5 Ways to Get Good Returns from Your Marketing Campaigns

Getting good returns from their marketing campaigns’ is the goal of every marketer. But surprisingly there are very few marketers who achieve this goal.

Why?

Because the marketing landscape is constantly changing, and navigating it can be extremely tough, especially if you’re new to it. But don’t let that scare you away!

If you are creating marketing campaigns and wondering how to improve the performance of these campaigns, this post is for you. I’ll dive into the tactics and ways that will help you generate good returns from your marketing campaigns:

  1. Understand your audience

If you don’t know your audience, you won’t even know whether your campaign is going to resonate with them, let alone what messages to send them or how to convert them from prospect to customer. So, before you begin creating your marketing campaigns’, it’s essential to have an idea of who your audiences are.

Now the question is how to understand your audience better?

Well, you should always start by creating a few clear marketing personas — made-up of people that represent your ideal customers.

Try to fill these personas with everything you know about your target audience from their name to designation to their goals and challenges. The more you’ll learn about your audience, the better your marketing campaigns will perform.

  1. Outline your campaign objective

Although the primary goal for most marketing campaigns’ is to increase sales, there are other goals you might want to achieve with your campaigns.’ So, before you create your marketing campaign, you need to define a clear goal for every campaign. Here are some goals to consider:

  •    Increase traffic
  •    Increase brand awareness
  •    Increase sales leads
  •    Improve customer engagement
  •    Gather customer feedback
  •    Develop brand ambassadors
  •    Improve customer retention

The more specific you are with your campaign goal, the easier it will be to achieve success.

  1. Align your campaign goal with the business goal

When creating campaigns many times marketers fail to align their campaign goals with their business goals. When that happens, you may end up creating campaigns’ that may not help you improve your business bottom line.

If you want to create successful marketing campaigns, you should ensure that your campaign goal aligns with your business goal.

  1.  Leverage the power of marketing automation

No matter how good your marketing campaigns are if you can’t measure their effectiveness – you can’t prove their success. So you need to invest in marketing automation to measure your campaign’s success.  

How can marketing automation tool help with that?

Most automation tool includes analytics and reporting features that provide you the data you need to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Although a lot of companies have invested in marketing automation tools but most of them are still using them as an email marketing tool – don’t be one of them. 

  1. Test, Monitor, and Analyze

You’ve probably heard it many times, but it’s so chronically neglected that I’m going to mention it again – no matter which marketing channel you are using, testing the effectiveness of your efforts is essential. The same rule applies to your marketing campaigns too.

Without monitoring your campaigns, you won’t be able to identify the areas that need improvement, and in turn, you won’t be able to garner good results from these campaigns.

Author Bio:  Reshu Rathi is an online marketing and conversion rate enthusiast. She has been in the internet marketing industry for nearly ten years, specializing in content and product marketing, lead generation and engagement strategy. She provides thought leadership for a variety of global publications.

The ABC..Z of Digital Marketing for Startups


In today’s era, it is very important for startups to be present where their audience are and engage with them. You can reach your tech-savvy audience through various channels of digital marketing. To get better results, I had written an easy guideline which will help to meet your business objective more smartly.
A – ALT Tags

  • A line of text used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. Use keywords in these attributes to get high rankings on your pages.

B – Brand Awareness Ads

  • Brand awareness should be the first thing in building advertising objectives. Try local awareness ads on facebook to reach out more audiences. Making people aware that you exist will help you to drive more traffic and thus create a buzz in the market!

C – Cost per Acquisition Ads

  • Try CPA ads and analyse the results from each ad. Keep your CPA less than Rs. 40.

D – Dynamic Retargeting Ads

  • Dynamic retargeting Ads are shown to those users who have already been to your site containing images and information about the exact item they viewed.

E – Email Marketing

  • Email marketing saves your budget & increase brand recognition. Email marketing helps you to stay in touch with your audience on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind and at the tip of their tongue.

F – Fun

  • To engage with the audience on social media don’t bore them. Did you know 97% of the content shared on facebook are entertaining?

G – Geo-targeting Ads

  • Use geo-targeting ads to reach your potential customers by their physical location. The major search engines now all offer the ability to geo-target searches in their Pay-Per-Click campaigns by viewing their IP addresses.

H – Header Tags

  • HTML heading tags are critical components of SEO, as often times both are graphical, thereby unreadable to search engine spiders. Page titles should be included to define the page’s purpose and theme. All of the header tags should be used according to their relevance, with more prominent titles utilising <h1>, subheaders using <h2>, and so on.

I – Instagram Ads

  • Instagram offers three different formats for advertising on the platform. Photo Ad, Video Ad & Carousel Ad where you will get a good number of reach in less budget as compared to facebook reach.

J – Javascript

  • AdWords scripts provide a way to programmatically control your AdWords data using simple JavaScript in a browser-based IDE. You can use scripts to automate common procedures or interact with external data—for one to many AdWords accounts.

K – Keyword Research

  • Be sure to play detective and research keywords for each platform you’re using because audiences can vary from platform to platform.

L – LinkedIn Ads

  • Advertising on LinkedIn is important because it targets a more professional realm than other social media sites. There are also different advertising formats that you can choose from. You can advertise with image ads, video ads, or with a simple text ad.

M – Meta-Tags

  • Also called meta-data, this information found in HTML page headers used to be the bread and butter of SEO marketing tactics.

N – Natural Listing

  • Natural Listings also called “organic results” is the non-advertised listings in Search Engines. Some search engines may charge a fee to be included in their natural listings, but most of them are free. Website ranking depends on many factors and natural listing is one of them.

O – Outbound Links

  • Links on any Web page leading to another Web page, whether they are within the same site or another website. Outbound links are important as they will help you to reach wider audiences.

P – Pop-up Ads

  • Pop-up ads are forms of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. It will help you to capture more email addresses, which will be important for generating good contact lists and customer data.

Q- Quality Score

  • Quality Score in Google Adwords used to calculate ratings of your keywords. If your Quality score is less than 5 then change your keyword or bidding accordingly.

R – Retargeting Ads

  • Google Adwords and Facebook Ads both will provide you with the option of retargeting, retarget your user using these two channels. You will always have competitors when it comes to startups, but retargeting can help you be one step above everybody.

S – SEO

  • Search engine optimisation or SEO, in short, is a set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimise their websites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings. It will lead you to increase your organic conversions.

T – Twitter Ads

  • Twitter now offers a lot of advertising ads, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Keyword Targeting in Timelines. Twitter is very different as compared to facebook when it comes to targeting.

U – UAC Campaigns

  • If you are new to Google Adwords try running UAC campaigns. Universal app campaigns run ads across the Google Search Network and the Display Network, including Google Play, within other apps, and on YouTube. These campaigns generate your ads based on your app listing in the Google Play Store, a few independent lines of text, and an optional YouTube video link.

V – Viral Ads

  • Every founder or co-founder has a dream to make startup going viral. But the truth is you never know what could go viral these days, the internet is weird like that.

W- Website

  • To list your startup at #1 in Search ranking, it very important to optimize your website properly. The majority of search engines users are more likely to choose one of the top 5 suggestions in the results page so to take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your on-line store you need to rank as higher as possible.

X – XML Sitemap

  • XML Sitemaps are important to crawl your website and indexed by search engines. Based on your website data, search engines include pages in their search index, which means that page can be found by users. Website crawlability is its accessibility for search bots. You have to be sure that search bots will be able to find your website pages, obtain access and then “read” them.

Y – Youtube Ads

  • YouTube has become an extremely important component of digital marketing.YouTube has an important role to play in terms of discovery as well as in the final stages of a buying decision.

Z – z- Index

  • Using the z-index property of CSS allows you to better control the positioning of overlapping elements. This element is sometimes used for black hat SEO purposes.

Lessons Learned Running A Bootstrapped Startup For 4 Years: Never Growth Hack Before Achieving Product Market Fit

[Notes from NextBigWhat : Bootstrapping is extremely under rated. We invite bootstrapped startup founders to share their experience.] 

This is Raxit, founder @ SmartMumbaikar.com, which runs carpool in Mumbai. Strong believer of bootstrapping since last 4 years – sharing some of my learnings bootstrapping over the last few years.

1. Try to validate idea asap & achieve product market fit. (For product startup)

Either you directly jump start after college, during college or after few years in Job, this is the most important aspect.

I have done job for 7 years before quitting and I was having cash of approx. 15 months. Idea was to enable people sharing their vehicles. After quitting it took me approx. 11 months to build technology and make site up for usage.

Our idea is simple : we enable you to share car/give/take lift, you save on money, you pay us Rs 400/month.

Idea Validation: After 11 month we were seeing slow traction, people were paying or asking for trial. So that was a validation of what we are trying to solve, people want it and ready to pay for it….  But Scary..

Solution: Let me admit, How foolish I was. I was (and still i am ) geek, so we have build system like this. User sign-up with his/her mobile number, home and office location. Instead of pressing button in Uber, you just give a missed call on our number.  Same way uber finds you nearby cab, we sms you who all are going on your route. This solution never ever worked. I tried to do a/b test, marketing, advertising but no luck. I lost all my money, I was not even having money to pay for my rent, maid. Those scary days, true friends and roommate were helpful.

I had to tell tata bye-bye to employees without giving them salary (I cleared all dues later and still have a very good relationship with all).

Now within 2 yrs we are doing 2.5 lac seats sharing using carpool every month, It is growing! We are making decent revenue & profit. Also launching android & iphone app soon.

PS: June 2016: Uber was doing Pool ride of 2 lac/month, even you book using UberPool and go solo, they count that as UberPool vs We are counting actual seats.

It tooks 18 months time to realize things are not working, a bit longer time.

2. Never do growth hacking before product market fit – At Least don’t spend heavy or even less. (Applies to funded/ bootstrapped startup both)
  • Angel/VC funded founders have this itch on doing big marketing, SMS, Email, Hoarding, Radio-TV Ads etc.  even before product market fit
  • Normally Angel want exit in 4-6 yrs, VC 7-8 yrs. So Angel wants you to get next round asap. To get to Series A you need to have good traction
  • For VC funda is simple, invest in 10, 7 will die, 2 will survive, 1 will pay for all 7 who failed, that is their business. But for you as founder, your startup is your baby. If you spend cash and not have loyal userbase, it is like leaky bucket.

Your top priority should not be growth hack but it should be retention hack, unit economy hack and profitability hack.

For standalone product, it may not be difficult but for Network effect / Marketplace app, this is really challenging and thin chance of success if not done with discipline

3. Ask for Help! Especially top shot.

When things were not working, I was trying to close sales of our solutions to larger enterprise (without realizing product/solution is wrong). There are very good people in Industry like Few VC,Ex-colleagues. Even we were competing with one of his portfolio companies, one VC never hesitated introducing me to Top CEO level people whenever I asked him. Surely, I was able to complete sales quicker, but sold them wrong (Product who has not achieved product market fit)

Same way, asked friends for survival money, credit cards etc… few have supported, Few went silent. In bad time, you will find who is your true friend and who is just so called “Bol bachan”

4. Build product that people love.

Shitty products go nowhere.

5. Make few users obsessed (truly/madly/deeply) with your product versus 10,000 Facebook likes

Test : When they are unable to use your product, it should create itch/frustration to your users.

6. Spend time & money on right thing

Tips:

  • Don’t buy/rent office if not needed, work from home, or separate flat.
  • No shiny furniture etc, minimum need is enough
  • Use CCD/Barista/Customer office for meetings
  • Pay your employees well & on time, give them stock options.
  • Spend your time with Employees and Customer (my 90% time goes here)
  • Stay Lean
  • Do parties 🙂 Have fun.?
  • Provide great customer experience and support
  • Listen to Yourself, your employee and your customer.
  • Don’t listen to anyone else except other entrepreneurs & above
  • Prepare yourself and your near dear one for your hectic work, there will be no work life balance during early days.
  • Don’t fall in love <3 Else it will more likely to hurt everyone. Be ruthless.
  • Hectic days are good, Redbull is your friend,
  • Bad days will be there, Beer is your friend.
  • Normal days, have enough tea/coffee/juice/nimbu pani
  • Don’t forget to put Analytics.
  • Prepare mentally, there will be good day as well as bad. Don’t give up in bad time.
  • If you are trying to solve real problem, if first solution does not work, Try changing solution (in our case missed call to share car, to Use app to share car)
  • It will take 2-4 pivot before you reach product market fit.If you can build things in 3-4 months and validate still it will suck your 6 month to 1 year. Be mentally prepared & don’t give up. Most of the founders give up after 1st pivot
  • Don’t try to raise money without traction, except in hot area it will suck your time and energy without any fruitful result(Like right now AI, hardware, VR/AR etc)
  • Don’t innovate on many aspect at a time, focus only 2-3. Rest follow the tradition
  • Doing PR is not equal to Doing Dhandha, press can give you spike for short term.
  • Don’t Hire PR agency, build relationship.
  • Focus on crucial 2-3 matrix, Ignore matrix which are useless
  • Bad/Angry customers gives you good lesson.
  • Instead focus on in order 1) validation 2) product market fit 3) traction 4) funding (optional) 5) growth.

Tip to Non-Tech founders

    1. Learning coding will definitely help your company
    2. Outsourcing is an easy option, Still don’t do it. You will likely to regret.
    3. Learning coding will not take more than 2-3 weeks
    4. Building team vs outsource, building team is difficult but still do it.

If you are tech founders, try Sales.

Hiring & Firing

  • Fire fast if need to.
  • Non-performance or no chemistry match within team, just be ruthless.
  • Be open for learning, listening.
  • 10% idea discussion rest all execution,  At one small startup, full day only idea discussion only,  Less coding, Less execution and in few months all went for job.
  • Don’t rush for hiring, hiring wrong people in early days may put a big risk on your startup.
  • Early days hire generalist, Growth stage hire specialist.
  • Hiring your ex-colleague or prior work experience is good.
  • Unknown hire, do chaos test. Put him/her in weird condition and see how one reacts additional to their required skill.
  • Hire UI/UX at early stage (I have done mistake to hire UI/ UX after product is ready, regretting and paying for it now).

How Flatle used Rs.7,500 to get over 1 mn impressions, 438 social media posts, 19 short videos in 3 Days.

One of the biggest NOs in the start-up community is to publicly share your hacks and hustles that especially the ones, which fetch you big success lest someone might copy it. That’s a real shame, we thought. Sharing the heroic success we had with our unconventional and awesome means of marketing tactics (I’m bragging, don’t mind!) can be a great tool for others to learn from.

In fact, we believe that our case study is hopefully uniquely insightful for lots of people. Here is why: we are about to share a marketing hack for startups to get over to get over 1 million impressions, 438 social media posts, 19 short videos, and at the same time raised money for children’s education in 3 Days with a cost of mere 7,500/- rupees

We have a “joke a day” thing in our office, where one person shares a joke on slack for everyone. Once this was shared:

Father: I want you to marry a girl of my choice.
Son: “I will choose my own bride!”
Father: “But the girl is Bill Gates’ daughter.”
Son: “Well, in that case…OK”
Next Day
Father approaches Bill Gates.
Father: “I have a husband for your daughter.”
Bill Gates: “But my daughter is too young to marry!”
Father: “But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank.”
Bill Gates: “Ah, in that case… OK”
Finally Father goes to see the president of the World Bank.
Father: “I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president. ”
President: “But I already have more vice- presidents than I need!”
Father: “But this young man is Bill Gates’s son-in-law.”
President: “Ah, in that case… OK”

It might sound like a silly joke, but it has a brilliant lesson embedded in it, With a good plan, one can go a long way”.

In my mailbox was a proposal from Sri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi (SRCC) seeking sponsorship for their annual management festival, Business Conclave (BC), for Rs. 50,000 to Rs.10 Lakh. A big hike this year because it was to be inaugurated by Mr. Sunder Pichai, and had an impressive list of participating colleges. Being a winner at the event for two years in a row in 14 & 15, I knew how wonderful this was, as an opportunity for students to sharpen and harness their management skills.

However, the competitions are designed by students themselves around fictional companies. A lot of effort and ideas are thus wasted, which could have been better utilised for resolving real-world problems.
So we proposed the organizers that we will provide them with real challenges and problems to solve. Also Flatle will sponsor the third prize worth Rs. 7,500.

Well, got a sponsorship deal worth Rs.50,000 for Rs.7,500.

Out of 1500 teams participating, 80 brilliant teams qualified for round 2.

We thought it would be best to tap their raw marketing skills and out of box thinking and create a pool of marketing material for Flatle. 

For marketing we required a mix of things, videos, blog posts, facebook campaigns, twitter campaigns, etc. However we could not assign everything to everyone – it will be too much work for them, and we could not assign just one thing each to everyone – it will be too much of one thing for us!

To get maximum of our work done by the enthusiastic students, we decided to design a game around it. I made this virtual real-time marketplace where points were determined on the basis of demand and supply. We set the demand of each content and the points would reduce if supply crossed the demand. We could control the amount of content being created without jeopardizing the freedom of contestants with our tool. You can find it here.

The kind of response we got was just great! Enjoy this sample creative video.

The creativity and ideation was just outstanding. However the designs in some cases were raw.

At the time, we were looking for a graphic designer. We had a lot of applicants for the role. We forwarded the raw designs to them to redesign as application assignments and hey look, what we got here, some crazy professional standard designs with 0 resources.

Now back to the main hustle, the entries were now looking so good, we decided to leverage SRCC’s brand name and the content to get more out of it. We contacted top NGO’s about a fundraising opportunity and tied up with SMILE foundation. The proposal was simple, SMILE would promote the social media posts created in SRCC’s BC for Flatle to raise funding for a social cause.

We now went back to SRCC and got a better deal for Flatle. We had SMILE promoting them to be fair. With this done, SRCC and Smile both promoted the posts through their websites and social media. Find about it here  and here.

The end result exceeded our expectations. We got 1 million impressions in a span of 48 hours, and we contributed to the noble cause of education of under-privileged children. 

Startup is all about smart work and not hard work.

[Guest article by Ritika Jain, cofounder of Flatle]

You’re Still Modeling Growth Incorrectly

In month n, you have U_0 x (1 + monthly growth)^n users.

Does that look familiar? Be honest.

That’s modeling hockey-stick growth by defining exponential, hockey-stick growth. Then the game is tweaking the growth rate to make the numbers look reasonable. You lower the growth rate so your projections aren’t totally insane — just insane enough to make you a millionaire on paper.

This kind of model is an exercise in vanity, because it makes you feel like a billion-dollar valuation is just one tiny tweak away to that growth-rate cell on your spreadsheet.