Marketers often get carried away with their short-term goals and start focusing on the wrong metrics

The ultimate goal of marketing is not to drive traffic, increase engagement, or get more people into your store. The only thing that matters is increasing profits.

We should also agree that customer satisfaction contributes to this goal by increasing profits in the long run. A happy customer is more likely to buy again and/or refer other customers.

So, why do so many marketers become reckless in their pursuits of fast results?

You’ve undoubtedly seen this type of behavior (or engaged in it yourself).

Marketing Promotion Example

I’ll give you a recent example. I received the following promotion in the mail:

Marketing Promotion

You pull a tab to reveal a bright red number. If your number matches the printed number, you’re a “lucky winner.”

In case you can’t see in the first image, I was one of the lucky winners.

Marketing Promotion

But here’s the secret…EVERYONE is a lucky winner. I’ve received these promotions before and I’ve never lost. Maybe I’m the luckiest person in the world, or maybe the system is rigged.

Is This a Genius Marketing Method or a Recipe for Disaster?

There are a few ways to look at this. You could argue that this is a creative marketing tactic that leads people to open a promotional mailer that they would’ve otherwise tossed in the trash. You could also argue that this is a way of “tricking” to get them into the door.

What I neglected to mention earlier is that this promotion was for a car dealership’s summer sales event. If this promotion was “successful,” the car dealership would be flooded with people who think they won a prize – NOT people looking to buy cars. The dealership is counting on their ability to convert these “winners” into customers.  “Come on in for your free prize and buy a new car while you’re at it.”

I would imagine that’s a tough sell. “Turns out you didn’t win, but can we get you in a brand new Honda Civic?”

Getting people in the door is not the same as getting customers in the door.

Why it Matters and How This Applies to Digital Marketers

I can’t comment on the effectiveness of that particular promotion, but there are lessons to be learned either way. Here are the main takeaways:

  1. Getting people in the door is not the same as getting customers in the door.
  2. Your marketing message should align with your product/service.

I think all marketers are guilty of neglecting these rules at times. Sometimes, it’s intentional and other times we just get carried away. We work on crafting the perfect ads/copy and forget that the product needs to deliver.

You’ve probably seen something like this before:

OVERSELL: “The 100% Effective Method to Stop Hair Loss and Reclaim Your Hairline”

BOLD CLAIM:“Make Millions Using This Simple 3-Step Process”

In these cases, you’re likely to have unhappy customers, higher refund rates, and a bad reputation.

Sometimes, the mistake is more innocent though. For example, you may get carried away trying to collect emails or increase web traffic.

IRRELEVANT TARGETING: “Enter Your Email to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card”

The result is an increase in vanity metrics with no impact on the bottom line.

If I offered $5 to everyone who visited this site, I’d have a lot of visits, but very few people interested in what I’m writing about.

To wrap it up:

Have fun with your marketing but keep it RELEVANT and REALISTIC.