Trade-offs are a part of life. For a marketer choosing campaign tactics, the implications of tactical trade-offs should be carefully considered. And the right place to start is by being clear about your objectives.
Do you want to increase online sales, get more leads, or increase brand awareness? Not thinking this through might cause you to choose tactics to implement that end up costing you big bucks without achieving your desired outcomes.
To help make this clearer, lets step into the world of traffic planning.
So, as an engineer deciding whether to control traffic with a stoplight or roundabout, what would you do?
- If you are looking to minimize collisions at the expense of more fatalities, you would build a four-way intersection with a traffic light.
- If you are looking to minimize fatalities at the expense of more collisions, you would build a roundabout.
Stepping back into the world of the marketer. Let’s say you are marketing a product, and are trying to decide whether to use a cost per click (CPC) strategy, or a cost per acquisition (CPA) strategy for your advertising campaign. Which is best?
Well, what’s your objective?
At the end of the day, yes, you want you want to sell your product to increase revenue, but what is your main goal of the campaign?
- If you choose to optimize for maximum clicks, people may click your ads, go to your website, and then bounce from it. You may get more clicks, supporting a brand exposure objective. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those clicks will lead to a conversion within your target timeframe.
- If you choose optimizing for purchases (using the CPA strategy), you may have fewer clicks on your ads (i.e. lower brand exposure), but your advertisements are more targeted to customers with a higher conversion rate, fulfilling your sales objective.
Being crystal clear about your objective can dramatically alter your strategy and the tactics you choose to implement. Your decision all comes down to what you’re aiming to optimize and improve.
Whether you’re an engineer or a marketer, there isn’t a universal silver bullet solution. Are you trying to minimize fatalities, or are you trying to minimize collisions? Branding vs sales? Different objectives require different tactics. Pick your poison.