4 min. reading

How Do You Set Realistic Marketing Expectations?

What can you expect from working with a strategist or agency? In marketing circles, we often encounter unrealistic ideas about campaign effectiveness, performance and budgets. Digital itself is changing incredibly fast. What was hot a few months ago can be very different today. Similarly, the price of media space (paid campaigns on social media, Google, etc.) is quietly rising by tens of per cent year on year. This is due to the constant influx of new advertisers into the networks, as well as the increasing demand for creative from potential clients.

How Do You Set Realistic Marketing Expectations?
Source: Depositphotos

Objective evaluation of the current situation

This point could be divided into 2 categories, which on the one hand are diametrically opposed, but which cover all (un)successful players in the online market.

Long term neglected marketing

If you haven’t paid much attention to marketing over the last few years, or you haven’t had to, or there was never any room for it, you won’t be able to catch up in a few weeks. Long-term marketing neglect often results in a neglected website, neglected branding and an absent visuals and communications manual. At this point, you will definitely need to factor in a higher reboot cost, as it is likely that the problem in question will affect almost all channels.

Starting a new business

The rule that you can start with less today and invest more in marketing later doesn’t really apply anymore. It may be true if you have a product that is so unique that it stands out from the crowd. But if you are doing something that someone else is already doing, you have to be pragmatic.

You always have to invest first and then optimise and try to allocate your marketing investment differently. At today’s prices for media space, even with optimistic conversion rates at the outset, there is still a relatively high start-up cost before the business ‘runs its course’. Of course, there’s still the risk of complete failure, which no reputable agency can guarantee, but marketing is about trying, testing and optimising, and at that point you’re not going to move without an upfront investment.

The more lucrative your segment and the more competition and advertisers there are, the higher the initial investment and the harder the start. If you want to open a mobile phone e-store, your starting position is not easy and your communication needs to be first class.  The idea of selling something and then investing is unfortunately unrealistic.

Source: Depositphotos

Making a short-term plan

For a short-term plan, we recommend following the Pareto rule of doing 80% of the work for 20% of the time and money.

Whether it’s fixing the most basic things within your site (hotfixes, you can rebuild the site at the next stage), setting up basic tracking, setting up a couple of basic campaigns for something you’re confident in your position.

We often see a very broad view from clients who, having not been involved in marketing for a long time, especially within a large organisation, want to jump into all marketing channels and opportunities at once.

This idea then influences the brief to the marketing agency and also influences the selection and creation of channels. Clients are often surprised when the estimated media budget is many times higher than their maximum budget.

Create a long-term plan

Once you’ve set up a few campaigns and tidied up the most important elements, it’s time to look at a long-term marketing strategy.

Whether it’s a six-month strategy or a year-long strategy isn’t really important. What is important at the end of the day is that you stick to the marketing strategy. Many clients then deviate from the strategy and introduce other types of promotions, which is often counterproductive and creates confusion.

A proper long-term strategy should include

  • Who are we? What do we do?
  • What should we communicate in the long term?
  • What are our products/services?
  • What are our USPs?
  • What do our customers respond to?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • Which channels can we use and how?
  • What are the key creatives, placements, formats?
  • What is our tone of voice?
  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • How do we measure it?
  • Budget – media + executive
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