By Warren Jolly, CEO of AdQuadrant | Everybody wants to reduce CPA, but doing it without reducing brand equity can be a challenge.
Perception is everything when operating a business online.
The Web, minus the cost required to access the network, is a free platform for people to share ideas, information, and sell products and services. This low barrier to entry creates a paradox in the marketplace because a vast majority of individuals are willing to sell at rock-bottom prices to undercut the competition.
The issue with this business mindset is that it’s not a viable long-term strategy. As each new competitor enters the market and drives the prices down the perception of value for said product/service begins to tumble.
To overcome this paradox a business must work on building brand equity.
Many businesses trying to build brand equity go about it in ways that actually cut at their bottom line and long-term prospect in the market:
- An increase in online advertising cuts into the profit margins
- The reduction of price for products/services reduces the budget allowed to market
- A departure of uniqueness to appeal to the general masses alienates customers
These items lead to the brand becoming bland. It begins to remove the agile nature of the business because it’s trying to form into a generic offer. Because the products/services become brand the perception of the brand also takes a dive.
Cutting back too hard allows those aggressive businesses to step in and take the market share. Likewise, overspending may give the impression that the business is over compensating.
How does a business reduce CPA without reducing this brand equity?
- Quality Control. Deliver real value with a product or service you bring to the market. Create one with such high quality that it becomes a clear choice among the selections. Back the quality with testimonials, case studies, and branding. Encourage owners/users to share their experience and help spread the word of the product/service (which reduces your cost in advertising).
- USP & Story. Give your brand and what it has to offer a unique selling point. Explain how and why it’s different than others. Push the benefits of using your product over what’s provided by the competition. Likewise, attach a story behind the product/service. Give it life by telling how it was formed and its reception by your customers and market. Allow the uniqueness of your brand to spread your message in a viral, organic manner.
- Mind-blowing Experience. The customer experience needs to be front and center if you wish to reduce costs and build a strong brand. A customer who walks away from the purchase excited and ecstatic is far more likely to return and tell others of the experience. If each customer has an incredible, mind-blowing experience they will step in to do the promotional work. It does require the entire team to go above and beyond but it’s crucial for building valuable brand equity that doesn’t rely on brute force marketing tactics.
In all, a democratization of your brand, what it offers, its culture, and consumer experience are the essentials worth pursuing to avoid price wars and dilution of product/service perception on the Web.
Search retargeting is an up-and-coming form of online advertising and marketing.
Those in the know have heard about site retargeting. Site retargeting is where an individual lands on a website and when they leave ads from that company essentially “follows” them around the Web on other sites that participate in retargeting campaigns and services.
Search retargeting, on the other hand, is somewhat similar with the exception that people no longer need to visit a website for this to happen. When users type in keywords and phrases into search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google, and others, they may start seeing targeted advertisements for those terms coming from companies (or competitors) that provide those products or services.
To give you an example of this in action…
Suppose you type “GoPro Camera” into Google, sniffed around at the available listings, but never really went any deeper because it was a broad search.
The next time you begin searching for that item (or something very similar) the ads could become catered to this search to further refine your selection so that you’re no longer just seeing broad ads based on similar/relevant keywords.
Since this form of retargeting is very new we’d like to share a part of the process of implementing this type of marketing into your business:
1. Start with the DSP
Display side provider (DSP) collects data from their partners and in turn places cookies onto browsers that arrive to their site through search engines. The amount of data they have access varies.
2. Select Keywords & Review
Build a list and select targeted keywords you will use for the campaigns. Take this time to review your creative, too, such as the headline, copy, and call-to-action. Also consider how it ties into the landing page and how it will fulfil its purpose in the campaign.
3. Place, Monitor, Improve
Bid on the keywords you want within the real-time auctions available through the search retargeting providers. Monitor the activity of the campaign and make adjustments accordingly. Test and improve upon your campaign (i.e. A/B Testing).
All-in-all the process is almost identical to much of the current advertising options available in search engines (and much of the process of starting a campaign will feel the same). This means anyone with experience should have no trouble getting started with this form of advertising.
Warren Jolly is the CEO of adQuadrant, an agency specializing in online direct response marketing. Through highly targeted media buying, adQuadrant acquires and scales profitable customer bases for its partners. Through every stage of the direct marketing process, adQuadrant’s finite targeting ensures your advertising campaigns are well-timed, well-placed and optimized to convert across the most powerful digital channels including social, performance, display, email and mobile.