his “likes” and “clicks” performing well above industry averages.
The other owner, of what sounded like a relatively new start-up business, spoke of how he’s struggling to even get close to industry averages. Despite pouring more and more money into it, he just wasn’t getting anywhere near the engagement levels of his lunch partner.
I was tempted to share with both why the one was getting stronger engagement than the other but didn’t feel it was my place. But I will share it with you.
Getting to the Top of the Most Important List (not Google!)
Despite all of the advances in the technology available to businesses and their marketers, one thing remains a constant: Local businesses that own the “top-of-mind awareness” position in the minds of consumers in their marketplace have a huge competitive advantage. Being known before you are needed has made many local business owners rich. Being one of the first businesses people think of when they have a need for the products/services you sell is still the ultimate victory lap for marketers and business owners.
This “top-of-mind awareness” built over the years by advertising on mass media also provides competitive advantage when it comes to digital advertising results.
Let’s keep in mind consumers tend to trust those businesses with which they are familiar and feel good about. And they warm up slowly to ones they are not familiar with and don’t trust. Familiarity and trust (brand creation) are big factors that don’t get much consideration when evaluating digital advertising reports.
So when one business scores above average, and the other struggles to get close to industry average, let’s not underestimate the natural advantage an established brand has over a relatively unknown start-up when it comes to measuring “likes” and “clicks.”
Digital Can’t Do All of the Heavy Lifting Alone!
Next time you walk down the aisle at your favorite grocery store, look at all the brands built by mass media over the years. Companies like Proctor & Gamble have been using mass media to build brands for years. Think of your favorite ketchup, dish soap or laundry detergent. These are brands you trust and feel the best about. Brands that have been marketing to you on mass media for as long as you can remember seeing or hearing advertising.
Those who capture the top (or near the top) position in the mind of the consumers have a huge business advantage. Win that battle, and all the scoring gets better . . . including digital marketing!