Our beliefs have the ability to shape the decisions we make and can even affect how we see the world around us. Belief is a powerful thing, but what if some of the things we believe are wrong? In this rapidly evolving digital world, there are certain marketing myths that could be holding you back. 

Throughout history, there have been myths that have shaped our ability to experience new discoveries. If you believe the sun orbits the earth, you have to build a complicated system to make sense of the movements of the heavenly bodies. If you believe the earth is flat, you may not explore too far for fear of ‘falling off.’ Some myths may be harmless, like my son’s unwillingness to wash his game socks during football season fearing it will break the winning streak. However, others may lead us to make decisions that are not in our best interests. 

In the marketing world, there are many myths that could be holding your brand back from experiencing its full potential. Dispelling these myths can help you uncover new ways of reaching your audience. 

Image depicting Woman struggling to navigate various marketing mythsMyth 1: Email is DEAD!

We’ve been hearing this for years. No one opens emails anymore. Emails from companies are seen as spam. With Gen Y and Gen Z turning more to in-app messaging for communication, it is no surprise that people are eulogizing email once again. Sound familiar? The same prediction was made in 2007

The Truth: Email is changing but not fading away. 

Trust in social networks is on the decline and research indicates that 60% of consumers prefer signing up for a brand’s email list compared to 20% who follow brands on social for promotions. On average, people spend 2.5 hours per workday checking personal emails, according to Adobe. If your brand is going to stand out in the inbox, you need to make sure your email is personalized, optimized for mobile, and has a strong subject line. For every $1 spent on email marketing, emails average $42 in ROI. So, I suggest you let your competitors hold onto this myth while you keep sending emails. 

Myth 2: Every lead is a good lead.

If sales are missing their numbers this month, the easiest solution is to acquire MORE LEADS. We need every lead we can get. But do we really? 

The Truth: Marketing automation and lead scoring pays off. 

Trends indicate that it’s taking more touchpoints to reach your buyers. On average it takes 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer. That’s all the more reason to make sure your leads are qualified before that first call. By implementing marketing automation that nurtures prospects and creating the rules that score leads based on engagement, you can provide sales with leads that are ready to go. For better leads, your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page and the right tools can reduce work in the long run.    

Myth 3: More content is better. 

Content is king, so we should produce a ton of it, right? Just keep writing and you are bound to strike gold eventually. 

The Truth: Better content is better. 

Long gone are the days that you can just post a blog article or throw together an ebook and expect to see traffic as a result. Today, content that matters for your brand requires strategy, research, and monitoring to gain web traffic. In 2019, Google released a core update that changed how content is evaluated. Now the content game is E-A-T or be eaten. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, and unless your content demonstrates these characteristics, you may be left in the dust. This change has led us to take a hard look at our existing content. We have employed a ‘keep, kill, clean’ approach to improve the overall quality of our content.

This approach creates a list of content that should be removed from your site, content that should be kept, and content that should be cleaned or repurposed. This approach allows us to spend more time on long-form content that provides long-term value both to our website and our clients. 

Myth 4: Marketing ROI is hard to measure. 

John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” And that was over 100 years ago. But is that still true today?

The Truth: If your marketing agency can’t show ROI, it’s time for a new agency. 

There are some activities that are more difficult to measure than others. Attribution of sales from a magazine ad is more challenging to quantify than an eblast you send out. Not every activity can be tied directly to increased revenue, but the goal of marketing isn’t brand awareness. The goal is to grow your business. That’s why we set up closed-loop reporting whenever possible. This not only allows you to evaluate marketing ROI, but it also guides incremental improvements along the way. When closed-loop reporting isn’t possible, we set clear goals with our clients, identify how those goals will be measured, and report back to the clients weekly, monthly and quarterly on progress.  

Myth 5: My devices are listening to me. 

We’ve all had the feeling from time to time that our devices are listening to us. You mention an upcoming ski trip and the next thing you know, you’re seeing ads for ski gear everywhere you turn. 

The Truth: Personalized advertising is now the norm. 

If marketing is about putting the right message in front of the right audience at the right time, personalized (or programmatic) digital advertising is just the latest evolution. The growth of this type of marketing does require that protections be put in place, and GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act are a step in the right direction. For ethical marketers, these are positive regulations that prevent bad actors from misusing data without limiting the ethical use of data to provide relevant content, offers, and advertising. 

And while the landscape of personalized digital advertising is changing rapidly, programmatic ads provide the ability to target your ad spend like never before. For example, you can deliver ads to your audience based on the content they are consuming online using keyword contextual targeting. Would you like to target people visiting your competitors’ locations? Show them ads using geofencing. These are a few of the targeting tactics available in programmatic advertising. This level of targeting is why programmatic advertising exceeded SEM for the first time and accounted for 85% of all digital display ads in 2019. 

At Big Sea, we found that the best way to prevent ourselves from believing in a marketing myth is to constantly experiment. That sometimes means that we try things that don’t work, but more often than not, we find new ways to move your brand forward. Next fall I may even experiment with washing my son’s football socks. It’s a risk worth taking.