How wonderfully luxurious is cruise control? Pick a number, press a button, done.
Simple, convenient, and allowing us to travel while avoiding detection from the State Highway Patrol.
Just set it, and forget it!
While this may be appropriate for our ventures on the I-87 Northway, it couldn’t be more inappropriate for your business navigating the information superhighway.
Setting it and forgetting it with your marketing may be simple and convenient. Yet the last thing you want is to avoid "detection". And by implementing this strategy, like cruise control on your SUV, is precisely what you’ll do. In this piece, we are going to help you understand what “set it and forget it” marketing is and why such a strategy will hurt your business. And lastly, we will give you a shot by shot description of the stages we take our clients through including why we do it.
Before we start though--set it and forget it marketing is utilized in all mediums. The same radio/tv commercial playing 24/7, 365. The static billboard. Or the unchanging print ad in the local daily paper.
For the focus of this piece, we'll be solely discussing Google Ads. Google Ads, as many of you know, is the world's largest and most popular PPC advertising platform. It’s so widely used, it has become synonymous with the term “paid search.”
It is also where the crime of set it and forget occurs most often while having zero reasons to.
What Is The Set It And Forget It Method?
Imagine you’re a rock star wunderkind who created a pair of spectacles providing the wearer the ability to see if someone is lying to you. A billion dollar powder keg waiting to explode. One issue, people need to discover it. You’re brilliantly smart, which means you know you need to hire someone to help you promote it.
You meet with a digital marketing agency who wisely (and obviously) suggests a Google Ad campaign. You concur and sign a year-long contract. They tell you about keywords, headlines, descriptions, click-through rates, impressions, etc. Enough to confuse the hell out of you and cause you to defer to their “expertise”. They tell you no worries, just sit back, relax, and watch customers flock like the Salmon of Capistrano.
Few days goes by, your site gets a few hundred hits. After a few more days the numbers stay steady but begin to recede along with your hairline. You’re about a couple months in and…crickets. Next thing you know you’re four to six months into your year-long contract and nothing has changed. In particular, your Google Ads campaign.
This is set it and forget it.
In a lot fewer words--it’s creating a campaign, launching it, and not doing a thing with it after the initial launch.
While in aforementioned traditional media, (radio, TV, billboards, print), you are somewhat rewarded in the form of branding for stagnation. In the world of search engines such as Google, you’re punished for it. Your ads end up costing you more than they should, and you are reaching less people. What a deal! Right? 🤔
Why Set It And Forget It Ultimately Fails Your Business.
Recently, we read an article where they compared a Google Ads campaign to that of writing a first draft. We get it, college was a long time ago but this is a spot-on. First drafts are trial and error. Releasing words into the atmosphere and seeing what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t. After you receive enough data, you sit down, calibrate, and adjust accordingly. Then do it again. And again. And again.
Some may find this tedious. Those who are successful see this for what it is—limitless possibilities, or better yet, an opportunity to improve.
Digital marketing, especially Google Ads, provide you instantaneous feedback in the form of hard numbers. Specifically showing you what works and what does not. Other forms of media advertising cannot provide this. (Print and broadcast) Whereas Google Ads encourages you to change when necessary.
In Reality, Set It And Forget It Contradicts All The Advantages Google Ad Marketing Provides.
We can’t begin to tell you how many times we bring in new clients, do an audit of previous and/or current campaigns, (more on this in a moment) and see there have been no changes between day 1 and day 201 of their Google Ad campaign.
This, for a lack of a better phrase, pisses us off, I mean, we get really really mad.
We work in the world of advertising because we believe in how the power of effective advertising helps entrepreneurs dreams become reality.
At SIX we’re a proponent of transparency. Providing our clients our process and procedures we implement and why we chose to do so.
For we believe when they become our client, they allow us to not only be a part of the process, but the navigator in the treacherous yet prosperous seas of marketing.
With that we give you…
The SIX Marketing 6 Stages Of Success( ▲ yeah, we were super creative there) 🙄
1. Identify- Earlier we referred to the audit of previous marketing ventures. That’s what this is. We sit down and discuss what you’ve done in the past plus what your goals and expectations are. Moreover, where are the immediate opportunities we can assist with.
2. Fix- Inevitably, we always find something that could be improved or needs to be fixed: broken links, bad business listings, insane website load times. The list goes on. The point is we want to ensure you are appropriately positioned before you invest any advertising dollars into a campaign which would drive people to these potential trouble areas.
3. Plan- What types of marketing will we use? Where will we use it? And, most importantly why? Our plan is always based on your goals... always.
4. Build & Execute- We are ready to build you an amazing campaign and then get to the actual implementation of the plan.
5. Monitor & Measure- (The next two are critical and the premise of this piece) We do exactly what it sounds like--actively monitor the performance of the ads and measure those against our mutual expectations.
6. Real-Time Iteration- Now, this is the difference between set it and forget it and what we suggest. We take this data, access, and adjust accordingly. Monitor & measure plus real-time iteration is a continuous effort. This requires time, creativity, logic, and effort. While we called this tedious before, this is what we love—taking something and making it better.
The Process In Action
Here is a report from the actions our SIX team made in December of 2018 for one of our new clients. This represents how many adjustments we made improving their digital ads. The result? Our efforts delivered 60.52% more qualified leads for our clients at half the investment. FYI, they were using a set it and forget it strategy that didn't change in over six months.
Cruise Control Will Run Your Ad Campaign Into A Wall Faster Than A Crash Test Dummy.
It's in your best interest to know what's going on in any of your ad campaigns. You may not understand all the marketing jargon and crazy statistics but you can find out if the service you are using is actually making any changes. In fact, in the Google world, there is a report of it. Ask your firm, or traditional media outlet pretending to understand digital, to see the Change History log and you will know exactly what they have done, or rather what they haven't!
To be fair, are there anomalies and examples one may provide where companies have been successfully utilizing a set it and forget it strategy? Probably. And some people have spontaneously combusted. Almost everyone is wasting valuable advertising dollars.
Finally, look at it this way, would you ever want to hit the cruise control button on how you run your business? Of course not.
Then why would you allow for it to be marketed that way?
If you have questions about whether or not your business has signed a “set it and forget it” contract--contact SIX today and we’ll take a look at it for free and give you our honest opinion. We can tell you within a few minutes if your strategy is worth the investment. Advice is free and we are a phone call away.... or email.... or chat 🤖.