5 things bosses might get them wrong on marketing

Over the years, we have been working with many clients from various industries, especially retail, consumer brands, property, hospitality, B...

Over the years, we have been working with many clients from various industries, especially retail, consumer brands, property, hospitality, B2B, and technology companies.

Most of the time, we are dealing with the marketing team of bigger companies, while sometimes we are liaising directly with the bosses of SMEs.

We enjoy working on marketing campaigns and the most challenging aspect is not the campaign itself, but it is the PEOPLE behind who does not really understand digital marketing, or marketing as a whole.

Most of the marketing team are great to work with, but some of them are being limited or pressured by their bosses or management who are not marketing savvy.

While the bosses might not need to understand the technicality of digital marketing, they need to have a good understanding of how marketing works in this digital age otherwise they might be left behind.

Therefore, we summarize 5 common misunderstandings on digital marketing so read on, and share this article with your boss :)

Stress with stupid boss

"Why I cannot see the ads?"


This question has been thrown at us many times back then, but it is kinda shocking when the bosses are still asking this when digital advertising is already so common nowadays.

Perhaps they still think that digital ads are just like the traditional ones, like how you can spot the billboard at a fixed location, check the newspaper ad on a print day you booked, and so on.

To the bosses, please stop embarrassing yourself by asking your team why you cannot see your own ad on Facebook. The advertisement is supposed to target your customers based on certain algorithms, it's not meant to be shown to you all the time!

Let us share a real story here when the marketing team of a leading retailer here couldn't convince the management to continue running digital ads campaign. 

Guess what? It's the management who prefer to focus on newspaper ads as this is something "they can see" even though newspaper distributions continue to fall.

It's 2021 now, stay relevant or be prepared to be left behind.

"Why there is no ROI?"


Digital marketing has enabled ad performance tracking and measurements never before available via traditional media. For example, you can track how many leads, conversions, sales generated from the ad campaign.

While measuring ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is useful for marketers, this has also set a wrong perception of digital media (or marketing as a whole) when bosses demand immediate ROI from digital marketing investment.

We will usually walk away when bosses signal "I expect RM100K immediate sales from RM20K digital marketing investment", while we will be on the same bandwidth if it's "I will invest 20% of my sales revenue / profit on digital marketing" instead.

Digital or not, marketing is not your secret weapon to get immediate results, even more so if your brand is unknown in the market, or you don't exactly offer killer products or services. 

Marketing is a combination of left and right brain, numbers and creativity, not everything is measurable especially with short-term results. Marketing is an investment to grow your business over a long term strategy. 

Don't even plan for (digital) marketing if you don't understand the concept behind marketing, or this is something you can't afford to invest or lose.

"We have to mention all the USPs"


Don't get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with showcasing all the USPs (Unique Selling Points) in your ad creative or marketing campaign.

However, think about it, can your target audience or customers digest all the USPs being thrown to them at one go? Will it be too much info to process?

How about prioritizing the most important USP of the product or service you are promoting? It's okay to keep repeating, emphasizing that one thing that matters the most.

This is a good chance to put aside your kiasu-ness and open up your imaginations on how to brainwash your prospects creatively.

Think about all the successful marketing campaigns you can remember, isn't the key message short, simple and bold?

"I will just get someone to do this"


Every boss has to understand marketing, or digital marketing nowadays, as the scope is actually bigger than sales.

While sales is about selling existing products or services, marketing is about anticipating the market needs from R&D, promotion to customer service.

It is not just the responsibility of your marketing department. The whole company, especially the bosses, need to be responsible for marketing.

As a boss, it's okay to not knowing all the technicalities but you need to have a good grasp on how digital marketing can help your business.

This will help you greatly when you are hiring the right ones (your own team) or sourcing the right agency to help you with all the creativities and technicalities.

Nobody can help you if you don't know what you need.

"I better do it myself"


On the contrary, we have also witnessed cases especially the SMEs when the boss is overly confident, "I can do everything myself" type. 

Think about the opportunity cost, whether is it worth to spend a bulk of your time managing marketing campaigns, or to focus on driving your business forward.

There are also cases when the management of bigger companies leaning towards the idea of doing everything in-house, motivated by the perception that it is "cheaper" and better.

This is pretty subjective as it depends on whether you are able to attract the right talents in-house, and you need to understand your team's capability.

Some areas like social media content development can be done in-house, but it makes a lot of sense to outsource technical jobs like digital advertising, video production etc.

If you need external's help, this is the time when you need to do it yourself. Please don't get your junior staff to handle this important aspect of your company.

Source and talk to the agencies sincerely by yourself. Instead of looking for a "vendor", think about getting a partner who can work closely with you helping to grow your business.

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