The “Supposed To” Trap

The “Supposed To” TrapAre you using data to your advantage to make informed marketing decisions?

Or are you marketing because you are “supposed to?”

We recently engaged with a client whose site has decent traffic. They were paying to show ads to previous site visitors—retargeting—to try to get them to come back.

Sounds pretty standard, right?

Well, once we got under the hood we noticed something very concerning.

Their site-wide and landing page bounce rates were REALLY high. This suggested that they were either a) getting the wrong people to the site, b) delivering the wrong message once they got there, or c) some awful combination of the two.

We immediately recommended they halt their retargeting campaign. Further investment would have essentially thrown money at people who had no expressed interest in what they’re selling.

See, they had fallen into the “we’re supposed to be doing this” marketing trap.

We encourage our clients to try all types of marketing, but we do it with a caveat. Always ensure that everything starts with strategy and data; in other words, you need a plan in place before you go to tactics. Instead of just blindly investing money hoping for an outcome, start with strategy.

Do you know who your target audience is? Where do they go for information? What challenges are they trying to resolve for which your organization provides solutions?

What value proposition sets you apart from other organizations doing similar work? Does your messaging reflect this differentiation effectively?

Where should you be placing your attention and focus, and what materials should you be sharing, in order to make the most positive impact for your organization? Do you have data to reference to help understand your audiences’ behavior?

Most importantly, are you getting a return on your investments? If you are, great! Keep going! (For instance, we’ll turn our client’s campaigns back on once we fix their bounce problem.)

But if you aren’t seeing an ROI, take a step back and look at the story the data is telling you—and think about what can be done differently to make it work better.

Sometimes you have to take a leap. But, whenever possible, have that leap be informed by actual data and a strategy-first approach to your marketing.

Know who you are trying to reach, what their pain points are, and what makes your organization different before spending a bunch of time throwing tactics at the wall.

It’ll save you time, money, and heartache.

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