How brands can earn more by marketing like small businesses

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It’s obvious: big brands and small businesses approach marketing very differently.

When we’re marketing a big brand, everything’s… bigger. From marketing teams and budgets and contractors and the array of ad campaigns and channels, there’s more of everything.

Of course that also means a lot of extra pressure on ourselves as marketing managers.


Thankfully, digital channels give us real time data and KPI that tell us exactly how our ads are performing and guide us to the best returns.

We measure CPC or CPM and optimize to drive those amounts lower. When comparing campaign channels, we shift budgets according to whichever is providing the best metrics, but not necessarily what is providing the best value.

But what if we’re maximizing metrics at the expense of ROI?


Small business owners have a much simpler approach.

With smaller budgets, they must be very selective about where they advertise. They may dip their toe in new platforms, testing out a new phonebook or local news site.

Marketing is only one small part of their job description. They tend not to bother learning the different KPI and nuances of digital marketing and they don’t care.

They care about one thing: making more sales. They don’t focus on web-traffic or banner ad impressions, but they’re tracking real-time data just as well through day-to-day sales or calls for quotes.


Brands need to get back to basics to maximize return on investment and it’s as simple as remembering what we’re really buying in advertising. We don’t really want to buy clicks or impressions for the cheapest price, we’re paying to get more customers.

This means getting more targeted with our advertising. It means blocking traffic from people who accidentally click on an ad while checking the weather on their phone.

Let’s get people through the doors or on the phone and making sure we make the sale when we get them there.

We’re going to pay more for clicks and impressions, but we’re not worried about shrinking CPC’s and CPM’s, we’re focused on growing our business.