Forget Creativity And Become A Marketing Nerd

Some people think that branding is all about creativity and brilliant slogans. And of course, that’s partly true. But it’s also about data and technology. Successful marketers know it’s not just trying something just because we think it will work.

Marketing isn’t cheap. Trying the next amazing marketing must have without doing your homework is just throwing money away.

Instead of trying to be clever or innovative, it’s time to turn off the creative side of our marketing brain and turn on our nerdy side. Creating an effective marketing strategy means investing our incredibly valuable time, energy and resources into a plan that has the best chances for success. That means making smart choices and finding the right tools for the job.

Use the Latest Technology

Everyone wants a strong brand that speaks to our business’s mission. It’s easy to believe branding is easy when top companies use logos like Apple or McDonalds. Since our marketing budget probably doesn’t compare to theirs, we can start by leveraging the latest technology.

When we think about AI applications, we probably don’t think about creativity. Yet, AI is used in new and exciting ways that can help businesses build a strong brand identity. Designhill’s Logo Maker uses AI to create a logo that’s both professional and appealing. Instead of spending hours trying to choose the right colors and layout or spending thousands on graphic designers, we can now use a simple tool to create an amazing brand logo within a few minutes.

Listen to the Data

Everything can be tracked on the internet. The sheer number of statistics and analytics available are literally a nerd’s paradise. For example, Here’re a few statistics from OptinMonster’s Email Marketing vs Social Media Performance (2016-2019 Statistics):

Total number of users:

  • Email: 2.6 billion
  • Facebook: 1.7 billion
  • Twitter: 313 million

Open/Click-Through/Engagement Rate:

  • Email: 18% or 3.7% CTR
  • Facebook: 0.07%
  • Twitter: 0.03%

These statistics are a roadmap of what we should focus our time, energy and money on. If we’re talking about how to increase profitability, the data suggests building our email list is more important than trying to create a viral video on Youtube. That’s not to suggest that social media or PPC are not important. It is just an indication of where we can achieve the most success.

Focus on Conversion and ROI

The beauty of eCommerce is that we have lots of opportunities to convert consumers as long as we have the tools that keep consumers in our sales funnel. Maybe today isn’t the day they actually buy something. However, as long as we don’t give up on them, we have many opportunities to convert customers tomorrow.

Kissmetrics did an interesting test on ROI in any industry called The Secret Formula of a 13.11X ROI Google AdWords Campaign. Here’s the basic process that they call the “Cookie Monster Formula”:

Create ad groups with the following:

  • 1-5 keywords
  • 2 ads
  • 1 landing page

Here’re the results from one campaign:

  • 6% of people who saw one of the ads clicked on it
  • 59% of people converted into a lead
  • They spent $343 to get 155 leads
  • They had a 10% lead-to-sale conversion rate and 15 of leads converted into customers
  • This one ad campaign had a $4,500 profit

That’s great ROI results! Yet, we don’t want to throw away our marketing budget on a sales funnel that doesn’t convert. Just remember that all marketing is about testing, refining and retesting.

Be Clever, Not Just Creative

We don’t all have the marketing brilliance of Don Draper from the legendary TV show Mad Men. We don’t all have the artistic skills of Frida Kahlo. And not many of us can sing as beautifully as Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga). Yet, we can be incredibly effective marketers even if we’re not creative geniuses.

The bottom line is that we all need to advertise our products. We all need a marketing strategy that gets consumers to buy something instead of just window shopping. We can bootstrap a marketing campaign or throw a lot of money into a complex sales funnel. Either way, we need it to work.

Don’t assume we have a great marketing strategy – test it! Don’t assume people are reading our emails – track the open rates and click-through rates. Just remember that being creative is a bonus in marketing.

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Liesha Petrovich
LIESHA is a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. A late-blooming academic, she's happiest teaching business at UoPeople. Liesha is the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks business at Microbusiness Essentials and everything else at Liesha Petrovich.com
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