Why Most E-Commerce Retailers Fail at Digital Promotions

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Why Most E-Commerce Retailers Fail at Digital Promotions

By Alli Hill - 07/03/2018

How would you gauge the success of your last digital campaign? Losing money is never desirable, and breaking even isn't much better. If you managed to see positive gains, you're probably ecstatic that your efforts paid off. 

But getting in the green doesn't necessarily mean you've won.

In fact, it's this complacency that prevents most marketers from ever becoming truly great at digital promotions.

Why the Way It's Been Done Won't Always Cut It

Think about this: seeing a 3% ROI might look great on paper, but what if your campaign has the potential to bring in 6% with a little reworking?

Marketing isn't cheap. It's a time-consuming, resource-heavy process, and many marketers are afraid to rock the boat when they tweak proven methods. They're not interested in getting to the next level because their current situation is comfortable and profitable.

Granted, it's not always a bad thing, but complacency robs you of the chance of ever becoming greater than your last campaign.

But what happens when your current methods no longer work? Marketing trends are continually shifting, and you won't always be able to rely on your current techniques.

In today's fast-paced digital world, it's either embrace change or get left behind.

How to Create Effective Digital Promotions

If you're struggling to take your campaign from "It works" to "It's great!", put these three practices to work:

1. Don't Try to Be Everything to Everyone

The best digital promotions are the ones that speak directly to your target audience, or just a segment of that audience. It's tailored to their interests, their buying habits, their hot buttons.

Generic campaigns that aim for mass appeal aren't usually as effective as the ones that make personal connections with your audience. In fact, 71% of survey respondents indicated they prefer personalized ads that cater to their unique needs.

2. Focus on Strategy Over Metrics

Marketers are trained to look at numbers, facts, and data to gauge a campaign's success. But let's be honest, some things you just can't measure.

For example, seeing the number of click-throughs on an ad doesn't tell the entire story. You will never know how many times a person thought about that ad. You will never know how many people actually saw your ad - you only know how many times the ad appeared on page.

Venturing away from a metrics-only standard of measurement goes against the marketing grain, but it's absolutely essential to focus more on strategy. Building relationships with customers will always result in better results than vying for one-off sales. When you think about your audience and how you can remain connected to them through promotions, the numbers and sales will automatically follow.

3. Make Your Campaign Different from Every Other Campaign

Too often digital promotions tend to look like every other promotion out there. This happens when marketers start scoping out their competitors for inspiration and end up becoming a me-too competitor.

But while marketers are busy searching for campaign inspiration, they fail to realize that inspiration itself is usually the answer. Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign and Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign were inventive and inspired their audience. They motivated buyers through their messaging. If you want better digital promotions, you must inspire others in a way that only your company can.

Avoiding complacency is the first step to creating better digital promotions, but the road is long and full of twists. Don't be afraid to fail and never stop trying to improve.

Alli Hill is a content writer for NoStop, specializing in SEO, marketing, and all things digital. Alli currently lives in Northeast Georgia with her husband, two toddlers, and golden retriever.