There are no silver bullets.
It’s important to remember that every project, every test, every marketing channel opened, or endeavour your brand takes on, is only one facet of the integrated marketing mix.
Walking around client and personal offices you’ll often hear comments like: “if we only did (x) our revenue would boost”, “if employee (y) were to focus their time on (x) we’d have no problems”, “If the founder focused on (project x) instead of doing (project y) we’d have already been acquired” or, our personal favourite “If you can get on to the first page of google, your business is foolproof”.
These statements and others like them are blanket statements that do not appreciate the realities of growing a brand and the operational nightmares that come along with each and every endeavour your brand encounters as it scales. Nor do they speak to the immensity of the task in building a national brand.
One silver bullet (one creative optimization, one great marketing campaign, one successful project, or one big win in your company) will not drive your brand to its peak success – it will only help that specific line of business thrive, marginally. The overall trajectory of your brand needs many silver bullets – and they all need to be tied into your vision.
In building out true success your brand needs to optimize against many silver bullets (all tied into the business vision) to improve a vast increase across a wide-range of operational activities. For example: It’s unrealistic to think that undertaking one optimization or new project can boost your revenue by 300%. However, it is realistic to believe that a series of well placed projects, optimizations, and learnings can boost your business by 300% – and this is because we’ve weighted expectations appropriately across different channels of the business and implemented many optimizations and strategies (not just banking on one).
Vision Fulfilment vs. Tactic
As to ensure we’re not making any blanket statements, we’d like to go dive further into what it means to fulfil your vision with respect to growth tactics.
A brand needs to understand how to read it’s data within the guise of vision. A digital publisher is not going to become the world’s biggest magazine if they simply beat out competitors in google, an accounting professional will not become the biggest service provider in the nation because they are winning at AdWords, a startup will not become the largest brand in the world simply because it’s winning at Facebook ads. Your brand needs to win at everything.
And this is because optimizations (as we’ve been trained to read them) are merely optimizations, they do not win the hearts of minds of consumers…
Optimizations v. Connections
Winning the hearts and minds of consumers takes an immense amount of effort across a wide range of channels. A brand is not likely to win the hearts and minds of consumers because you had an optimal conversion process.
It’s going to win the hearts and minds of consumers based on the connections and the trust you build. These connections include but are not limited to conversionary tactics. These connections need to be personal, emotional, and meaningful. Every touch point of your business needs to inspire, or motivate a consumer into action – not just the acquisition. Do you onboard efficiently? Is your product retaining users? How are your support channels? Do you personalize communications and so on…
Optimization is a fancy/dirty word for ‘making the best use of a resource’ – and that’s great! But nowhere in this definition does this imply any type of success metric for your brand or business. Optimizing projects can produce you data – it’s up to analysts to read that data properly and cater projects and tests towards it than can build these connections with your consumers.
Connect with your audience; Give them a reason to “Just do it”, rather than a conversion channel to “just buy it”.
Robots v. Humans
Robots and/or A.I. have made growth marketers jobs easier (and harder) over the past decade – and they’re poised to make an even bigger impact in the near future. But we can’t stake our livelihoods on the results that they provide, or even decide on a business trajectory from early results.
A tool is only as good as it’s user. The biggest and best brands in the world do not formulate their brand vision based on the results of optimizations from tools like Unbounce, AdEspresso, HeatMaps or others. The vision is formulated on the executive driven value proposition and the deliverance of those goods to the consumer.
Be The Change You Want To See In The World
This is the greatest advice we can give brands that are emerging into the market. Your optimizations are likely going to tell you to pivot, numerous times. You’re going to read data that tells you what you’re doing is wrong.
Pivots are ok within reason; but, you’re never going to build the world’s largest shoe apparel brand if you decide to focus on t-shirts due to overwhelming sales. Stick to your vision even in the face of opposing data.
Build what you envision, deliver it, make genuine and authentic connections with your customers. Win at everything.
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