10 Marketing Lessons Learned Over 10 Years

10 Lessons Over 10 Years of Marketing

10 Marketing Lessons Learned Over 10 Years


Experience isn’t everything, but we’d be a very different agency without it. Through 10 years of bull markets and bear markets, a nation-wide recession and a manufacturing renaissance, experience has taught our team a few things about marketing in the real world. Here are 10 things we’ve learned about what it takes to grow businesses, one dream at a time.

Measurable and Adaptable

1. Marketing Plans Should Be Measurable and Adaptable

As a business grows, marketing strategy should grow to accommodate it — because when marketing stagnates, so do businesses. By measuring the ROI of your current marketing, you’ll know which tactics to cut and which ones to keep as market trends and business plans change with time.

2. Know the Power of SEO

Over the last 10 years, Google has changed the game — repeatedly. So, marketers had to change along with it. Content strategy and web design can’t just look and sound nice anymore, it has to serve a function, too. That’s what SEO is — everything from copy writing and graphics to social media and backend web design is a potential tool for getting found.

Power of SEO
Take Risks with Digital Advertising

3. Take Calculated Risks with Paid Digital Ads

Over the last 10 years, paid digital strategy has become an essential part of many solid marketing strategies. It helps guide targeted pools of web traffic to the information they’re most interested in ways nothing else can. This winds up benefiting both internet users and your business’ bottom line. Beyond that, rapidly growing social media followership almost requires a paid digital strategy these days.

4. Don’t Discount Traditional Advertising

The popularity of digital marketing can make traditional methods seem a lot less intriguing – but they can work when done well. We’ve had both successful calling campaigns and direct mail campaigns, even in 2019. It all depends on your business and what your specific target audience will respond to. And let’s be honest: some folks just like to keep it old school.

Don't Discount Traditional Advertising
Power of Local Media

5. Harness the Power of Local Media

Taking the time to hash out a simple press release during important events or community involvement can go a long way towards boosting your local profile. Over time, your relationships with local press will pay dividends with new and better opportunities to get your name out there.

6. Focus on What the Customer Wants, Not What You Think Is Important

Business owners can sometimes have a very different idea of what sells compared to what customers appreciate the most about a business. Learn what speaks to your target audience – especially if they are very demographically different from the business’ executive leadership. Don’t assume that what speaks to you will connect with the customer.

Target Customers Know What They Want
Target the Right Customers for Your Business

7. Learn the Difference Between “A” Customers and “C” Customers

Don’t drain your resources on low profit, high maintenance customers. Retool your marketing to draw in the A List — aka your best customers. Expanding your A List will make your business more sustainable in the long run, and allow you to move through growing pains with less, well, pain. A List identification and growth is something that marketing is uniquely capable of accomplishing.

8. Marketing is About Relationships

Not only are you building relationships with your audience, you should be building relationships with industry publications, fellow businesses, and community leadership. Marketing departments are uniquely positioned to foster these relationships in a way that promotes your business and gives sales staff new tools and opportunities.

Relationship Marketing
Keep Your Marketing on Brand

9. Keep Your Marketing on Brand

Be careful that your next big idea or trendy marketing tactic doesn’t deviate from your company’s core messaging. Marketing that results in brand confusion actually does the opposite of what you intend. Consistent marketing, on the other hand, solidifies your relationships with customers and continues to remind them of who you are and why the work with you.

10. Treat Marketing Like and Investment, Not an Expense

Marketing should always pay for itself and then some. By investing properly in the right talent, tactics, and strategies, you can reap the highest rewards for the risks you take. No marketing tactic is guaranteed to work, but with research, expertise, and planning, we can increase the chances of success. This makes both marketing and doing business more cost effective and profitable in the long run.

Marketing is an Investment

If all of that seems like a lot to wrap your head around, don’t worry, we’ve already done most of the homework for you. For more information on how to craft game changing marketing without contracts, retainers, or wasted resources, contact a 360 Direct team member today.

Getting results with digital advertising

Should I Be Doing Digital Advertising?

Getting results with digital advertising

Want to know more about the difference between SEO and PPC? Check out our infographic!

Paid advertising is faster than building SEO or organically growing an email newsletter list, but it’s not necessary for every single industry. There are some industries in which online advertising is so prevalent that it’s basically a necessity in order to compete. Other industries don’t use it as much. That means you can get away with not adding it to your marketing strategy, but it could also mean that you have a huge opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors.

What is digital advertising?

Digital advertising can encompass: 

  • Paid ads on social media 
  • Ads that appear in search results on Google or other search engines
  • Video ads that appear before or during other video content
  • Image-based ads that appear on all kinds of websites (not limited to search engines or social media platforms)

Digital advertising, often referred to as pay-per-click or PPC, can be custom designed to reach your end goal. You can use it to build brand awareness, generate leads, or make sales. You can use it to build your social media following so your content has a larger organic reach. While it’s called pay-per-click, you can also pay per conversion or thousands of impressions.

Part of what makes digital advertising so flexible and appealing is the ability to target the ads to very specific people. Different platforms have different capabilities, but you can target people by what they are actively searching for or in the market for, by their interests, by their demographic (age, sex, income, marital status), job title or industry, and so much more.

How Much Does Digital Advertising Cost

One of the benefits of digital advertising is that, unlike a print ad or billboard, you can decide what you want the budget to be. Most online tools – Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing – will predict the range of results you will receive for that budget. Your exact budget will depend on your goal – brand recognition, website traffic, sales, or something else – and the industry you are in. 

Digital advertising offers a lot of budget flexibility and control. You can start and stop your ads anytime, and best of all, reallocate your budget based on results. Digital advertising platforms have some of the best measuring tools of any marketing tactic. As your campaign runs, you can monitor the results and adjust your targeting, content, and budget to get the best ROI possible.

How to Get the Best Results with Online Advertising

One manufacturing client took a chance on digital ads when print ads were out of budget, and has results 5x the industry average. Check out the case study!

The key to getting great results on digital advertising is to be flexible. The initial campaign you set up is very unlikely to generate the best ROI possible. Consistent testing, measuring, and adjusting, is necessary to achieve the best results. Remember that the goal is to find your audience where they are and speak their language. It’s very possible that your target audience doesn’t know all the technical terms you use internally, or use your product’s specific name when they have a need. 

How many companies would stop R&D because “our competitors don’t do it that way”? Don’t be afraid to try something new, or to stop doing something that isn’t working. Online advertising is one of the most measurable forms of marketing, which makes it perfect for testing different messaging or targeting. Data doesn’t lie! If something’s not working, test some changes to discover what will get better results. 

While digital advertising isn’t absolutely necessary for every single business, there are so many custom options that most industries can benefit from a well targeted digital ad campaign. If you want to learn more about how your company could benefit from digital advertising, connect with us here!