Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too (Revisiting Marketing Basics)

Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too (Revisiting Marketing Basics)

More than 12 years ago a Marketing Professor claimed business owners should look at their business as a layered cake. She did this in a late evening lecture with more than 100 hungry people.

Advertising is just icing on the cake” she said.

She went on to explain the age old idea of Kotler’s 4Ps of marketing. She went on to say that without the first three layers – product, price, placement, no advertising campaign, no matter how creative, could guarantee ROMI.

Fast forward to today. Her words come to mind each time a stakeholder asks for an advertising campaign without them having a go to market strategy with business goals and marketing objectives. They expect the icing on the cake to be enough and replace all the other layers. But it doesn’t. All good cooks will tell you that if the first layer – the product, in our scenario, is too soft, all the layers on top of it will succomb and the heavy icing will come tumbling down on your plate because it is too heavy.

Now the analogy makes more sense than ever.

If you put all your efforts into the ad campaign, but you do not develop the product to be a good market fit, with the right pricing and and the right moment for promotion, as well as placement of your product, ads will not do anything for you. I cannot do anything for you as a social advertising professional. You as a business owner cannot blame me or the marketing channel for this.

What can you do? Work on the product, price and placement, of course. AND share all of that know-how with me. That way the icing I create can work to enhance everything that you built, not become too expensive or complicated for the layers supposed to support its weight.

Here’s a top of mind list of questions that might help some of you create your cake and eat it, too:

  • What is SO special about your product/solution? Why would someone buy it? Why wouldn’t they?
  • What are the direct & indirect competitors and what is the added value your product/solutions bring?
  • Where and to whom do you want to sell? Are there any specificities that you need to understand? How about your advertising team, do they understand?
  • Where can people buy your product? In what conditions? Online/offline? Discounts available? Partnerships?
  • I you only sell online. how good is your website? How is the user experience with your website? (Unfortunately, far too often websites load way too slow, do not provide much needed prodyct info, do not engage and convince them of why they should trust the brand and products)

That’s it. My quick Friday rant down memory lane. Hope it helps someone out there. It definitely helped me vent. Now, let me go eat some real cake. 🙂

Content Is Not Marketing. Stop Acting Like It Is.

Content Is Not Marketing. Stop Acting Like It Is.

For what seems to be a decade now people have been lobbying for content. Produce valuable content for your audiences, that is the key to success. At least that is what you read/hear. What they seem to forget is the marketing in content marketing.

This becomes an issue, a really big issue because:

  • you focus way too much on creating content and therefore you pay way too much for amazing looking content that does not deliver the desired results because you do NOT know what the desired results are. You focus way too much on deliverables and not enough on marketing strategy and ROMI
  • you lose klout within your organisation – what other teams care about is business results, not content shareability. Unless you can speak on how the content you as a marketer produce helps support their own KPIs, you will only be a team of one
  • you hire teams skilled in content production, not in content marketing. And that is an error you will pay for dearly. You and the company you work for.

Content marketing needs more than just content. It needs strategy and goals, it needs structure and analytics, it needs long term planning and execution, it needs courage and processes, workflows, and zooming in on the entire sales funnel, not just the glitzy parts that produce vanity metrics that look good on paper, but deliver 0 ROMI.

Social Media Tracking: How To Set Up LinkedIn And Twitter Website Tags And Share Audiences With Partners

Social Media Tracking: How To Set Up LinkedIn And Twitter Website Tags And Share Audiences With Partners

Facebook Conversion Pixel. Twitter Website Tag. LinkedIn Insight Tag.

Social media platforms have their own naming convention and their very own setup and way of doing things. I have gone through this a couple of times and have struggled with it. That is why I want to document this to maybe help you out. Let’s start with Twitter today,

Twitter Website Tag: How to Install It And Share Audiences

1. Log in to your Ad Account.

2. Go to Tools> Conversion tracking

3. Select View Code and Installation Instructions

4. Send the code to the web development team for them to install at the bottom of all your web pages.

5. Create Custom Audiences

Tools>Audiences>Create new conversion event>Create audience

You will then be prompted to choose between these types of audiences. Choose the right type and name your audience in an easy way to identify. If you are reading this articles, I somehow expect that you are interested in retargeting visitors of your website so you might want to choose that?

Once the audience is created your retargeting lists will start building and you are ready to leverage them in campaigns and also share them with partners so…move on to step #6!

6. Add your partner’s Twitter Handle as a Partner Audience Manager

First you need to click on your Ad Account Name (upper right corner) and select Edit access to account.

Then you just add the Twitter handle you want to grant access to your Custom Audiences to and make them (at least) Partner Audience Manager, if not more than just that.

The handle should now have access to Custom Audiences you built during step #5. They can view, create, modify, and delete Custom Audiences through the Twitter API. 

LinkedIn Insight Tag: How To Install It And Share Audiences

Step 1: Install The Insight Tag

Go to your ad account (I assume you already have one), go to Account Assets>Insight Tag> Install my Insight Tag.

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You then have to choose the way you want to install your tag.

  1. I will install the tag myself: you will copy the tag code yourself and paste the Insight Tag code below in your website’s global footer, right above the closing HTML <body> tag. Adding the tag to the footer will let you track conversions or retarget on any page across your whole site. You need to have access to your website code and be comfortable with editing it.
  2. I will send the tag to a developer: just as it reads, you send instructions to your developer and it will get done by someone writing code daily. Nice and easy.
  3. I will use a tag manager – does Google Tag Manager ring any bell? You can choose between different tag managers, starting with GTM, Tealium tag manager, Adobe tag manager, IBM, Ensighten tag manager, Floodlight tag manager. You choose the one that best fits your needs.

And there you have it: Your tag should send data as soon as it has been installed correctly on your website. For privacy purposes, Website Demographics and Website Audiences require 300 visitors or more to visit your page before you will see data.

Step 2: Create Custom Audiences

Go to Account Assets>Matched Audiences. Your next step is to decide what type of retargeting audience you want to create.

You can choose from:

  1. Company page – your page followers
  2. Event
  3. Lead gen form – people who opened a form you promoted, but did not fill it in
  4. Video – people who watched your videos,
  5. Website traffic – this is what we want for this exercise.

You will have to, of course, name your audience and decide what webpage traffic you want to retarget. You can insert multiple links and combine multiple links.

Let’s say you would like to retarget people who read your blog – then you would select starts with and type in something like www.mycompany.com/blog .

Or let’s take a different scenario: you have a campaign landing page you would like to retarget and offer the readers a discounted price. Instead of starts with you select equals and insert the landing page url.

Pretty straightforward, right? Now let’s see how you can share that retargeting audience with a partner, maybe another division in your company that runs paid advertising from their own ad account. Or maybe you want to share that audience with an agency you’ve contracted.

Step 3: How To Share Matched Audiences

Once again go to Account Assets>Matched Audiences and select the audience you want to share. Click on that top button Share a copy and enter the account name, ID, or URL of your partner in the next screen. You are done!

I Got Addicted To Shark Tank AUS YT Account. This Is What I Learned As A Marketer And Freelancer.

  1. B2B or B2C? Who makes the sale? If the company you are working with as a freelancer is in a licensing deal, their marketing will look very different from a DTC company.
  2. Local is NOT global. Be aware of the verbiage and the local interpretations in your brand and product name. Do research to confirm you do not have similar brands/products out there. Leverage social listening and basic Google/Bing search. Basic, but important. Do not invest in brand building until you have trademarks.
  3. Patents? Crucial, especially for retail brands. Unless you own a patent your brand’s point of difference will be down the drain fast. Very fast. It will become a race to the bottom of the production cost: who can produce it faster and cheaper? And who has the better network?
  • Lesson for marketing freelancers: make sure you understand if the brand you work for has patents/is different from others in a substantial way. If they do and you help them build their brand, that particular brand will be considerably more valuable if they have a patent for 5-10 years compared to no patent at all.
  • Lesson for entrepreneurs: try to get that patent before you secure investment. That way you have leverage and can get a better valuation.

Do you want to work with a tech startup? Ask them if one of the key stakeholders is a techie (thanks for this one, Steve!). If that’s not the case, the startup risks losing a lot of money outsourcing very expensive tech. Them burning through that cash might end up hurting their bottom line and, as a direct result, your collaboration with them – they will not have marketing dollars if they do not have a great product.

I think I just had to write all of this down for my own sake. Hope it helps someone else out there.

And if you want, binge watch Shark Tank AUS and learn something on your own.

Reporting: What To Ask Yourself Before You Start A Report

Reporting: What To Ask Yourself Before You Start A Report

Smart reporting is more about asking questions than you’d think. There are very few occasions when your client knows exactly what they need. And some other times when they know exactly what they want the report to show and would want you to just make the data validate their hypothesis. Guess what? Sometimes that’s not the truth. 

So before you start doing data pulls and trying to come up with graphs, investing hours on end on cramming any and every metric out there into one report, maybe you should ask yourself what is it that your client wants to do with the report.

 I have been reporting on social media and digital marketing performance for over 7 years now and I’ve been through a lot of dashboards and reports. And I learned a lot and, whenever possible, I do try to ask myself or the client some of the questions below to be able to deliver the best report possible as quickly as possible. 


This is paramount to any good reporting. It makes a world of difference to know who your report reaches, is it a Marcom person or a top executive?

If you answer this question the rest will unfold. You will know what type of metrics you could include in the report and the verbiage to go with it.

For example, top execs might not be familiar with acronyms such as CPA, ROAS, CPR, VR etc. so you might want to avoid them or rephrase them into something easier.


Business need

Now that you know who is looking at the report you need to understand what they can do with it. 

If they are execs, they probably need data to support business decisions. So do include info on the ROAS and make sure they understand that data. Include info on channel performance and a recommendation on how to scale up the budget to improve performance.

If they are Marcom people, you need to pull out the big guns. Do an in-depth analysis of all the big picture metrics and then do breakdowns by initiative/products/campaigns/channels/messaging/format/creatives. Go geeky and all in.


How often does your client need this report? If you answered the first 2 questions then you most probably know how to answer this one, too.

From my experience, to answer this question you need to think about what you want this report to do.  If you want it to just track performance and have quick and easy next steps/action points, you can look at daily alerts and weekly dashboards. You don’t even need a call with the team, you just need to let them know what the next steps are and who needs to implement what.

If, on the other hand, you want a wrap-up report of all activities regarding a campaign, look at leveraging an automated dashboard and compile a report in a BI tool of your choosing. Try to give context and deliver insights along with data. Provide learnings and recommendations for future campaigns.

Format and sharing

Again, look at who will get this report and who reads this. If your report reaches a high-level executive, sharing a link in a tool he doesn’t use frequently might not be a good idea.

Another scenario to take into consideration: you need to collaborate with other teams on a wider report. Think about how you can do that in a seamless way – shared file saved on the cloud, maybe? Discuss a workflow with them and agree on who does what.

These are the four topics/questions I look at when being tasked with compiling a report. I bet there are dozens others, but I feel that even just these four might instruct better reporting and data analysis.