Unlock the Formula to High-Quality Marketing: How To Avoid The Mistakes 90% of Companies Make

by Joshua Strawczynski

Today, I want to convince you to think differently about effective digital marketing, encouraging you to prioritise understanding your customer and treating insights as the real wins. Some would call this playing the ‘long game’, and that’s exactly what marketing is. Effective digital marketing is about creating a scalable and repeatable competitive advantage, not just crossing your fingers and hoping it works.

Rather than solely focusing on advertising campaigns, invest in learning about your target audience. Treat them like your best friends. This approach enables you to create tailored messages that resonate deeply, making them view your brand as the ultimate solution they’ve been seeking. By building meaningful connections and comprehending your customers’ desires, fears, and motivations, you’ll optimise your marketing budget and increase the likelihood of conversion and brand loyalty.

Most importantly, if your current advertising agency doesn’t perceive digital marketing as an exercise in learning how to better understand and communicate with your audience, then you likely have the wrong agency. Remember, my door is always open for a chat – Just enquire here.

thinking effective is difficult in digital marketing

Dispelling the Myth of Advertising and Embracing Effective Digital Marketing

When discussing ‘effective’ digital marketing, or answering the question “why isn’t my marketing working?” it’s crucial to address the common misconception that equates digital marketing with advertising. Companies often fall into the trap of believing that digital marketing simply involves running Facebook ads or other similar campaigns to generate leads and sales. However, digital marketing goes far beyond advertising.

John Wanamaker’s famous quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” illustrates the intangible nature of traditional marketing. With the advent of digital marketing, marketers have gained the opportunity to close this gap and achieve better results by understanding ‘consumers’ needs and preferences.

is your marketing agency generating insights?

Effective Digital Marketing: Beyond Advertising and Building Connections 

Many companies mistakenly view digital marketing as just another form of advertising. However, to truly excel at generating leads, sales, and brand loyalty, businesses must focus on fulfilling a need or solving a problem for their customers. To do this effectively, companies must understand their customers intimately and learn how to capture their attention.

A common misstep companies make is believing in the “field of dreams” mentality – if they create the perfect solution, customers will somehow find them. The reality is that customers are exposed to between 4,000 – 10,000 ads per day. With so many voices competing for attention, the chances of your message being heard are slim. To stand out, you need to not only explain your product but demonstrate a deep understanding of your customers’ pain points, better than anyone else.

It’s similar to when someone wants to offer their opinion. They might be knowledgeable, but you might not be inclined to listen unless they’ve built a strong relationship with you and have shown understanding and experience. Promoting solutions follows the same principle; customers must listen before they genuinely hear your message. Effective digital marketing enables you to learn about your customers so well that you can form meaningful relationships, empathise, and communicate in a unique way that ensures your message is truly heard.

digital marketing frictions are the key to effectiveness

Refining Your Marketing Strategy: Testing and Understanding Audience Desires and Pain Points 

Effective digital marketing is about constantly testing and understanding your target audience’s desires and pain points. With a modest budget, you can determine which messages capture more attention and propel potential customers through the buyer decision cycle. This process informs your advertising efforts and guides your entire marketing mix.

Consider the following two ads:

  1. Reduce 10 hours of admin paperwork to just 5 minutes per day


  1. Reports so incredible (and easy) you’ll get promoted

Both of these ads are objectively appealing, but they target different desires and pain points. In this simplified example, if ad #2 has a higher interaction rate, it suggests that customers are more interested in career advancement than in reducing their workload. Armed with this insight, you can start asking more focused questions and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly. In doing so, you gain a competitive advantage by working with a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs and desires.

By continually testing and refining your messaging, you not only optimise your advertising but also create a more effective and impactful marketing strategy across all channels.

know what works and pitch that as your effective marketing insights

Outmanoeuvring the Competition: Embracing Novelty and Innovation in Your Digital Marketing Strategy 

In the digital marketing landscape, doing things differently is crucial to standing out from the competition. As Sun Tzu once said in ‘The Art of War,’ a wise general would never fight an opponent in the same way they fought against them. Instead, the general would seek an advantage, fighting from the high ground. The same principle applies to your digital marketing strategy.

For instance, if everyone is using Google search marketing for terms like “best digital marketing agency,” it’s going to be challenging to compete. There are only so many ways to say “we are the best.” To break through the noise, you need to think differently and find a unique approach that sets you apart.

Consider an alternative ad like “View all of the digital marketing agencies compared by experts.” This ad captures the audience’s attention by solving a problem: instead of sifting through multiple brand pages, they can now see all the options in one place, with expert recommendations. Studies show that people are 84% more likely to choose the option recommended by an expert. In this instance, you have outmanoeuvred the competition by doing what they wouldn’t.

By embracing novelty and innovation in your effective digital marketing strategy, you can create a distinct advantage over your competitors and capture the attention of your target audience. This way, you’re not just fighting a 50/50 coin toss battle – you’re strategically positioning yourself for success.

see your results takeoff

Unlocking Untapped Channels: Finding Unique Opportunities in Digital Marketing

In the crowded world of digital marketing, standing out can be a daunting challenge. It’s difficult to make an impression in a saturated market where every competitor is vying for attention. However, if you seek out untapped channels where your competitors are absent, you can create a unique space for your brand, capturing your audience’s attention with ease.

This concept is similar to the appeal of exhibitions, where companies often secure a position as the only vendor offering a specific solution. The exclusivity creates a distinct advantage, giving you a more significant share of voice and attention.

A common misconception in digital marketing is that certain platforms are not suitable for specific audiences. For example, some may say, “my clients aren’t on Facebook.” While it might be true that only a small percentage of the platform’s users match your target demographic, the absence of competition makes it a valuable opportunity. By being the only advertiser targeting this niche audience, you own the market and can stand out effortlessly.

Daring to explore uncharted territories, embracing uniqueness, and being open to judgement are the keys to finding hidden opportunities in the digital marketing landscape. By taking calculated risks and venturing into untapped channels, you can unlock growth potential and secure a competitive edge that others only dream of.

find unqiue advertising channels through less used online channels

Advertising Effectiveness Hinges on Consistent Messaging Across All Subsequent Touchpoints

A common mistake businesses make is testing different ads without ensuring the consistency of language and messaging throughout the customer journey. For example, if an ad promises “presentations so beautiful they will get you promoted,” the landing page should also discuss the same concept, showcase relevant examples, and include case studies of individuals who have achieved success with the product. Mismatched expectations can significantly undermine your results.

Unfortunately, many companies invest heavily in advertising but neglect to support their campaigns with consistent landing pages, and a well-rounded marketing mix. This ongoing investment should be viewed as an exciting opportunity. As you learn more about your audience, you can tailor your approach to resonate with specific customer segments, creating distinct and sustainable advantages.

Think of advertising as a catalyst for insights that inform your marketing mix. Dedicate the necessary resources to ensure that every customer touchpoint aligns with the core messaging that initially captured their attention.

Avoid being generic. Dare to be different and win the marketing war by maintaining consistency and optimising your marketing mix across all touchpoints.

Is your marketing messaging effective

Measuring Each Test as a Mini Battle: Continual Learning and Optimisation

Treat every advertising test like a mini war, with each month serving as an opportunity to review your learnings and assess how well you understand the insights gained. Ask yourself if you are 100% confident in your understanding of the results, or if further testing is necessary.

Take the example of the man seeking a vacuum cleaner. He might have responded well to ads that mentioned “your apartment will always be clean without effort,” but do you know why he wants it clean? Various reasons could include:

  • He has OCD
  • He wants to impress girls
  • His parents always tell him off
  • He wants to fire his cleaner

Understanding which of these reasons has the most significant impact will alter your entire messaging and marketing mix. If you’re going to invest heavily in advertising, it’s essential to know your target audience as well as your best friend.

A competent advertising agency treats advertising like enemy intel, comprehending the target audience at a granular level and predicting their actions. Avoid making a blind guess and investing everything in a win/loss scenario. Instead, allocate your budget to learning more through incremental testing, with each win yielding new insights and a series of new tests.

For those who argue, “I need results today,” consider whether your business faces more significant issues than advertising. A truly effective business has enough runway to invest in continuous learning. Marketing is an ever-evolving war of strategy, and nobody has all the answers. The key to victory is constantly surveying the landscape and testing different approaches, gaining more information and insights with each attempt.

Imagine spending a year mastering how and where to communicate with your audience. Where would your business be in 12 months? By pitching your business to different people on 365 consecutive days, you will undoubtedly improve your approach based on the reactions you receive. This is precisely how marketing should work—constantly testing, even attempting to fail, but always learning.

A friend of mine, Alex Coe, successfully ran a party boat business in Isla Mujeres. His marketing strategy was simple: approach the most attractive people at beach bars and pitch his tours. After every pitch, he would mentally note their reactions and adjust his approach accordingly. Within three months, his pitch had evolved, and his conversion rate skyrocketed. He transformed the difficult task of convincing backpackers to spend US$100 into a simple, repeatable process. The key was repetition and learning from each test. Time, patience, and constant improvement are the foundations of true marketing and should be the guiding principles for your advertising endeavours.

Measure each insight and create a plan of what is effective or not

Be Seen 20 Times per Month to Stay Unforgettable in Your Customer’s Mind

People are forgetful by nature, and with countless ads and distractions competing for our attention daily, it’s easy for potential customers to forget about a brand or opportunity. This is where remarketing comes in, serving as a crucial tool for keeping your message in people’s minds.

Studies indicate that we need to remind people about our message multiple times a week. It takes up to 5 views for an ad to be read, up to 10 views to become memorable, and up to 20 views to lead to a conversion. A single pitch isn’t enough. Once you’ve attracted the customer’s initial attention (online or in person), consider how you’re staying in touch and reminding them of your brand. The two simplest channels for this purpose are:

  1. Email
  2. Remarketing Banners

Much like salespeople who make 12 contact attempts perform nearly 20% better than those who stop at eight attempts, re-prompting keeps your solution top of mind for customers, ultimately bringing them back to your brand.

Consider this another battle in your marketing war. Determine what messaging will keep reminding customers about your brand without annoying them. How can you maintain their interest? Each exposure to your brand moves them closer to choosing you. Often, it becomes an itch, similar to the desire to upgrade a phone. You might not be able to explain why you want to upgrade, but marketing has planted that seed, and increased exposure intensifies the itch. This concept applies to all levels of product decisions, making, remarketing an essential component of your strategy.

In 2014, only 7% of marketers spent over 50% of their digital ad budgets on retargeting. This number doubled to 14% in recent years and continues to increase. These companies recognise the value of investing in customers they’ve already reached to cultivate desire until they act.

In fact, according to reports by Adobe and WordStream, remarketing can boost ad responses by as much as 400% and increase the rate at which users spend time on your website by up to 300%. Additionally, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on a retailer’s website.

Examine every element of your marketing mix and create assets that remind customers of how your product or service solves their specific problem. Ensure they encounter these reminders wherever they go, such as:

  • Social media
  • Browsing the web
  • Email
  • Text message
  • etc.

There are numerous ways to remind people about your brand, and once you’ve put in the effort to capture their attention, don’t let them slip away. Instead of continuously advertising to new audiences, focus your marketing budget on deepening engagement with the people you have already reached.

insights are what drives marketing strategy forward

Transform Your Marketing Approach: Recap and Discover the Next Step for Your Business

It’s time to start thinking about your marketing differently. If you’re currently working with an agency that simply runs ads without providing valuable insights, it’s time to consider a new approach. If your plan is to waste money, why not spend it on something truly enjoyable, like travelling the world on an adventure, instead of pouring it down the advertising drainpipe? But if you’re serious about scaling your business, click through to our inquiry form and let us know that you read this article. We’ll provide you with a free assessment of your marketing strategy and discuss the options available to help you grow your business. Transform your marketing efforts by partnering with a team that genuinely understands the power of effective digital marketing and the importance of gaining deep insights into your target audience. Enquire with JMarketing here.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Review your agency: Are they generating customer insights; learning how best to overcome frictions that are holding back decisions?
  2. Test the desires and frictions of your audience: Understand what captures their attention and pushes them through the buyer decision cycle.
  3. Dare to be different: Use unique advertising channels and messages that your competition isn’t leveraging.
  4. Sell the vision of the product: Focus on the problem it solves for the customer, rather than the features or how it works.
  5. Advertising must be supported by every touchpoint: Ensure that all customer interactions align with the core messaging that caught their attention.
  6. Treat each test like a mini war: Learn from each advertising campaign and test further to gain deeper insights into your audience’s needs and desires.
  7. Remarketing is crucial: Stay memorable in your customer’s mind by being seen 20 times per month across various platforms.
Joshua Strawczynski

An expert in influencing consumer behaviour online. Josh is an award-winning digital marketer, business manager and best selling author. He regularly appears in the media, providing insights into using influence tactics to enhance marketing strategy effectiveness.

Subscribe for
weekly updates