Which Channel to Use for which Offering?

October 3rd 2017

We're often shocked when clients tell us about their past experiences with other agencies, and this was the case recently with Enhanced Group, a financial firm that approached us to generate more leads for their services. Specialising in mortgages and real estate, we could not believe it when they said their previous agency (who shall remain nameless) signed them up for a three-month trial at $12,000 for pay-per click (PPC) campaigns on Facebook and Google AdWords. "Facebook for mortgages," we echoed before trailing off...FACEBOOK FOR MORTGAGES?!

Whether it's Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google AdWords, each channel is often better suited for particular offerings than others. There are myriad reasons for this, but for the purposes of this blog we'll keep things simple: certain channels are better for business-to-consumer offerings, while others deliver for business-to-business. When Enhanced Group told us their previous agency sold them on PPC for Facebook to try and sell mortgages, we suggested they get legal advice and investigate whether they could get compensation.

Facebook's ad delivery model means that you're essentially showing your wares to people that haven't asked for them. Sure, the data says they might be interested, but it doesn't mean they want or need it. While this model can work well for consumer goods, for example, an offering such as a mortgage isn't something people just jump into: they often research different options for weeks, if not months, trying to find the right fit. As such, when Enhanced Group came to us and asked whether we could get them leads, and how, our first reponse (following our shock) was to say NOT ON FACEBOOK. We then explained why, and in far more detail than in this blog...

Prior to taking any client on, we investigate the cost per mille (CPM, the dollar value to reach 1,000 people), or the cost-per click (CPC, how much each click will cost), as well as the demand and other factors for each channel we think 'might' work for a particular client. We run these through a formula we've established over the years, and then report back to the prospective client on which channels could deliver on their objectives, and which won't. Occassionally, we have to tell clients we're simply not confident any channel will work, and that perhaps it would be better not to go digital.

We refer to this as our 'due diligience', and while it means we might miss out on a few clients' trial contracts, we also avoid feeling like con artists! Longterm relationships that are profitable for both us and our clients aren't only ethical, they're a lot more fun to work on. In all honesty, it becomes depressing if a campaign isn't hitting its targets, and they're a lot more work.

Always ensure you or your agency investigate the viability of a channel PRIOR to signing the dotted line. Digital advertising is great, it works, it can make people lots of money --but it's not for everyone.