Unlike traditional marketing like TV commercials, billboards and magazine ads (called above-the-line marketing), digital advertising is generally considered to be more approachable and easier to get started with.
But does a lower barrier to entry mean that you should?
On the one hand you have all the big platforms like Google, Meta, Microsoft offering hundreds of dollars in ad credit and on the other you have advertising “rockstars”, “gurus” and “ninjas” claiming they will make you tons of money.
There’s a lot of noise in the digital advertising space and when you’re deep in the day to day grind of business it’s incredibly tempting to think of it as the magic bullet that will solve all problems. That at the flick of a switch the phone will start ringing off the hook, lead forms will come flowing in and I will have more sales than I know what to do with.
Instead, think of digital advertising as amplification. Advertising only amplifies what you’re already doing. The good, but also the bad.
Here’s another way to think about it: As a business owner or marketer we’re taught to think about the Ps. First there was Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Since then People, Process, and Physical evidence have been added.
Digital advertising really only impacts two of those; Promotion and Place.
Product, Price, People, Process and Physical evidence are untouched. If those are wrong, Promotion and Place can only do so much.
You can Promote a $10,000 loaf of bread all you want, but realistically it will never sell in high volume because the Price is wrong.
You can Promote a $0.01 weeks old mouldy loaf of bread all you want, but realistically it will never sell in high volume because the Product is wrong.
You can Promote a perfect loaf of bread for the perfect price, but if you’re only taking sales through carrier pigeon on the first full moon of the month, you will realistically never sell in high volume because the Process is wrong.
Digital advertising can be exactly what the advertising “rockstars”, “gurus” and “ninjas” claim. It can open up the floodgates in terms of sales, but it’s not magic.
So how do you know when your business is ready? Simple, you need to validate your Ps.
Do you have the right Product for the right Price? Do you have the right Processes for selling? Do you have Physical evidence that your product is good? Are you selling it in the right Place?
Now there’s an easy trick to know when you’ve validated your Ps. It’s when you are making decent sales already, because that’s the thing you want to amplify.
That’s when you know your business is ready. If you want to get more of what you’re already getting.