Marketing's Golden Bullet Secret

One of the questions that often gets asked of marketing companies is “what should I be doing?” or “what are the quick wins?”.  In actual fact what most businesses are asking is what is the quick and easy way to invest my money to get a good return.  What is the “golden bullet” of marketing which can take me to a nirvana of untold riches?  What will get me results fast?  After all marketing is an investment, right?

Every pound that you spend should be working hard to multiply in return.   This article will set the score straight on how you can ensure you do generate positive returns and will reveal what marketing’s golden bullet currently is!  The one activity that can’t fail to improve your return on investment…..

So, what is the secret?

Let me start by just making one thing clear.  The golden bullet of marketing has not changed in the last 18 months, nor in the previous 3 decades (and beyond).  It is nothing to do specifically with digital marketing (although it plays a role here) and its nothing to do  with affiliates, referrals, networking, direct marketing, advertising, or any other specific activity.

The good news is that anyone can do it and it is not cost prohibitive.  The bad news is that, by its very nature, it doesn’t generate instantaneous results (so by default suggests that it really isn’t a golden bullet at all).

The way to guarantee that your marketing generates profitable returns is, very simply, to “test and measure” all activity you undertake.  Marketing trends, platforms and strategies come and go, but irrespective of whether it is digital activity or more traditional methods, you will only maximise your returns if you vigorously test the activity.

Other things to consider…

There, clearly, are other elements which are also vitally important, but on the assumption your have clarity over your proposition, your target market, your positioning and messaging, then things you can still go horribly wrong if you don’t test and measure carefully!

Firstly, always make sure you are certain of the answers surrounding your markets and messaging before you start, so you are giving yourself the best opportunity to create communications that are going to resonate with their intended audience.  Split-testing campaigns can provide valuable insights into the difference a single word, phrase, colour, image or “call to action” could make, before you even consider the channel itself or the timing of the communication.

The bigger marketing picture

Only when you have gathered this data can you be sure which is the most effective communication, through the most effective channel at the optimum moment in time to generate the maximum desired response.

Then there is a whole bigger conundrum about the journey that that response goes on and how they eventually convert to a sale and ultimately a loyal repeat customer.  However, that is the topic of a much bigger blog for a different day.

The basics

What this does require, however, is a mechanism to track the key data which shows whether activity is successful or not.  The good news is for most digital type platforms now all of this data is automatically captured for you on your behalf.  However, for other non-digital methods, you will need to find a way of tracking this information.

If you don’t have mechanisms to track, store and analyse this information then no marketing activity is every going to maximise its return on your investment.  This is why, out of all the things marketing, testing and measuring is the closest you are going to get to a golden bullet.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.