Digital Advertising – Growth Pain Points? What Are They And What To Do?

Dr Narelle Hutchesson - Digital Marketing Services

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Definition of pain point

: a persistent or recurring problem that frequently inconveniences or annoys customers

As a business, you may face two types of pain points:

  1. Those that affect your customers – for example, potential customers may have specific pain points that you service or products help to solve
  2. Those that affect your business – for example, you may have pain points around daily operations

Digital advertising in Google, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft ads, Amazon, Pinterest is something most experienced retailers understand is part of their marketing communications mix. These allow you to promote your business and its products or services to customers online. For some businesses, you may have grown your business through social media organically and now want to attract new users. So now you are working out how to advertise to take your business to the next level of growth.

The question to ask yourself is, are you advertising efficiently or effectively?

To address this, it’s important to consider what your digital advertising pain points are. Pain points are generally something that as a business you can’t easily solve without having to hire more staff or technical expertise.  When you feel you have good results in one advertising channel, there is always reluctance to interrupt them by running experiments to increase your understanding of how they work in your business’ ecosystem. Your reluctance may lead to opportunity and money being left on the table.

Although there are more questions than answers, the following digital advertising pain points are ones I commonly get asked in my role:

1. How do I know I am not wasting money or getting the best results that I can?

  • Benchmarks are your best friend
    • Month on month – analyse the performance of your business and each channel or campaign month on month. What did you do differently this month from the last, and what results did it produce?
    • Year on year – similarly to month on month, analyse the performance of your business and each channel or campaign year on year. What did you do differently, how has the industry changed since then, and what results did it produce?
    • Industry results – look for industry reports on trends and compare your business to the industry.
    • Google Trends – a free tool provided by Google that analyses the popularity of search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. See if your products or services you sell are trending up or down?
    • Use your networks to ask how their campaigns are performing.

2. The disruption to my supply chain has impacted my advertising and growth plans.  How do I advertise my in-stock and profitable products at scale?

  • Use technology to allows you to only advertise on in-stock items or higher profit margin products
    • Use Software that prioritises from feed elements. If you have certain products that are of a lower priority (due to long delivery times or low profit margins), it’s likely you don’t want to be advertising these products at the expense of others but you also don’t want to remove them from your feed entirely. For example, it could be worth marking individual items as low priority in your feed which can make it easier to split out your Smart Shopping campaigns. You can then set a different target and budget to products contained in these campaigns and the product priority classification can be continually updated.
    • Try out Google Conversion Adjustments – a user’s path to purchase generally ends after they convert. However, this does not take into account order returns, cancelations, or changes post purchase which alter the value of a sale to you. In order to consider these points Google allows you to adjust conversion data in Google Ads. This will not only improve the accuracy of reporting in Google Ads, but also help Google’s machine learning to make better informed decisions and spot patterns that it can use to optimise spend.

3. How do I know which channel delivers, when customers move between channels themselves?

  • Try your best to understand the purpose of each channel
    • It’s important to set a goal for each channel e.g. If social media is to create awareness, the goal would be Click Through Rate, if the goal for Google Shopping is sales then the measure would be revenue.  Sounds simple, but often the goals do not align to the channel.
    • It’s also important to set a goal for each campaign within a channel –  Youtube Ads and Google Shopping Ads may have different goals e.g. Use Youtube ads as a way to build awareness and desire for your brand while Microsoft Shopping to drive direct sales.
    • Google Search and Google Shopping e.g. if you are aiming to drive sales, the goal might be return on investment or revenue
    • How people engage differently – deep dive into your analytics to try to better understand where your customers are and where they find you, what channels they use to purchase, how long it takes them to purchase, how many ad clicks before they purchase etc. Understanding these factors will help you get better aligned with your goal, what channels and campaigns to focus your budget and efforts as well as understand the value each channel is bringing to your online marketing
    • Not immediately comparable – as mentioned each channel or campaign might have a different goal, so it doesn’t make sense to try to compare results between two channels with different goals.
    • Instead of comparing across channels, it’s better to compare the success of each goal.

4. Despite advances in measurement technology and attribution models, the reality is – with limited budgets – I don’t know the best way to grow an online business?

  • Have an experimental budget with at least 10% on top of your monthly spending budget.  This is to try new channels or campaign types and see what the results are – either additional sales or supporting additional sales from your current channel.
  • Keep “always-on” campaigns running – this is your bread and butter
  • Add new channels or campaigns and run a controlled experiment, learn, expand or change
  • For example, you would like to increase the awareness of a line of products you are about to launch. Continue to run your current “always-on campaigns” and look at trialling channels or campaigns with the goal of building awareness. This could be a Youtube campaign or trying Facebook Ads.

5. Is my competitor advertising and what channels are they successful on?

  • Be where your competitors are – this is nothing new in traditional bricks and mortar retailing, the same applies for digital stores. Your online store is your shop front. If you are not there, how will customers find you?
  • If you’re a wholesaler and also have a B2C side also keep in mind that a stockist may also choose to advertise your products online. Ensure you are also advertising your brand in these channels to compete.  You will need to be price competitive or have a unique selling proposition for most customers to buy from your site.

Although I’ve gone through 5 common digital advertising pain points, the list does not end here. Pain points are different for each individual business and customer. By understanding what your pain points are and troubleshooting these points, you can better optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of your advertising channels and campaigns. You need to have a willingness to try new things and experiment with different channels and ad types. Also have an understanding of what you want to achieve and look for solutions outside the box such as ad tech. But don’t just stop here, take time to analyse the results through benchmarking, and make tweaks and changes when necessary. This process doesn’t stop when you see success. Continue this cycle, and only then will you begin taking your business to the next level of growth.

Dynamic Creative can help diagnose your digital advertising pain points, and offers a software solution to overcome these at scale.  Our Account Directors are always happy to undertake a free consultation about your digital advertising growth requirements.

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