10 ways to avoid the marketing wasteland

The wasteland of well-intentioned marketing sits against a grey sky.

Lonely and abandoned AdWords campaigns, little DL brochures and half-page press ads scatter in the cold wind.

Hopes of more customers, easy money and maybe even just a little fame, in a "Heeeelloo it's Frank Walker from National Tiles" way…..lost.

Bleak huh.

The path lined with precious marketing leads can be a tricky one and heartbreakingly expensive when it doesn’t work. While nothing substitutes for a full review of your brand, your customer and the journey your customer takes to buying your product or service, there are some general rules to follow to make sure your marketing ends up in the ‘city of leads’ and not the virtual dumpster.


Top 10 tips for effective marketing

  1. Be insightful - show you have an understanding of your customers. People see thousands of messages a day. To get attention you need to create something that will make them laugh, cry or enrich their insides just a little bit.
  2. Make it about them – what problem does your product or service solve for people? Talk about that rather than cold, hard facts.
  3. Keep it simple – communicate one thing and one thing only. Saying too many things will make all of the information harder to absorb.
  4. Say the same thing over and over again – you will be bored to death by your message long before a customer has even seen it. Over a period of time you can use different creative ways to talk to people, just make sure the message remains the same.
  5. Only use channels to advertise that your customers use – while you might like radio with ‘the best of the 80’s, 90’s and today’, do a sense check to make sure your customers do too. If your customers aren’t there it doesn’t matter how brilliant your advertising is, they won’t see it.
  6. Don’t buy press – most of the time press for non-corporate business is expensive and ineffective. Either get quoted in articles or find a clever PR idea to get yourself in print. Don’t buy full page, half page, quarter page or any ad in magazines or press. Put your money into Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads and sponsored updates (depending on your audience) or digital ads on sites relevant to your audience. You can be much more targeted and there is much less waste.
  7. Don’t put all your marketing eggs in the ‘free social media posts’ basket – Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are a great part of your marketing plan. They are however a ‘slow to grow’ and uncontrollable part of marketing e.g basically no one sees your Facebook updates anymore. Insightful, engaging paid advertising in this social media world will still get you much more instant results.
  8. Use landing pages – direct people through to landing pages that specifically talk about what you are trying to sell. If potential customers have clicked through, they want more info or a way to buy. Landing pages vs home pages can make a huge difference to your conversion rate.
  9. Make sure your AdWords are driving to a great website – you get one chance at a first impression. If customers click through to a dodgy website, chances are they are not coming back.
  10. Make sure your back office is ready - marketing can buy you leads but it can’t buy you sales if the sales process is not top notch.

Finally, once you have your well earned leads treat them like gold. Once someone has taken an interest in you, they are 100% more likely to buy from you than a cold lead. Add them to your email database and send them the good stuff until they buy.


jody gaylard

Jodi Gaylard is co-Director of The Revery, a marketing consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia. The Revery make leading edge marketing and powerful creative available to businesses that are striving for growth but looking to stay lean.

Image via Flickr CC/ Lawrence Atienza