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I was glad the projector in the client's meeting room was not working. I find it easier to convey ideas by talking without a flashy presentation.

This new skincare client had done a 12-month campaign with a famous digital agency in town and the results were tragic. They had spent AED 1.2 million on the campaign and got back AED 250,000 in sales.

Now they were trying to figure out what went wrong and had called me in as a consultant to understand why their campaign had flopped.

'It is all Philip Kotler's fault' I said.

As soon as I said that, I thought Vikas would get up from his seat and knock me down. Vikas was the Marketing Director of this large skincare brand and like most marketers he was fascinated by Philip Kotler and The Principles of Marketing.

Philip Kotler as you know is the Father of Modern Marketing and one of Kotler's biggest contributions to the field of marketing was popularizing the idea of the Marketing Mix, also known as the Four Ps of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion).

'Your campaign flopped because it did not have the Fifth P. I know you are a big fan of Kotler, but unfortunately as those systems were developed in an earlier era it did not consider the Fifth P.' I explained.

'And what is the Fifth P?' Vikas asked.

'Look Vikas', I began 'We both know that using one common message to sell a product does not work anymore. Although your skincare ads were targeting women who want lovely skin and your ads promised glowing skin, it only got a mild response.

That's because there are women who want glowing skin for the party they are going to attend next week and there are also other groups of women who want to look good for their interview. While a third group might want to impress their relatives when they fly home during their summer vacation.

In online advertising, we refer to groups like this as Niche Groups. Every product and service has multiple niche groups and when you are able to identify these groups and deliver specific emotional messages to each of these groups, your ads start making an ROI'.

'So, you are saying demographic targeting based on age, gender, income and ethnicity that is used by traditional digital agencies do not work anymore?' Vikas asked.

'Yes, and this is where the Fifth P or the Passion for a product or service comes in. Without identifying your Niche Groups and having emotionally driven ads for each group, it is impossible to generate 700% ROI from your digital campaign.'

‘What you are saying is that if we had broken down our marketing messages based on Niche Groups and served different ads to each group, our campaign would have been much more successful?' Vikas challenged me.

I cleared my throat and said, 'Yes, and this is true in the B2B sector too. For example, if you are selling CRM systems using a generic benefit-driven online message, you are bound to fail.

On the other hand, if you do your research properly, you will see multiple Niche Groups within the target audience for your CRM systems.

One group could consist of CTOs who want to impress their CEOs by reducing IT spend. They would respond to a ‘Cost-Saving-CRM’ message.

Another group might be Head of ITs who want to increase operational efficiency and they would respond to a marketing message that talks about ‘Operational Efficiency’.

And a third group might be Heads of Customer Service who want to improve the Customer Retention score and ads explaining how your CRM system can solve their Customer Retention problem would be extremely appealing to them’.

'What you are saying makes me realize that the telemarketing that we did and the brochures we distributed during the trade shows did not work because we were giving one generic message to all Niche Groups.’ Vikas observed.

‘Yes, the online world has enough data to break down your target audience into small niche groups and deliver specific ads to each group’ I explained.

‘But at the same time, we have to remember that identifying the Niche Groups within the target audience is just the beginning. You need to create highly convincing sales funnels for each of these Niche Groups to become really effective.

Specific Sales Funnels need to target each of these Niche Groups with marketing messages that provide the exact solution to the problems that they are grappling with. If you can do that, you have a winner on your hand.’ I said.

‘What you are saying may be true, but it looks like a lot of work’ Vikas said, ‘most digital agencies struggle to come up with one set of ads and you are talking about multiple creatives and sales funnels’. Vikas said

‘You are right, it’s a lot of hard work and this is precisely why we are the only agency in town that promises 700% on ad spend.’ I said with a laugh.

(If you want to increase sales and want to generate 700% ROI from digital advertising, feel free to request a Trial Campaign by filling up the form below. However, do note that due to the amount of work involved, we are only taking on clients who are ready for long term contracts and have a minimum monthly spend of AED 50K.)

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