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Online marketing? Seeing (and feeling) is believing.


Having grown up in the marketing and advertising business, I can’t tell you how many ad campaigns I’ve worked on for clients. Some very good work came out of those early years but it was almost impossible to ascertain the impact of that work to actual sales results. So, we pretty much lived and died based on how much the client liked us, resulting in our spending more time and effort being “likeable” than on actually working to improve their marketing programs. (Show me a collection of old-school marketers who deny this and I’ll show you an equal collection of liars.)

But, hey, it’s a new day.

Just this morning, I participated in a review of a client’s online marketing program, the objective of which is to generate qualified applicants for jobs the client is trying to fill. We looked at the past month’s activity, including social media post content, how many among our target audience we reached during the month, how many impressions we made with our messages, and how much actual engagement we generated among our audience. The numbers looked great but, more important, the number of qualified job applicants spiked during that time and it was easy to overlay the marketing activity with increased applications for those jobs. The client expressed not only great satisfaction at this but also commented about how much they had previously invested in print advertising which seemed to have little or no impact in generating job applicants (truth is, they had no way of knowing).

I suspect there’ll always be a place for highly-targeted print advertising. But I wish I had recorded this morning’s meeting so I could share it with other business owners who (wisely) guard their precious resources and who don’t like gambling with their dollars. While there’s no silver bullet in marketing, the tools we have today make it pretty easy to see what works and what doesn’t. Either way, these tools let us analyze what we’ve done, respond on the fly, and help eliminate that fear of gambling our clients have.

Honestly, we still want to be liked. But that’s a character defect to which we’ll admit.


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