P&G cut between $100 and $140 million in digital advertising last quarter and sales went up. I don’t mean they were flat or that margins went up through a short-sided strategy of cutting marketing investment.
This wasn’t just advertising that sort of didn’t work or was marginally less effective. It didn’t work, period. This money was being stolen from them by the players in the digital marketing ecosystem. Yes, stolen. That’s by the duopoly (Facebook and Google) and their sycophants in the digital marketing ecosystem: ad tech, mar tech, and all the other “tech” leeches in the slimy, fraud-filled world of digital advertising.
If P&G–probably the smartest marketing company there is–can get $100 million or more stolen from them in a quarter what’s the chances you’re not getting ripped off in your digital advertising? Zero.
How to avoid being ripped off? Stop with the nonsense about buying “audiences.” That’s clue #1 that you’re probably getting taken to the cleaners. Instead, practice proper marketing, beginning with strategy:
- Hire trained marketers, not dilettantes
- Segment your audience
- Define your target segments
- Understand the purchase funnel
- Develop marketing strategies to address each segment
- Develop tactical plans to move the prospect through the purchase funnel
- Carefully measure each step of the way
- Make improvements to each “hole in the bucket”
- Audit each and every media buy, in detail
I’ll bet P&G can cut another $100 million a quarter from their current digital buys and still not see a reduction in sales. And I bet they will.
Takeaway: Do you have the resources and buying power that P&G does? If not, you’re getting robbed by the digital ecosystem and the duopoly. Go back to strategy. Audit everything. Be skeptical. Cut ruthlessly. And win.