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Perhaps we shouldn't have mentioned this, but these are the main reasons why agencies and marketers don't perform up to the expectations:
Setting clear and transparent objectives requires every contractor, manager or any decision-maker to be highly specific in what they seek.
And to further clarify this point, we will choose three comparative examples as follows:
An entrepreneur, manager or decision maker may submit the following request: I want sales, I want leads, I want people to know about me and my products, I want to be profitable.
This information is not enough for any agency, because there is a major difference in strategy, but also in the implementation of marketing actions when comparing 5 sales to 50,000 sales, 1000 impressions to 1 million impressions, a profit margin from a competitive price to a randomly estimated profit margin.
Of course, a well-meaning agency that is not merely looking to charge you for extra services will guide you to the next alternative of defining your goals:
To maximise efficiency, at Remote Marketing we carry out an audit beforehand to make sure we have a very clear starting point on our objectives and to assist potential clients who want to hire us.
Then, we guide them to the following structure:
This structure is a great starting point because we know where we stand, what we want to achieve and what we aim to accomplish at each stage of our project.
Achieving each objective requires an investment, and in order to dose the investment appropriately, the figures need to be relevant. When we have specific figures we can make scenarios with narrow margins of error to achieve the objectives.
For start-ups, we recommend a testing period to gather data, as no one can predict exactly what works and what doesn't for a new company.
Customer feedback is also included in this section. No matter how skilled a marketing agency is, it will need feedback, whether positive or negative, at least once a month.
Often the decision to buy does not happen overnight, but it is very important to identify a pattern by the customer, especially when the purchase is not made online.
For example, in the automotive industry we often don't know when a customer makes a purchase. It is almost impossible to track and associate an individual's name (the lead) with the company from which they bought the car. Of course, CRM systems are helpful, but not all the information is always filled in there. That's why we always ask for feedback from the sales team and management, and to our delight, we receive it constantly.
Specific resources are needed to achieve our objectives, which may or may not be part of the marketing agency's tasks - depending on the services you contracted. In general, these resources fall into the following categories:
1. Budget or implementation costs, which represent the value of the services contracted by the client to define marketing strategies and to set up the appropriate advertising actions.
Examples: marketing plan, social media posts plan, market research, pricing strategy, content marketing, photo/video content, website, SEO, campaign setting, posts publishing, branding, creative, etc.
These budgets (costs) are meant to create the best ecosystem to reach a potential customer in order to profitably sell them your company's products and services.
Often, we encounter situations where potential customers tell us that they have a great ecosystem, and after an audit we realise that most of it needs to be rebuilt, or even built again from scratch, which involves extra implementation costs.
PS: the dream of almost any agency is to take over a functioning ecosystem, so don't worry that someone wants to sell you something just for the sake of charging extra. Creating an architecturally profitable ecosystem can even be an assumed loss for a marketing agency looking for a long-term collaboration. Without this ecosystem, you can't achieve favorable results, and you will most likely terminate the contract.
2. The advertising budget, which is generally allocated directly to third parties such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Radio, TV, influencers, etc, with the aim of buying traffic, views, exposure and databases.
Each third party has a dynamic price list and varies from case to case.
You may have noticed that advertising on LinkedIn is approx. 10 times more expensive than on Facebook, if we compare reach per 1000 views, cost per click and cost per lead (a potential customer), although in some cases a more expensive platform generates better results.
The advertising budget should be at least equal to the cost of implementation, otherwise the return on investment decreases considerably.
Good to know
The marketing budget is made up of implementation costs, the marketing budget and other related costs such as web solutions, graphics or campaign logistics.
To better understand how implementation costs work in combination with the advertising budget, I will give the following basic example.
Unit implementation costs (initial investment) - is paid once and is amortised over the next period of time according to the results achieved:
I put a question mark next to the promotion budget because we want to help you, the entrepreneur, define it from the following real example:
Recommendation: the price of each product/service should include the purchase cost per customer, associated with the budget and other marketing costs.
If we were to limit ourselves here, we draw the following conclusion:
If we add the costs paid per unit we come to €4,830 for a revenue of €330. It's not cost-effective and you will most likely assume that the agency is not capable of bringing you results. However, it also depends on how you were informed about the matter.
In this example, the advertising budget will make the difference. I should mention that no agency will allocate this advertising budget for you or without your consent.
This is the secret of the advertising budget, which unfortunately very few entrepreneurs understand. And yes, this is why I say marketing is an investment, not a cost.
In the example with the €30 advertising budget, marketing became a cost, while in the example with the €3,000 advertising budget, marketing brought a 10x return.
There are many metrics and performance indicators that vary in all sorts of situations, but we will deal with them in a separate article.
While we have covered the power of the advertising budget, we have not discussed the power of the implementation cost. Not every campaign comes with an acquisition cost per customer of €10 as in the example above.
Imagine how everything would change if this €10/customer cost was €100. And here comes the magic of the marketing agency, whose role is to lower this acquisition cost per customer.
How? Through that ecosystem that it will build using the expertise and resources it has at its disposal to reach your potential customers and partially influence their buying behaviour in your favour.
However, be careful about one aspect. These solutions aimed at your company's profitability cannot be provided at a price lower than a mid-level employee's salary.
Why? Because it is assumed that both the company and the agency aim for marketing actions to generate profitable revenue.
Weighing your expectations appropriately is essential. Most likely, no one will be able to provide marketing services worth €300 that generate revenues of €1M.
We achieved a few exceptions where the average order value is over €20,000 and with approx. €7,000 per month (implementation and promotion budget), we delivered €300,000 monthly revenue.
Experienced people are rare and extremely valuable, and the added value they bring to your business comes at a high cost to the agency.
For example, a senior employee with more than 10 years of experience who could directly contribute to your goals, exceeds a gross salary of 4000 euro/month in Romania. For this reason I urge you to beware of scams, of fancy promises from inexperienced people.
We often wonder: How could an agency that pays at least 4,000 euros for a senior offer an ecosystem for 300 euros? The answer is always the same. It promises, but it doesn't deliver. We'll go into more detail in reasons 3 and 4.
Sometimes the answer may be that that senior works for 20 clients, but I can confirm that he cannot work effectively for more than 4 clients at the same time.
Why not? Because each client for a senior represents a high level of commitment, just like having 4 jobs at the same time.
In general, complex marketing actions involve at least three people, partners, collaborators and third parties, and in order to generate high revenues, they need to attract the attention of millions of people and convince several thousand potential customers.
Unfortunately, lots of entrepreneurs are fooled by "marketing agencies" because they promise them the perfect offer - "It makes you rich, famous, happy, for free and effortless", and the alternative of an agency with a proven good reputation is too expensive.
If you're in this situation and you're faced with a very large marketing budget against a false baseline, you'll most likely get scared and end up hiring a marketer or agency that promises you to sell as much as you want and you'll have a nice image at a cost of a few hundred euros a month. This might seem like a good risk to take. And it should be, but most likely you won't reach your goals because they will never be set properly, and you will end up in a situation where you are struggling in the market instead of scaling your company.
Rarely will you find yourself thinking that you'd be better off choosing a more expensive, expert team to give you expert advice, clear guidance and measurable results.
And it becomes a vicious circle from there on. If you don't have a marketing budget, of course you can't choose experienced marketers or agencies. But if you do, it would be a shame to waste it thinking you're saving money or exposing yourself to less risk.
There is a reason why there are faculties, masters, PhDs and MBAs in marketing. This field is by no means simple. At least not for a marketing company, whose role is to help you choose cost-effective strategies and actions from the millions of marketing techniques you most likely don't know.
Unfortunately, in the last 10 years there is a concept being promoted among young people that you can become a marketing expert if you take two courses and spend 2 hours a day on your smartphone.
How can someone with no experience understand the behaviour of the masses, identify patterns in the market, understand your industry, anticipate people's needs and wants to influence their buying behaviour? And then match them with your goals and the actions needed to generate profitable sales?
Marketing is the only "tool" that brings you sales, scales your business and creates a reputation in the marketplace. If your product is competitive, high-quality marketing will definitely make a big difference.
Marketers need to undeerstand your industry, your competition, your brand philosophy and implement complex strategic actions with the aim of influencing buying behaviour in the market in your favour. This knowledge can be learned, but without experience it's just a piece of knowledge, because every potential paying customer has their own reasons for buying or not buying from you.
The marketers need to know your industry, your competition, your brand philosophy and implement complex strategic actions to influence buying behaviour in the market in your favour. This knowledge can be learned, but without experience, it's mere knowledge.
As a marketer, the more experience you have, the more behavioural patterns you can learn. The better you understand them, the more accurately you can estimate the results of an action.
Without these assumptions and scenarios, it would mean reaching out to all the people across all the channels and waiting for them to come back to you. Briefly, it would translate into a marketing investment of a few 100 million euros a year, but given that you'll only have a few tens of thousands, these inexperienced marketers or agencies will be looking for the needle in the haystack and won't understand why their actions aren't working.
In other words, they'll test it out on your budget until they get the experience they need to know with less margin of error.
In each of the most renowned agencies in Romania, there is only one senior who has the above mentioned experience and that person is usually also the one who sells you the services.
However, as Romania is a market where the client who contracts the agency considers marketing a cost, the agency will not be able to sell you only services provided by seniors working for you and most likely your account will be allocated to a junior.
Of course, if it's a major contract, the senior will get involved when problems arise, but with dozens of clients contracted in this way, the senior will be time-constrained. The more services you have contracted, the more experienced people a marketing agency needs.
Along with juniors, marketing agencies have come to sell innovation and marketing process automation. They use software for everything. Sounds cool, but it's not at all.
Well, these softwares are harmful for Social Media, for Google, for SEO and especially for the brand. Why? Because Social Media networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok are looking for people, not software. They don't want to get to the point where software A talks to software B. Through specific algorithms, these platforms identify these softwares and limit them.
What does this limitation mean? Low traffic at higher costs, compared to doing it manually.
The second problem encountered by software, even OpenAI - ChatGPT, is that they don't have enough data to profile human behaviour and at the moment it's impossible for them to create more effective scenarios, compared to a senior with over 10 years of experience.
Of course, they can replace an inexperienced individual, but why would you do marketing in this case? Everyday we see posts with reach under 1000 with 1, 2 likes. These are not effective at all, and the cost of implementation does not bring any return.
No one likes to be told they haven't thought their business through or that their services and products are difficult to sell. An experienced agency will show you the reasons why you should optimise your business and the chances of your marketing actions not bringing you profitability.
There are also agencies that will take the risk and promise you sales, and when the results are less than desired, they will tell you that you need to try other services from them until you reach the point where you realize that nothing is working and you can't validate your business in the market.
We could add many other reasons here related to price and product, industry and competition, but we'll deal with them separately another time.
Chasing immediate results, and without understanding the necessary processes that aim for long-term returns, entrepreneurs sometimes step in and change or stop actions before they are profitable.
When you make assumptions based on feelings, negative events or past patterns, you risk interfering with actions that would have delivered spectacular results.
Of course, no one is omniscient, but when you hire a team of experts it is assumed that they are best able to guide you.
Results come over time. Nothing comes overnight especially when you need to influence buying behaviour at a mass level. Patience plays a key role, as the first major results can appear even after 3-4 months. If you don't trust your marketing agency, then they can't help you, no matter how much they want to.
Also, if you are a company with a turnover of less than €10M, it would be better not to compare your results and actions with a corporation or a well-known brand in the market.
Why? Because they have invested hundreds of millions or even billions of euros before you, and you have to follow the same steps to reach their level. If you fall into the trap of thinking you can do everything better than Coca-Cola, Apple, Emag, Fashion Days, DHL, IKEA, Toyota, Starbucks or McDonalds, and that you can win them a significant market share, you might be disappointed when the results don't turn out as you expected.
Almost every time, it's only the money, the team and the experience that make the difference, no matter how good your business idea is. Unfortunately there are many people with brilliant ideas, super experience and super skills that we can't help, and often we are among them. Financial power changes the rules of the game. There are exceptions, but they are very rare.
If you relate to this information, don't forget that we are here for you. If you think you need our services and would like a potential collaboration with the Remote Marketing team, you can contact us, visit us or schedule a meeting online.
We appreciate your interest and we hope you have a wonderful day!