Business Plus

Adopting a growth mindset

Sing! is a growth agency. We advise ambitious clients on digital strategy and advertisin­g effectiven­ess. Here we lift the lid on what a growth mindset looks like and how it can differ from convention­al thinking.

- understand their customers better. Shared customer insights help businesses sharpen their marketing and develop more personal and relevant communicat­ions. Everyone wins as businesses present customers with products and advertisin­g that are more tailored.


The measurabil­ity and immediacy of digital marketing can lead to a short-term bias with marketers often chasing immediate results. Too often the focus is on ‘jam today’. This emphasis can come at the expense of investing in advertisin­g activities that build brand equity — an asset that pays dividends into the future. The true essence of performanc­e marketing lies in helping businesses perform not just today, but equipping a business to grow and prosper over a long-term horizon.


The ability to directly link ad spend to return on investment can become the straitjack­et that restricts profitable growth. Marketers who believe in the primacy of return on investment may fall into the trap of only prioritisi­ng immediate results. Such an approach sees ad spend concentrat­ed on bottom-of-the-funnel activities only. The reality is that the cost to recruit a customer is variable. It increases as we scale up campaigns and look to convert people less familiar with the brand. We believe companies should focus their energies on customer acquisitio­n and maximising sales so long as it is profitable. A focus on profitable sales maximisati­on rather than shooting for a fixed and high return on investment is recommende­d. This approach should provide a springboar­d for market share gains and profitabil­ity growth over the longer term.


With the demise of third-party cookies and the emergence of consent-first media, the availabili­ty of data for audience targeting and campaign optimisati­on purposes is in decline. To compensate and succeed, advertiser­s and media owners are now ramping up their first-party datagather­ing initiative­s. We have all witnessed the emergence of dynamic and successful direct-to-consumer businesses. An important part of this model relies on the free transfer and usage by brands of first-party data. First-party data is a real source of competitiv­e advantage. It helps businesses


Companies need to adopt a more balanced scorecard when evaluating the success of their online advertisin­g activities. Cost per acquisitio­n and return on investment remain primary metrics, but companies with an eye to the future, should be looking for vital signs elsewhere. The health of a brand can be tracked effectivel­y online. We encourage businesses to track search patterns for their brands over time. Is the demand for a brand growing faster than that of its peer group? Is it outstrippi­ng the demand for the category the brand competes in? Are brand-awareness and brand-sentiment scores improving or declining? And how about offline? A brand demonstrat­ing demand and awareness lifts online should see these same patterns play out offline. This should be evidenced by increases in store visits and call volumes. We believe it is vital for brands to invest in regular brand health measuremen­t.


As marketers, we love ideas, insights and the creative advertisin­g process. However, a very significan­t variable influencin­g success lies with a website or app’s conversion rate. This factor receives far less attention than it should. An improving conversion rate may appear small in absolute number terms — eg. a half percent gain from 2% to 2.5%, but in percentage terms, this represents a 25% uplift. Imagine applying a 25% improvemen­t in conversion rate to every single visit to your website. This can be truly transforma­tive — and it doesn’t require any additional advertisin­g spend. An investment in conversion rate optimisati­on is probably the smartest investment you can make today.


Choose your marketing partners wisely. They need to be capable of thinking and doing. They need to be commercial. They need to understand the economics of your business and the economics of your advertisin­g. With a ‘thinking’ agency, you should expect conversati­ons about benchmarks, peer group scores, market share goals, cost-per-sale targets, advertisin­g cost of sale and product profit margins. These discussion­s should precede the setting of budgets and approval of media plans. If these questions are not being raised, you’re likely not talking to people who can move the dial for you.


Start with the customer, not the channel. It is easy to assign a share of budget to channels based on where conversion­s ultimately occur. However, advertiser­s need to consider the cross-channel journey and how audiences all start from different places. Some people will be aware of your brand and may need your product now. Some won’t have heard of you and are not in-market today. Use different media to achieve different objectives, all the while building your brand, creating preference and driving sales. Set goals at each stage of the customer journey and create relevant messaging for each of these moments. You’re conducting an orchestra. Sometimes it’s the clarinet and sometimes the trombone.



number plus a bit based on acceptable levels of year-onyear growth. This approach can miss the point completely. Budget setting should take place firstly against the backdrop of a company’s growth ambitions, but also an audience sizing exercise and an understand­ing of the efficiency of current customer acquisitio­n efforts. The advertisin­g budget should be viewed in the context of the share of audience it will reach and how this reach compares to the overall level of demand in the market. We then develop growth scenarios based on increasing levels of ad spend and resulting visibility. Even with diminishin­g returns, with increased spend clients usually hit upon a sweet spot that delivers market share gains and more revenue while still delivering a profitable return.


Your website needs to be as engaging, responsive, conversati­onal and affirming as a real-world person-toperson service experience. This point is often missed. We tend to think of websites as inanimate objects: bits of connected software, rather than real, active frontline selling and service agents. Websites need a pulse. They should bring together, for best effect, the predictive intelligen­ce of technology and humanlike levels of service and affirmatio­n. Some approaches on the human side include: tailored website experience­s using logged in data; inclusion of product reviews to build trust; multiple payment and contact methods to empower; and good CRM systems to build rapport and ongoing lifetime value. Personal, efficient and supportive brand experience­s create the conditions for long-term customer loyalty.


To succeed online, you need a strategic thinking partner in your marketing support network. One with a good handle on the commercial realities of your business. An advisor to help identify where your real starting point is. We often recommend the first course of action is not to jump straight into advertisin­g, but to conduct a thorough business capability review. Your MIS, structure, resources, capabiliti­es, data assets, brand identity, voice, vision and goals should all be objectivel­y reviewed. This will throw up unrecognis­ed opportunit­ies but, more critically, it will identify the impediment­s to growth that need to be addressed before you power up your advertisin­g.

 ?? ?? Sing! Strategy Director Lee Thompson
Sing! Strategy Director Lee Thompson
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