Digital Marketing is Really (not that) Scary

When someone who isn’t in marketing thinks “digital marketing”, they often know where to start. PPC, ROI, budget pacing, impression share… ad infinitum.

Now, what if I told you that all those fears come with anything new? That’s right, to fear is only natural. I am not telling you to pretend that learning new stuff isn’t scary – including digital marketing. Instead, I will address the common fears of novices entering the world of digital marketing. I will also draw upon what it took for me to overcome them.

#1 – The Terrifying Terminology of Digital Marketing

The campaign performed with an impressive 850% ROI, a 79% average impression-share, and led to an overall increase of the brand’s SoV in the home-improvement niche.

Some wordy marketer, probably.

If you’re unfamiliar with digital marketing, perhaps this word salad dumbfounds you. I remember my first job in digital marketing back in 2018 – an internship in Search Engine Marketing at Wayfair.

When I initially explored Google Ads, I felt terrified by the weird, specialist vocabulary. Then, my colleague told me one thing that resonated with me until now. You don’t have to know everything at once!

A heavy burden fell off my chest once I started seeing things that way. I was able to play around with our campaigns and see how things went. At first, I had a relatively low budget. I quickly learned that increasing the budget increased the search impression share.

When I asked the analyst why this was, she explained everything. Essentially, a higher budget allows our ads to outperform the competitors by showing more frequently. What she described is basically what a higher “impression share” means.

Rather than memorising all the terminology, I have uncovered it methodically. Observing one parameter affecting another helped me discover what these things all mean. So as long as you shift the focus away from absorbing information to outcome observation, you’ll feel more at ease!

#2 – Blood-Curdling Budgets

Am I overspending or underspending? What if I up the budget slightly? Will this get me more clicks? So many questions and fears of wasting money!

In my role at Flipdish, I’ve learned that you rarely get the budget right from the beginning. Here’s the thing: You’re not a psychic. You cannot know the exact bids for all the keywords out there. Due diligence and keyword planning help here but are not the be-all and end-all of budgeting.

Throughout running the campaign, you’ll gain data. This data provides insights. Insights provide actionable optimisation points to improve budgeting. Then you’ll know which budgets to increase and which ones to decrease.

Analysis paralysis is the enemy here. As novices try to get the budgets right from the beginning, they forget that nobody expects perfection. They turn to over-researching, over-contemplating, over-fearing. All along, they could have been acquiring a feel for the relevant vertical through insights from data!

Break free and take it easy. When creating your budget, rely on a combination of historical data and market research. Just don’t lose sleep over it!

#3 – Spine-Chilling Clients

What if the campaign underperforms? Will my client tear me to shreds? Will they ask for a refund and cost me my job? The client actually might – if you didn’t set the right expectations!

In addition to striking a balance between creative and analytical thinking, a good marketer also has exceptional customer service skills. They know to inform the client that marketing is in the long run. Consequently, results take time to manifest. Beware of “short-termism“.

In addition to creating effective campaigns, we must also educate our clients as marketers. Those who don’t do so seem shady because marketing is already confusing enough for most people as-is. Those who educate their clients provide added value and cover their base.

Back to the initial question: What if the campaign underperforms? Will my client tear me to shreds? The correct answer is: You’d have already explained to them that observation and optimisation is the name of the game. They will trust your competence to put insights into practice and bring better returns.

Just like I hope you can take the lessons here, put them into practice. Hopefully, they’ll help you leap into the world of digital marketing!

You can learn more about my background in digital marketing here.

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