Chalk Talk

The Reality of Digital Marketing Expectations

It’s pretty ironic, isn’t it, that the flood of information on the Internet about marketing on the Internet makes it easy to drown in all the confusion. One company’s sales pitch could sound like fact when, well, maybe it’s not. And trying to interpret Google-speak is like trying to speak Dothraki. It can be overwhelming to do the research when prepping for a digital marketing initiative and disappointing when campaign dollars don’t produce the anticipated results.

Whether the expectations were misinterpreted or an agency oversold their value, unbalanced expectations can happen in a variety of ways. At Red Chalk Studios, we hate hearing about businesses that have had negative digital marketing experiences related to unrealistic or over-promised expectations, so we’re writing today about some of the top myths, pain points, and miscommunications we’ve heard over the years in order to get those expectations aligned with reality.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION #1: Small budgets can produce big results.

one dollar turning into 100

A huge benefit of digital marketing is its cost-effectiveness. Typically costing less than traditional print, TV or radio, digital marketing’s impact on the never-big-enough budget can make it very appealing. It can also create the impression that high-impact results can be achieved on the cheap. This is not the case.

Yes, some results can be achieved, but the reality of digital marketing is that you get out of it what you put into it. It may make sense to start with a small budget and grow as results start to trickle in — this budgeting tactic is used all the time — but results-related expectations have to accompany this way of budgeting. The results will trickle in until the budget floodgates are opened. However, this does not mean simply throwing money at the different digital channels…

There’s a smart way to get the most out of any size budget.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION #2: Good results can be guaranteed.

100% Guarantee

What a devastating disappointment and sense of failure when “guaranteed results” are not achieved. It twinges a special place in our marketing hearts to hear stories like this from businesses.

The reality is that very few metrics can be guaranteed because, hello, digital marketing depends on people, customers, search engines, etc., and no one can control those.

But don’t mistake agencies or digital marketers who do not guarantee results as slackers, however. Your digital marketing team or agency should partner with you to understand your goals, provide trackable metrics and a realistic timeline for incrementally achieving those goals.

Goals… Not guarantees.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION #3: Results happen overnight.

day to night

To be honest, simply setting up a digital campaign will produce results of some kind. Are they the right results? Will they achieve your goals? Is the campaign set up to use your budget in the best way? Real results come from planning, implementing, analyzing, revisiting the planning and doing the entire process all over again. This could take months, but the return on ad-spend is worth it.

In a fast-paced world, fast-paced results are expected, but that doesn’t make them right.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION #4: Ranking #1 in Google.

mixing potions in cauldron

Ranking #1 in Google is [bleep]ing difficult. No ifs, ands or buts about it. You want it and we’ll get there, but it is not easy or quick. It can take years to achieve that coveted spot and it has to be for strategically important keyword phrases.

Ranking #1 takes tons of strategy, content development, recurring adjustments, persistence, patience — over and over and over again.

You have to deploy smart, deliberate persistence and patience.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION #5: Website traffic = Sales.

buy button pressed

Launching a digital campaign will bring traffic to your website plain and simple. But that does not sell products or services. It makes sense that in all probability the more people who see your products and services, the more people will buy them, right? Well, maybe not.

If the wrong, unqualified people are visiting your website en mass, then they aren’t going to want what you’re selling. Strategic digital marketing to the rescue though. Through targeting options such as demographics, location, interest, job title and more, there are heaps of ways to get your messaging and offers in front of a valid audience. It may even mean less website traffic, but if the proper eyes are on your products or services your bottom line is more likely to benefit.

Strategy, not probability.

Setting the right expectations is a collaborative effort, and one of the most important aspects of digital marketing.

It’s imperative that everyone is on the same page when launching any type of campaign. So, ensure you have these conversations with your in-house team or your agency, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if something doesn’t line up with your expectations.

Red Chalk Studios loves to talk shop, so if you’re in the mood, contact us today for a conversation about your digital marketing goals.

Red Chalk Studios has been helping clients understand, develop and grow their brands for over 16 years. Interested in building a strong and successful brand? Let’s talk!

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