Time, Money and Effort
The number one reason why businesses fail in their digital marketing endeavours is because they refuse to spend the time, money, or effort required to get their project off the ground properly. So, let me repeat that if I may. The number one reason why businesses fail to do well in their digital marketing is because they refuse to put in enough time, money, or effort into their projects, and I see this over and over again.
My name is Gunther Kramer. I’ve been involved in the digital marketing field for over 25 years now. I’ve dealt with hundreds and hundreds of companies, possibly thousands. I don’t keep track. And as you can well imagine, over those years I’ve noticed certain things that recur again, and again, and again. And what I really have come to realize, is it has to do with human nature. And us as people, we think a certain way. We have a certain thinking mechanism that goes on inside of our heads when it comes to taking on projects. And even though there are some subtle differences, there are certain similarities that happen over and over again.
So when I consult with our clients, I bring this up to the forefront and try to get them to not step into those pitfalls that I’ve seen so many other companies do before. And also the inverse, I’ve seen a lot of great successes over the years where people, through good strategies or even by simple dumb luck, have figured out how to do something very, very well. And then I try to portray that information to our clients as well. But a lot of it, really when it comes down to it, has to do with common sense.
Learning About Digital Marketing
So let me give you an example, just to make it very clear, and I’ll try to keep it really, really simple. Let’s say, for example, you have your business, and whether you’re a large or small business, you’re a one-man show or you have a lot of employees, it doesn’t really matter. The principles are the same across the board. And you’re saying, for the purpose of this example, that you want to put an advertisement on Facebook. Now, I could go and teach you, and I could say okay, let’s sit in front of the computer and we’re going to go and look on the screen. We’re going to log into your Facebook account, and I want you to click here and there, and here and there, and so on, and then when we’re all done, there you go, your advertisement is now on Facebook. Fantastic, I’ve taught you how to do that.
All I’ve really taught you at that point, though, would be what buttons to click, in which order, to put something on a screen. Now you go and try to do that yourself a month later, after Facebook has changed the way everything looks on the screen, and now the button’s not up here but it’s down here, and they’ve changed the verbiage, and maybe they changed the rules as to what you can post and you can’t post. Well, my instruction really is kind of worthless at that point. It’s not timeless.
A Better Process
So, as opposed to doing it that way, let’s look at a different example. So, let’s talk about, you want to put an advertisement on Facebook. The very first question I would ask is why? Why do you want to do that? Who is your target market? What are you trying to sell? What’s your call to action going to be? What colours are you going to use? Are there going to be just text links or are there going to be graphical buttons, and why? What works, what works best for your industry, for your business? Do you even have an understanding of that? Do you even realize that these are things you need to look at? For most people, the answer is no, I’ve never heard of that. I never thought about that. I thought I’d just quickly whip something up on the weekend and we’ll see if it works or not.
So, strategizing is very important, but it goes beyond that. Okay, so now you’ve got a Facebook ad, but now what happens? So they click on it and what’s the next step? Are they maybe going to go to a landing page? And that might be a great idea. Well then, how does your landing page look? What information is going to be on there? Are you going to think about things like removing the footer information and the menu buttons, so that people don’t click away from that landing page?
Keep Your Audience on the Path
See, you’ve worked so hard to get people to that point. You’ve created this advertisement. You’ve put it on social media. People are looking at it. You’re catching their attention. They’re following your call to action. They’re going to your landing page, where you’re explaining what it’s about. But now that you have some other links on there, they go to other pages on your website and they get distracted, and now they click away. So you’ve done all that work to get them all the way through to that point, and all you want them to do is insert a credit card or sign up or do something, but now at this point, they’ve got distracted and they’re elsewhere. So these are all things that you need to take into consideration to make sure that your strategy really flows from the very beginning all the way to the very end.
Why Use Social Media?
Social media, for example, which is the big buzzword of the day that a lot of people are interested in working with, is a fantastic tool, but like all tools, it’s only as fantastic as the person who uses it. And let’s be honest, if you’re looking at it from a business point of view, why are you doing social media? Surprisingly, the number one answer I get from people is well, that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what everybody else is doing. That’s what my competitors are doing, so I guess I have to do it, too. I don’t find those very compelling reasons as to why a company should do social media.
And I always say let’s be honest. Let’s really be brutally honest. Why are you doing social media? You’re doing it to increase revenues for your corporation. As simple as that. That’s why a company exists, to pay its employees, so they can put food on the table for their families. That’s what a corporation is there for. So if your social media is about being cool, or hip, or you’re keeping up with your competitors, that’s not really a good rock-solid reason. And if you have that mindset, you’re not going to go about it in an appropriate manner. So you’re going to do something that’s fun, it’s cool, it’s hip, and maybe it’s getting a lot of attention, but you’re putting a lot of effort and money into a project that’s not generating very much revenue. So as you can see, there’s a lot of things to take into consideration.
A Realistic Perspective
Now, let’s step back for a moment and look at it from a more realistic perspective. A lot of clients that we work together with, they’re small ma and pop shops, maybe they’re a solopreneur or just a one-man show. We also have companies that are global corporations as well. But looking specifically at the small businesses, imagine how much time it takes. They have to learn about all of this. They have to practise. They have to try different things out. Then they have to try to put strategies together, to get it all to work. Then they have to analyze the data sets and see, did my intended outcome really happen, or did something else happen? Why is that? Let’s adjust our strategy, let’s retry it again. Now let’s see what happens. And keep tweaking it to get to a point where it’s actually producing results like it’s supposed to in the first place.
Let’s be honest, the small business owner, they don’t have time for that. They also don’t even want to learn all of that. So, what opportunities do they have? Well, there are a few opportunities. They can get into it a certain degree, but then what they should do is look at maybe hiring some outside help, get some expertise. Now, unfortunately, a lot of times expertise means I’m going to ask my 15-year-old child or the neighbour next door, or I’ve got an uncle or something along those lines. And anybody who’s in business and has done business with relatives or friends knows the potential pitfalls that can arise from that.
But a lot of times the first step is simply becoming educated. What is involved in this topic? How much work is it really? How much does it really cost? How much effort do I have to put into it? And for the most part, people just don’t know, and that’s normal, there’s nothing wrong with that, but they just don’t know. I take my car to the auto shop to get fixed. To be honest with you, I just don’t know. I don’t know what tools they need. I don’t know how much time it takes to get things fixed. I don’t know how complicated it is. I just have to trust them that they know what they’re doing and they’re going to serve me well.
So, it really is a huge void, this big black space of unknown that people are venturing into as they’re trying to do digital marketing for their company or for their organization. So I’ve noticed this happening again, and again, and again over 25 years now.
Learn What You Need to Know
So what we’ve done is, we’ve put together a series of workshops that are going to take place this fall. There’s a batch of three happening in September, another batch of three happening in October. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about all of this, and we’ve broken it down into subsections. So we’ve got the first one, which is really about digital marketing in general, but then we break it up. One of them, for example, is dealing with just your website, another one is about blogging. And we’ve got videography if you want to use videos in your marketing endeavours if you have newsletters, things of that nature.
These workshops are three hours in length. They’re really intended for pretty much anybody. It doesn’t matter what your level of expertise is, or experience, or how big or small your corporation is. It’s really meant to take you, at whatever level you’re at, it doesn’t matter if you’re down here or up here, and just move you up a couple of notches, give you that extra bit of information.
And if all it does is it gets a business owner to look at it and say, wow, I didn’t realize there was this much involved. I need to rethink my approach to how I want to decide to tackle this endeavour. Maybe I don’t want to do it on my own. Maybe I want to hire somebody. Or the inverse, maybe I don’t want to hire somebody, I want to do it on my own because this sounds like a lot of fun. It doesn’t matter what the story is. But at the very least it’s going to give people some education about the whole topic, so they can make those decisions on their own as to what is going to suit them best, and that is our goal for this fall.
And hopefully, that’s going to help business owners that are here locally in our area get a better understanding of what digital marketing is, how to go about it in a more appropriate business-minded manner, and help them move forward. If that means that they’re doing it on their own, they hire us, or they hire somebody else, it really doesn’t matter. We just want to be out there providing a service to help people so that they can understand all the pitfalls, but also all the beautiful things that have to do with social media.
So, if that’s something that you or somebody you know might be interested in, I would encourage you to please, give me a call, send me an email, let me know. Maxine would be more than happy to answer your questions as well. She’s very well versed in a number of these topics, and we can get you signed up for these programmes this fall.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk to you and maybe provide you with a little bit of insight as well into the digital marketing world.