June 08, 2022

We Will Just Improve Marketing And Reduce The Organic Percentage, That Solves The Problem, Right?

I received an email from a non-client ... this individual was grumbling about his organic percentage.
  • "It's only 20%. That's awful. That means we don't know how to generate sales from print. Can't we improve the percentage? We have to improve the percentage. We need to change how we creatively present merchandise, that'll fix our problem, right?"
It's a good question, obviously.

But it's not a problem that is solved by changing how you present merchandise. It's a problem created by demographics and digital tactics. Having a low organic percentage is generally a blessing, because it means you are doing something else right. Either your merchandise appeals to a younger audience, or your audience is responsive to your digital marketing tactics. 

Or, your customers love your merchandise and they don't need you to market to them to buy it ... this is the biggest blessing you can have and almost nobody likes it when I mention this fact. The best businesses don't have to ask the customer to buy something ... customers buy something because they want to buy something independent of marketing tactics.

Can you improve the productivity of a specific marketing tactic? Oftentimes the answer is yes. Email is a classic example. Just dipping your toes in personalization tactics improves the productivity of email marketing by +/- 20%. However ... and this is a big "however" ... if you cannibalize sales from other marketing efforts or from sales generated organically ... then you haven't accomplished anything.

What's the point of this argument?

The point is that it is hard to just "change the organic percentage". It's a game of whack-a-mole. Your efforts may fail, your efforts may succeed but sales won't increase, your efforts may succeed but the organic percentage stays the same and sales increase (because you generate more buyers who then behave organically in the future), you may end up cannibalizing other marketing activities. You may not change anything because your organic percentage is demographically driven. You may not change anything because your organic percentage is fueled by brilliant digital marketing tactics.

Does that make sense?

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