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The Principles of Successful Marketing & Advertising Haven’t Changed

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The Game hasn’t changed, but the tactics have.

The marketing game hasn’t changed in decades, centuries even. Fundamentally it’s the right message, right people, right time, right offer.

The advertising game hasn’t changed either. At its core, it’s reach and frequency. Reach being how many eyeballs, and frequency being how many times they’ve seen it.

Fundamentally, this is all marketing and advertising is. And this is all it ever will be. 

Now, the WAY marketing and advertising are done has changed. Dramatically.

I remember in my agency days we’d place tv, radio, print and outdoor ads for our clients with very little control over the targeting and even less transparency of direct results. Our targeting options were “which road do you want the billboard on”, and “which magazine should this ad run in”? And what we used to do in regards to ROI is look at overall advertising spend vs overall income for the campaign. There was no transparency and even less accountability.

Then in 2009 when I started my own digital marketing agency we used a lot of organic social media and email. In the glory days of organic social media, we’d put an engagement post on Facebook and it’d get 5,000 comments within a few minutes. The only real targeting options we had was making sure we generated content that the clients’ ideal customer would resonate with and therefore engage with.

Then came Facebook Ads. And I mean early day Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads where we could target posts to page fans, or friends of fans. We were given the ability to target our ads based on interest and demographics.

And then, along came the pixel. The powerful little free tool that is the Facebook Pixel.

This allows us to place media (ads) in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right offer, and we can give them all different messages based on their demographics and online behaviour. We can target people who’ve visited certain pages on our website, and people who’ve added to cart but not purchased. We can target people who’ve purchased before, and those who’ve window shopped our site more than twice in the last 30 days. We can build out an entire marketing funnel and have fun transparency around which targeting is working, which ads are getting results and more importantly – which aren’t. And we can control the frequency and reach.

The game hasn’t changed. But the tactics sure have. 

The aim of the game is still the right message, to the right people, at the right time, with the right offer. And the reach and frequency are still our goal posts.

However, technology has evolved and the playing field has totally changed.

And if those playing don’t adapt and uplevel their skills, they won’t just lose the game…

they won’t even be in the game anymore.

That’s secret to successful marketing and advertising. Understanding the fundamentals of marketing and advertising – then learning how to use the tools and technology to play the game.

I know many ad guys who know their way around Facebook Ads manager, but have no clue about marketing or advertising. Similarly, I know lots of marketing and advertising people who think Facebook ads are just a fad.

Magic happens when you combine a solid understanding of marketing and advertising principles, with a solid understanding of the tools – with a practical understanding of how to apply both.

Written by Megan Winter

Megan is an award-winning marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.

Megan loves helping ethically-produced, heart-centred, soul-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact. 

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