With marketing, it is often exactly the same as with your private life and building relationships. Sometimes the question arises: is it worth being authentic? Or maybe the truth will turn out not to be attractive enough? Let’s take a look at this aspect based on some interesting conclusions that came to my mind when conducting or supervising hundreds of online campaigns.

Let’s get to know each other! A story about idealizing the image at an early stage of acquaintance

This is a common practice, both in marketing and in interpersonal relationships. In private life we see this in websites or dating applications, where the first impression and description are sometimes crucial in the assessment of a potential partner. After all, it is good if our match listens to Chopin, takes an interest in Kierkegaard’s existential philosophy, goes to the opera, has no addictions, stays in shape and has some beautiful photographs.

In campaigns, the idealization aspect is sometimes already present as early as at the brief stage, i. e. during the preparation of initial assumptions for an advertising campaign. Brand representatives often approach their product with too much empathy and too much bias to see the obvious problems and dangers.

The product is always great, it simply has to sell well, it has excellent features that make it stand out: quality, price, parameters, often the same regardless of industry or product. This is sometimes also reflected in the disregard or underestimation of the activities of both direct and indirect competitors.

It is important to consciously assess your (or your brands’) disadvantages and advantages right from the start. In this way, we will identify threats and also opportunities for the potential increase of customer’s trust in our brand, building a lasting relationship.

Seduction

This is one of the most important aspects. The customer is who we are enchanted in, so let’s consider – is it worth presenting the brand in a true way?

Let us analyze several scenarios based on real online campaigns, and I hope that the lessons learned will provide an answer to the question of perfect relationship.

  • Infatuation followed by quick rejection – very often the effectiveness of an online campaign is evaluated by the CTR indicator, expressing the clickability of ads. The consumer sees a seductive creation, reads strong slogans, responds to a call to action, and clicks. Our Customer arrives on our Landing Page to get to know us better.

There, it turns out that the graphic design is not completely consistent with the one he saw the moment before, communication also does not continue the strong promise of the first meeting or the slogan did not reflect what she expected. She is disappointed and leaves the site. We had a very high CTR, but the bounce rate was also very high, because the Internet user did not find on the website what we promised or felt confused (beautifully looking creations and overloaded with content, outdated and unresponsive website).

Conclusion: a creation that fits the content of the website is absolutely essential. What’s more, we should try to guide the user already at the ad level to what he will find next, why they should click the ad and what we expect from them.

Example

Our campaign for Medicus DCL Clinic for snoring and sleep apnea treatment. The aim was to obtain valuable contact details for people interested in receiving the treatment. On the one hand, we wanted interesting and intriguing visuals, and on the other, we wanted a clear message that will give us as much quality traffic as possible. The entire campaign was accounted for in the CPC model.

So we have prepared display ads showing an animated chainsaw, with a clear slogan comparing the sound of snoring to a chainsaw, all with the CTA button that said ‘Cure yourself!’. The Landing Page has been prepared in a similar fashion.

A banner with a slogan comparing the sound of snoring to a chainsaw, all with the CTA button that said ‘Cure yourself!’

CTR was very high, similar to that of the campaigns promoting lifestyle products. But the most important was that the coherence of communication between the ads and the landing page made us gain as many as 811 valuable leads to people interested in the treatment. Conversion rate from the campaign amounted to almost 8%, and all that while keeping the campaign precisely geographically targeted.

couple sitting on a bench by the river bank

  • Dating – contemporary consumers are making their choices more and more consciously. As part of the so-called customer journey, customers go through many stages before making a purchase or contacting our company. For example, they come to our site from a search engine, check the content, verify the credibility of the company, read reviews, rankings, visit social media channels, view the remarketing banner, compare prices, and finally return to the site and convert.

Conclusion: Increasingly conscious consumer choices and the Internet make it worth being authentic, as users quickly see through lies. When that happens, there is no chance for a successful relationship.

Example

Promotion of a new electronic device. The pre-sales in the producer’s shop and the accompanying campaign showed excellent results and high daily sales of the promoted product.

When a product appeared at a very slightly lowered price at other distributors, sales in the manufacturer’s store plummeted within one or two days, falling several hundred percent. Media indicators and traffic quality remained at a very high level; only conversions decreased. Additional tools analyzing the users’ behavior on the website, recording visits, confirmed that users copy the product name and then search it for it, compare prices and buy where it is even a slightly cheaper. Obviously, we were taking this into account and our evaluation of the sales results from the entire market confirmed that the campaign was a success and what happened was a transfer of these sales to other distributors. It also made it very clear that the scale of price comparisons by users is enormous.

  • Don’t judge a book by its cover – in online campaigns it may also happen that both CTR (click-through rate) and CR (conversion rate) are falling, and yet the final result of the campaign is better. How the heck is that possible?

Example

Campaign for a client from the financial industry. The indicators were excellent, both the conversion rate and the cost per conversion (number of contact forms left available and cost of obtaining them, respectively). The problem, however, was the number of people who eventually did not qualify for the loan promoted and whose applications had to be rejected. After we optimized the campaign by specifying who can take part in the offer, we significantly limited target, ads contained other, less frequently clicked slogans. CTR and CR indicators worsened, but the people who clicked the ads and filled in the credit applications were far more aware. The quality of the leads provided to the client has improved several times, the cost of a valuable lead and loan decreased and the customer service department had much less work with the validation afterwards.

Conclusion: Sometimes ads that are less clickable, or a lower conversion rate, are not bad at all, provided they filter the prospects that are not in our target group, those we did not want to pay for in the first place. Such intentionally lowered conversion rate can significantly improve the final quality results.

plate with the text just married

  • To have and to hold… – let us try to build a long-term relationship with the consumer. This will give us satisfaction and, most importantly, will give us profit. The cost of acquisition of new customers is often high. There are many reasons for this: competition and falling profit margins, less confidence in advertising, a longer purchasing process, etc. Analysis of the return on investment in the ROI/ROAS advertising campaign that is based solely on the direct orders from the campaign can easily lead us to wrongly assume that the entire campaign was unprofitable.

Conclusion: It is also worth taking into account customer retention, their maintenance, Customer Lifetime Value, etc. These aspects can show us that the initial high cost turned into real profit. Be careful not to disappoint the customer. The promise you make to him should be fulfilled, the experience of buying a product and using it needs to be positive. If that works, the customer will likely return to shop again and might recommend our store to a friend or two; all this combined means a great value for your business, a value that is much harder to measure in the beginning, but a value nonetheless. We can get much more out of one long-lasting relationship with a pleased consumer than a series of ephemeral relationships with one-time buyers who never come back because we have disappointed them, making all the effort we put into dealing with them go to waste.

A recipe for a successful relationship

From the very beginning of building our relationship with the consumer, it is worth being authentic. Let’s emphasize the true values of the brand. Let’s distinguish those that are specific to our product only and can be attractive from the potential customer’s point of view. Let’s abandon the usual, safe slogans in favor of interesting content showing the unique selling proposition of our brand and our offer.

One of our clients in the real estate development industry used standard slogans, such as high quality, convenience, and comfort. However, their development projects offered much greater potential. Emphasizing the specific, obvious advantages (private elevator, two-level apartments with terrace, ready-made fireplace installation, air-conditioning, underfloor heating) made the customers much more interested in the investment and let them remember the distinctive features of the investment.