Are the ghosts from advertising past back to haunt marketers today?

It might be nearly 100 years since John Wanamaker said “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half”, but it seems companies still haven’t learnt from those mistakes.

Brands are continuously increasing their digital marketing budgets as they try to grow their presence in the digital world. In fact, IPA’s latest quarterly Bellwether survey found that digital ad budgets have seen the biggest rise in nearly 10 years. And Forrester’s US Digital Marketing Forecast: 2016 to 2021 predicts digital media spending will reach $118bn by 2021.

However, research recently discussed by Marketing Tech News revealed that just 36% of digital marketers are confident that their campaigns are targeting the right audience.

What’s more, nearly a quarter (23%) admitted they don’t track their campaign spend and, of those who do know they’ve targeted correctly, 17% haven’t adjusted their budgets accordingly. This means you might not be seeing the ROI on your marketing spend that you’d hope to see.

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, we don’t know what will.

Unfortunately, the scary stories don’t end there. Focusing on a digital-first approach can leave many companies battling marketing monsters in the form of martech.

Technology – don’t let IT lure your marketing budget down the drain

Marketers can sometimes be like magpies, drawn to bright, shiny things. And in this digital age, there’s plenty to be distracted by, with a new app or new piece of software launched every day. Keen to be on-trend and with concerns about falling behind competitors, marketers are investing in and adopting the new tech solutions, until the next big thing comes along.

So, why is this such a problem?

It’s only natural that technology piques our interest, but following curiosity isn’t always very (Penny)wise — just ask the kids from the Losers Club! Adopting new technology ‘just because you can’ could turn into the stuff of nightmares.

In many cases, these investments are being made without conducting research or responding to a business need. The technology ends up being used (and then forgotten about) simply because it’s there. And that is perhaps the most frightening aspect of all.

Before all these shiny things, marketing was more ‘back to basics’. It was about questioning what worked for your business and your prospects. So why is it any different today? Just because there are more ways to reach people, marketers shouldn’t be asking any different questions.

We’re not saying that you should avoid all martech like a haunted house on Halloween but, as Marketing Week recently discussed, many in the industry believe there is an over-investment in digital.

It’s time to get smart. Not every single digital marketing channel or software or app is going to work for your business. For example, inbound marketing software could be a god-send for some, but if you’re small and overworked, it could end up being a nightmare.

Do you wanna play a game?

Whether you’re answering Jigsaw or approaching your marketing strategy, your answer should always be no.

If you don’t define your objectives, you’ll be gambling with the success and ROI of your marketing efforts.

While technology has certainly brought marketers a host of benefits, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need the latest gizmos and gadgets. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for marketing. What works for one company won’t necessarily work for you. It’s about making the relevant investments for your company.

Instead of being reactive, we need to go back to thinking about intelligent and strategic marketing. By stripping it back to basics, you’re more likely to see success and gain maximum ROI.

If you’d prefer treats over tricks, speak to Chapman Consulting today. By gaining insight into your business, we can provide you with specific marketing solutions that will truly help your business grow.