Digital marketing is confusing.

With tons of options across a bevy of platforms, how is someone supposed to figure out what to do? On this episode of The Buyer’s Journey, we discuss the state of the digital marketing industry and help you achieve marketing clarity and gain a competitive advantage.

Preface: O Captain, My Captain, Why Is Digital Marketing So Confusing?

The digital marketing industry has changed significantly and rapidly in the last 5 years alone. Smartphones are more dominant than ever. Social media platforms sprout and wither faster than you can blink. The internet is no longer the organic social media machine you once thought. Your business can’t make a social media post and have it seen by hundreds or thousands of people anymore. Not without paying for it, that is. You’d be lucky if 5% of your audience saw your posts at all.

Facebook and Google’s evolution from open*, free** communication platforms and directories to walled garden advertising platforms has finally come. Algorithm updates shift Facebook’s newsfeed so users see their friend’s posts more and your business’s less. Google’s algorithm changes every few months forcing SEO managers to constantly re-evaluate.

Your business is a ship on the internet sea. The algorithmic tide pulls you in every direction. Waves of digital ad costs batter you at every turn. You’re the captain of the ship, but you don’t know where to go.

A Sea of Change: What Makes Digital Marketing So Confusing?

Here are four metrics that show how confusing digital marketing can be.

1. The Average Person Sees 4,000 – 10,000 Ads Per Day.

Let’s call it how it is: everyone is constantly being bombarded with advertisements. You see them on TV, on the radio, on your computer, on your phone. Everywhere. How does your business stick out from the noise?

2. Google/YouTube and Facebook/Instagram make up 60% of digital ad spend.

Platforms like Facebook and Google need to make money. They are able to leverage their massive audiences to encourage businesses to spend money on them. Because of this, they make up 60% of digital ad spend. Furthermore, by making your website or posts harder to see, Google and Facebook can encourage you to spend money advertising on their platforms.

However, it’s good to know that when spending money on these platforms you have a great chance of accomplishing your goals.

3. It Takes An Average of Seven-to-Ten “Touches” For The Average Customer To Do Anything.

A potential customer has to see your brand messaging an average of seven-to-ten times before they’re willing to do anything. This is normally called the “Rule of Seven” in marketing, but digital marketing has grown and so have the number of touches. We don’t just mean 10 touches before making a purchase, either. We really mean before doing anything. Sometimes that anything is visiting your website. The anything could be clicking an ad. Maybe the anything is doing a Google search on your brand.

Whatever the anything is, seven-to-ten ads is quite a lot and often the ads need to be placed across multiple touchpoints like so:

  1. A Facebook mobile ad that causes a would-be client to recognize a pain point.
  2. That night, they do a Google search ad on their laptop and click to your site.
  3. A billboard on a highway as they’re driving to work.
  4. A YouTube video ad during lunch.
  5. A Spotify ad during their favorite podcast before bed.
  6. A Facebook retargeting ad the next morning.
  7. Another Google search ad as they search for competitor pricing.
  8. A Snap ad after they laugh at their friend’s funny Story post.
  9. An Instagram ad during a lunch break.
  10. Finally, a Google search ad brings them back to your site where they decide to sign-up for a newsletter or make a purchase.

And everything above assumes those ten touches will lead to a purchase. As we’ve already said, they don’t always do this.

4. 98.8% of the time a visitor to your site is not going to take any action

Many visitors come to check out a site initially and may return. Some never will. That’s just the truth of the numbers.

Righting The Ship: To Gain A Competitive Advantage You’ve Got To Spend More Money

Based on the four metrics above, you have to accept four things about your digital marketing.

  • The brand creative has to stand out from the crowd and offer a real value proposition.
  • Your brand needs to appear or “touch” about 10 times for the average customer.
  • Your content and ads need to be visible on places where your customers are. The data shows that is primarily on Facebook and Google properties.
  • Most people aren’t going to be interested enough in your brand to do anything on your site.

To make those four points come together cohesively, you need two things: money and strategy. 

Most businesses aren’t spending enough money on their digital marketing campaigns. Often times businesses will come to ad agencies like ours and say, “throw a number at me,” or “I’ve got $500, let’s see what that can do.” You shouldn’t be guessing at your digital marketing budget.

From a strategy perspective, many businesses focus on constantly creating new content or changing marketing messages. Businesses want things to get done, but don’t focus on why those things are being done. You should have an overall strategy for your digital marketing that guides customers through The Buyer’s Journey.

The Wind Behind Your Sails: The Lifetime Value Ratio

So, we know you shouldn’t be guessing at your digital marketing budget and that you need a strategy to get your clients and customers to convert. That leads to these two essential questions:

  1. How much should you be spending or budgeting for your digital marketing campaign?
  2. How do I create a strategy to spend that budget?

The solution to your marketing confusion is to determine your customer acquisition costs and strive to achieve a 3:1 lifetime value ratio.

Setting your marketing goals to a 3:1 lifetime value ratio will give clarity to your digital marketing while simultaneously showing you exactly what your digital marketing budget must be. This is your competitive advantage. Once you know your budget and your goals, now you can begin focusing your strategy on The Buyer’s Journey which will help your customers convert.

To learn more about the 3:1 Lifetime Value ratio, listen to our podcast episode all about it here.

And to learn more about The Buyer’s Journey and marketing strategy, listen here.

Your business is a ship on the internet sea. The algorithmic tide pulls you. Waves of digital ad costs batter you. But do not fear. You’re the captain of the ship and you know where to go. The Buyer’s Journey is your map to the digital landscape. The 3:1 Lifetime Value ratio is your destination.

Let Commexis be your navigator and get you there.

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