James Dressing is the Founder & CEO of KLIK, the 3rd fastest growing advertising agency in the world according to AdWeek.
Marketing and sales leaders often look for granular ways to improve performance. From testing a new platform setting to implementing better tracking technology or restructuring a Google Ads account, we often miss the big-picture ideas that can fundamentally change an organization’s growth trajectory.
Here are three ways to impact your marketing without getting lost in the weeds.
1. Challenge your digital strategy.
Marketers will often view their products as ones that fit into strategic silos. CPG relies on awareness advertising. Lead gen businesses must operate with direct response advertising and channel-specific CAC (customer acquisition cost) goals. Landing pages must capture name, phone and email.
But what if you flipped the script? What if your CPG company borrowed a page from the likes of Oreo and built an e-commerce-style site? What if that steady-state lead gen business that is struggling with growth built an awareness-style campaign focusing on telling its story in a new, captivating way?
We get stuck in the narrative that our business models won’t work across different styles of advertising, and it’s worth revisiting frequently and seeing if an approach from another vertical can drive growth in a different way than we’ve ever tried before.
2. Simplify (and test new) value props.
Pulling impact stats, building new case studies, polling your current customer base, documenting how your product has impacted someone’s life — most companies don’t have a nailed down process for collecting these stories, let alone creating new website content and creative assets.
Connect with leaders internally to pull together stories and document impact. If you’ve only tested a stats-based approach to creative, such as “top 3 product” or “20% off,” try contrasting with a story-based approach highlighting a human-first angle to your brand. Shake it up and try something from a different angle than what you’ve considered previously.
Through this journey, play around with the length and complexity of each value prop and test to see which drives the most impact. Taking my agency as an example, you can see how length changes the same creative concept:
• 3rd Fastest-Growing Agency.
• 3rd Fastest-Growing Agency, according to Adweek.
• KLIK is the 3rd Fastest-Growing Agency Globally, according to Adweek.
The first variant is the simplest, the second includes a reference to build authority, and the third adds in additional context. Each of these could be the right choice for a given platform because they’re all concise. We’ve found simplicity to be one of the strongest approaches to ad copy and positioning.
3. Reimagine your UX.
Advertisers are trained to constantly test creative, audiences and channels in order to improve the media mix. But what about the customer acquisition strategy itself? The bulk of lead gen businesses we’ve seen won’t hesitate to test a new landing page layout, but very few will test the entire acquisition UX and strategy.
The mortgage industry, for example, leverages mortgage calculators as a lead gen tool, providing direct value for a potential customer in addition to capturing their data. B2B provides case studies, and some verticals (like insurance) provide quotes.
But verticals such as education are lagging in UX. The only way to request information for an MBA is to submit a lead form or start an application. The value tradeoff to the consumer is incredibly low in this example; there is no real value add to the consumer other than moving through the funnel.
Challenge how you think about digital acquisition and focus on a customer-centric view of digital. Providing value, such as a tuition calculator, outcomes examples, webinars, etc., can shuffle up what typically can become a stale experience.
In summary, remember to think creatively when evaluating your marketing, and extend your thinking into areas outside of the day to day of media management. Digital strategy, brand positioning and UX can be powerful ways to jump-start your performance.