5 Ways to Cut Through Marketing Jargon
To Small Business Owners
“Marketing is important.” We all heard this phrase thousand times. You’re an entrepreneur, and you have dedicated to your product. All of your energy goes to ensuring the success of your brand. Any business know that in order to guarantee your company’s growth you need a strong marketing campaign, but time is at a premium. You begin the rigorous search for a competent marketing firm who you can outsource the responsibility to.
Small business owner may not have the time to learn every aspect of digital, social media marketing, graphic design and video production. I know you’re not an idiot. Why is it that in your meetings you feel overwhelmed and constantly bombarded by all the marketing buzzwords? Such as “bounce rate,” “the funnel,” and “long-tail keywords.” This is marketing Jargon. All of these words have a meaning relevant to the field of marketing, but they can be abused to make yourcompany sound indispensable when it comes to their “expertise.”
I’m not trying to call anyone out or give away any trade secrets. However, here is a list of five ways you can cut through the marketing jargon to understand exactly what your agency is doing for you.
1. Ask Them to Explain Themselves!
This is obvious, but what is equally obvious is that no one wants to ask dumb questions. However, the basis of all knowledge stems from understanding what you don’t know and filling in those gaps. It should be a giant red flag if an agency went out of their way to make you feel dumb. So don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down and explain in layman’s terms what they are saying.
One more point I have to make is that a lot of what marketing agencies do is translate complex concepts into digestible content that moves people. If their break down of buzzwords leaves you dissatisfied or feeling equally confused, take note.
2. State in No Uncertain Terms What You Expect From Your Marketing Campaign.
Having goals is important, don’t allow your agency to set your company’s goals for you. They’ll tell you they would like to increase overall engagement, streamline user experience and so on. These are commendable goals.
Your goals should be, I want to increase sales amongst (insert demographic). Also, I want to increase conversion rates for everyone who visits my website. By the way, conversion rates are the ratio of visitors to your website who complete a desired action, whether that be signing up for a newsletter or purchasing an item, see… it’s easy!
Remember that the goals you set directly correlate to the budget required for the campaign, yet this is a field any adept businessman should be able to navigate with reasonable acuity. Bringing the conversation back to your home turf by asking about associated cost is always a better approach than letting your agency take the reigns.
3. Seek Examples
So your marketing agent just prattled off a long string of incomprehensible jargon in a strategy session that they ensure you will lead to success. They sound sincere but you have your doubts.
This is when you insist that they show you a campaign they’ve done that utilizes the same strategy and have them walk you through the process start to finish. Make sure they highlight the results of each action taken along the way.
Now, I don’t want to take credit away from experimental campaigns. Any business willing to take risk on innovative marketing strategies. It is absolutely in your best interest to understand the psychology and methodology of the campaign before you get started. Once you’re convinced of its validity go ahead and give it the green light!
4. Take Notes
Yep, I’m dragging you back to college now aren’t I. I feel like this doesn’t really need explaining so I’ll keep it short. Notes help keep you engaged in the conversation, even when you don’t fully comprehend everything being said. A good marketer will see a client taking notes and instantly understand, “Oh no, they can google everything I’ve said during the meeting. Better make sure my statistics are on point!” So take a notepad with you to your next meeting and be ready to follow up with your own research.
5. Ask for Analytics!
Is it possible that marketing firms have become complacent with the fact that analyzing traditional campaigns of the past was imprecise at best. “Tell em’ Bobby sent ya!” Comes to mind or “Mention this ad and get a free cookie!” Well welcome to the 21st century and analytical tools have proliferated immensely over the internet.
Analytics are king but unfortunately they come after the campaign has started not before. You can seek analytics from similar campaigns in your field but mimicry is never a good look for your brand so it’s important to analyze your engagement based on your own specific goals.
When starting a campaign with a marketing firm ask them to set some realistic benchmarks for your campaign by asking questions like, what do you expect my monthly growth rate for likes would be. After a few months have past, collect the data from the social media platforms and compare them to those benchmarks.
Look, no one ever said advertising was easy. Sometimes it is hard to quantify what distinguishes a successful campaign from a bad one. So let me give you this final piece of advice on selecting an agency that’s right for you. So much of this industry depends on creativity, so naturally business’ who live and die by numbers, systems and routines find the idea of spending money on creative endeavors daunting to say the least.
Well, believe it or not marketing agencies are business’ too and some of them find it equally daunting. That’s why so many of them fall into the trap of replacing creativity with jargon and the airs of intelligentsia. Always keep this in mind. If you recognize creativity especially the kind that aligns with your brand, I recommend going with that over the company who specializes in sounding smart.