By Luc Wade, Marketing Director at Hive Business.
One of my clients thought it was great that they were getting likes from France and Germany, so I queried what the value was and they raised it with their outsourced social media manager. Amazingly, they were told in not so many words to shut up — they didn’t understand social media so they needn’t worry about it. Everything was as it should be.
It’s interesting, I’m seeing a growing number of dental practice owners outsource their marketing activities to a mix of providers who inhabit, rather dogmatically, just one channel each. They seem to be quite sure about what things mean within their channel, but there’s one glaring problem: they live in silos and marketing doesn’t.
Hiring a mix of people who work in silos to do your marketing is a really bad idea for two reasons:
- You can’t analyse your performance properly. An unfortunate fact that I’ve had to come to grips with is marketing people working for the same client don’t want to share information or take direction from each other. The multiple supplier route only works if people put aside their egos (and paranoia) and cooperate. That’s always been my policy but I can’t count the number of times things have ground to a halt because it hasn’t been reciprocated.
- You lose the digital multiplier effect. A good example of this is how social assists other digital channels (such as organic search and AdWords) in buyers’ purchase journeys. According to Google, for every click on a social ad that directly contributes to a conversion, there are two other clicks that contribute to conversions in other channels.
Therefore if you’re managing social advertising campaigns in a silo you could be ignoring two thirds of the channel’s influence in the path to conversion via other channels (and most likely undervaluing channel performance to boot). What with the buyer journey being highly fragmented nowadays, involving several touch points from a brand across several channels over several days (even months!), search and social are closely linked and quite possibly your most important digital channels for research and inspiring purchase decisions.
Pick n mix marketing isn’t the same as creating a marketing strategy, it can actually do a lot more harm than good in the medium term. If you do find someone capable of drawing up a strategy it will only work if there’s chain of command and accountability and you get neither of those with the pick n mix bag.
When we analyse the performance of clients who are using a mix of marketing suppliers like the one I mentioned above we usually find their budget isn’t being used efficiently because there’s a lack of coordination and overview. The alternative is centralising: set the strategy, build the plan and allocate a budget either to a provider that can deliver across multiple channels (whatever channels work best to deliver the strategy and tactics that have been agreed on) or to an in-house function if you have the necessary mass or ambition.
Then, if a channel doesn’t perform as well as you hoped, you’ll know, because your marketing campaign is centralised and you can see everything at the same time, without having to waste time on herding cats. When you know, you can shift resources from dud channels to channels with good ROI. Or you can let your trusted, single marketing agency do it; after all, you don’t need the extra stress do you?
If you would like to discuss your marketing needs with us call on 01872 300232 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.