How to make 2018 the year your marketing really contributes to your business

How to make 2018 the year your marketing really contributes to your business


We are pleased you are still with us! (we are guessing you are here because you read our ‘We are on a mission’ and ‘Businesses don't need a digital strategy in 2018’ blogs). It's not mandatory, but we do recommend you read the other blogs.

You are here to find out how to make 2018 the year your marketing really contributes to your business and helps it win more sales!

Is it a win?
First, decide what success looks like. For companies starting out in digital, let’s keep it simple; sales. Sales make a business tick, they allow you to work out your return on investment, and if you are making more money than you are spending, this keeps the doubters at bay. That means you need to find out:

1. How much profit is in a sale. Use the average. And before you ask, an average is still an average even if you have a wide variety of values. If you think they are really too far, then remove the top and bottom 25% of sales (the interquartile range for you math buffs) and calculate from there.

2. Now work out from the last 3 or 6 months how many leads it takes to make a sale. Take into account your sales cycle if it isn’t immediate.

3. Divide your average profit value from above by this number. Magic! You now have found out when your sales/leads become loss making (also called your worst case CPA target)! Eureka! You are now ahead of more than 50% of businesses. Get yourself a cookie!
If we have agreed sales are good, then how do we know if they came from ‘digital’? Simple; track them.

This really isn’t that difficult, however so many business (large and small) do this badly or not at all.
1. Work out all the actions that can lead to sales. This may be a purchase (if you have an e-commerce site), an email enquiry, a contact form filled in, a phone number dialled or a chat box used. Now go and find all of them on your website. List them, and them make sure you have all of them!
2. You then need to track them in Google Analytics plus whichever platforms you are using. This maybe AdWords, Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Programmatic, emails, associate websites or a variety of other methods. We aren’t going to list them here or how to track them as there has been covered plenty of times. If you need help, a friendly agency like Traffic Jam Media can assist. If they can’t; find a new agency!
3. The rule of thumb here is if you can’t track it, you don’t run it until you can.
4. Test your tracking. Put through sales, contact forms or whatever you have tracked, but make sure they are working.
Pick your channels

"Working out which channels you want to run is important. There will always be a hierarchy as to which channels are most effective. You may need to do some testing do find out what this is, but it will be there! In principle anything will work, but the cost per sale (or lead) may be vastly different." - Kaylyn Jeffrey, Web Content Manager at

Normally (and there are exceptions) Search campaigns (AdWords, Bing or SEO) are the most predictable (but not necessarily the cheapest). If people are looking and you are showing up, then as long as you are not entirely unappealing (see first blog on your company being a great company! <link>) then you should be able to convince them to contact you or buy! The big exceptions to this are if no one is looking for your product or service. If your brand new, never before seen widget, is that innovative it solves a problem people didnt know they had then you may not be able to use search. Use the Google Keyword planner to workout if this is the case Link

Facebook or LinkedIn are normally the next port of call. These can be better if the cost of a click is really high on search (Hosting, Gambling or some other really niche industries) or if your product is consumer focused (but even then try search first for a benchmark!). For these, you will have to pick your audience well. This is the most important thing. The right audience, with a not so great offer will do better than a great offer in front of people who just don’t care!

Now what? My new phrase for 2018 – yes! 
Test. And test again. This may be with an agency (a competent one; see below), or if you have people trained (yes, trained and also competent; again see below) in house then they may be able to. In order to test, you want to establish a few rules of play:

1. Thou shalt not pay for unprofitable leads (see worst case CPA target above)
2. Thou shalt test each channel and tweak them to at least 3 x the CPA target before you declare them not viable
3. Thou shalt test something else (another platform, audience or product). Compare the results
4. If you are not sure if the test has worked, then you have not done the above correctly. If you hired an agency, fire them. If it was your staff, fire up their ability with some training at one of our workshops.

Competency: How can you know if your agency or team member is competent?

If you are working with an agency, and you don’t understand what they are doing, then that raises big question marks. Ask them to explain what they are doing and why. If they can’t make this easy enough for you to understand then question further and ask another agency (like us!) to try and explain it to you.

Ask what works they have done in the last month, ask them to evidence this. A good agency will have tracked time and be able to show you what they did in that time. A bad one will avoid this question and give you fluff.

Tip: if you are paying all your media spend to the agency (Google, Bing, Facebook or Display), then they are probably ripping you off.

Test them on the same questions above. If they really know their stuff then they should be talking to you already about the Cost of Acquisition, the ROI and bugging you for more money as they are doing such great work. If they aren’t then give them the chance to.

Hiring the right staff is really hard. We have to interview loads of people to find the really great ones that we want on our team. We live and breathe digital, so have the knowledge to know the ones that can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk… for those of you that live and breathe other industries, finding the right digital people is a minefield. However we have a solution!

We are about to launch We Select. This is a new company that helps business owners and directors who are not digital natives to build a great marketing team. We Select is not a recruitment agency, we do not find you the candidates, but we do help you validate candidates skill sets during the interview process. Think of us as an insurance policy against a bad hire!

Does your company need We Select?
1. Are you worried your marketing is not working?
2. Do you have a high turnover of marketing staff/directors?
3. Does marketing seem to be a siloed function with a lot of fluff when quizzed about the benefits?
4. Are you recruiting for senior marketing staff now?

If that’s a ‘yes!’, then talk to us about how we can help! As an early client we are offering a 50% discount on the service. Contact us for more information.