Marketing Systems For Your Business

Over the last six or so years, I have developed a resentment and entirely rational hatred of many online marketers. 99% of the time, I find myself being tracked by marketers who say they can improve my business using their specialised marketing systems, based around what I generally talk about and the fields I am working in. First off, before we start, there is no surefire way that can guarantee any marketing system will actually help your business to the point that its worth investing in. I am a digital marketer by trade, so hopefully the advice I put here will help you. Let’s begin.


Spotting Scammers With Facebook


For a digital marketer, this is the easiest thing in the world. SEO specialists claiming to boost my website’s power? I’ll give them a quick scan and find out that… Oh they can’t do it. Nevermind. Social Media? Oh, Instagram for my Digital Marketing Business… I suppose if I was Belle Delphine this would benefit me. 


The most common place to find ads that might benefit you is Facebook, whoever advertises their services to you will have some kind of Facebook presence. This is the best place to start.


Go to their Facebook page and look at the amount of likes the page has. Does it have more than 1000 likes? This could be a problem. Buying page likes is easy. It’s a great way to look impressive to people and also to ruin your business. Don’t do it. The thing is a lot of digital marketers will do it to look impressive, but there are problems that come with this tactic.


Likes that are bought on dodgy websites are not real, and not real people. They are bot accounts there solely for the provision of likes. These fake people will not like posts, and this can be a problem for businesses. A successful business has a following of people, even if they’ve only recently set up their Facebook account, and these people do a number of things when posts are going out. They like, comment, share, interact, and generally they are pretty active. For every business that I’ve worked with, from Digital Marketing and Restaurants, to Computer Games, Taxi Firms and Garages, there has always been a decent reaction to posts put out when the company is a good one. 


So look at their posts. You will most likely find a pinned post right at the top with a lot of likes and interactions. This looks good. This post was most likely advertised and had a budget behind it. Scroll down and through the posts. The others won’t have nearly the number of likes this one had. If you’re dealing with 1,2 or 3 likes on posts, and that’s on an account with over 500 people, that is worrying, and these people are not good at their business. If you go to my Facebook, I have a very small following, but I occasionally get a like here or there.


So what’s the difference between someone like myself and someone who’s trying to appear like they are the best thing since sliced bread? I don’t hide behind fake statistics and numbers or pretend to be anything other than a fairly average but multi skilled digital marketer. My numbers are natural and organic, not boosted by digital adverts or fakery I’ve paid for. 


I have seen many advertisers that have had even over a million likes. I’ve been blown away by their promises and their beautifully photoshopped photos. Reality hits though when you scroll through their feed and see little to no interaction. This is particularly horrible, because anyone who genuinely likes a business generally has something to say about them. A positive post that they’ve achieved something: Good Job Guys!!! Like or love reaction! Positive posts do well on Facebook. They’ll interact with people, as it’s what Social Media people do. Its always good when their only likes come from the smiling guy who works for them in their intro video you watched… Red flags!


So About Marketing Systems


The fact is, whilst there is no surefire way to help your business completely using pre-developed systems designed by other people. There is usually something you can do to help your business do better on the digital front, and there are techniques and systems that can help you, however, be wary about any one size fits all you’re presented with. These systems can work, to a point, but usually they’re a trap. There are systems that can and will work for your business, but maybe not in the way you were expecting or to the degree you hoped for.


The main key is culture. American Marketers are monsters, capable of performing amazing feats of brilliance… They are particularly solid and masters of their art. This art decreases in effectiveness when the environment they are working in changes, as not all audiences are the same. Matt Plapp, the legend behind the ROI Engine is an amazing marketer, intelligent businessman and a great salesman. His engine has performed astoundingly for many businesses across America.


The ROI Engine does not work well in England. If you’re in the states, you can rock out some amazing numbers with the ROI Engine, especially if you’re running a restaurant or takeaway, however, if you’re in the UK you’re dealing with a culture that will not enjoy or tolerate it. Americans are some of the coolest most easygoing people I’ve ever worked with. The English however are a harder audience to sell to.


Outside of culture, there’s integration. Integration is one of the biggest issues we face in any devised marketing system. Basically the more complicated it is, the more wary you should be. If you are using one program to perform a task for you, if it fails, the task isn’t performed. The more programs you use and interlink with each other, the bigger the chance of a colossal failure in the system. I came across a phrase a long time ago “Keep it simple, stupid.” It annoyed me, but ever since I’ve kept things simple with my marketing, I’ve been more successful and I’ve gained more clients through word of mouth than I thought possible. 


Let’s say you use Manychat, Zapier and Google Sheets together to collect customer data. You then work Mailchimp into the mix or lets say Drip. Ok, you’ve got one swanky engine. So one day Facebook changes its integration policy and Manychat messes up, or goes down whilst they’re dealing with things. System broken temporarily, off-putting to your audience. Not good. Let’s say Zapier goes down on maintenance. Oh you’ve lost data. What if Google Sheets has an issue, or Mailchimp/Drip fail to fire. You’re looking at a large number of potential issues.


Then you’ve got to look at business type. Do you believe your customers will genuinely want something like the engine you are being presented with. A salesman can make any engine sound attractive and they may have a lot of proof that the engine works. The best thing to do is to ask who they’ve used it with, and talk to their customers. They won’t be allowed to do that because of data protection, but you can always ask them to get their customers to email them. If a customer is happy with their engine, they’ll usually be happy to tell you about it, and it won’t be invasive. Matt Plapp’s customers sing his praises time and again because his engine works so well for them, they see results and they love it! 


Often a salesperson won’t know the product, and I hate to say it, but a lot of them will lie just to sell it. The key to knowing if the product is for you is to be assertive with your questions. Ask the salesman complicated probing questions. If he can’t answer, that’s ok, ask to speak to someone who knows the engine. If the salesman won’t allow it, that’s a red flag. It’s entirely possible that the salesperson isn’t even selling it from their own company, or their company is offloading the system to another cheaper company. If anyone keeps referring you to a manual they send you, that’s also a red flag, it’s for a salesperson to sell you the product, not to be lazy and expect you to do the legwork they can’t be bothered to. It’s a sign they cannot react and respond with any knowledge of the system they’re trying to sell. Be wary, and protect yourself.


Should I Get A System?


At the end of the day, its up to you. I’d recommend against it. The system I use is just having a decent quality of social media presence. Solid Facebook, decent photos and content… I always like to keep marketing simple. Facebook ads work. I never recommend Instagram, even where it apparently shines, such as for areas like restaurants because I’ve never seen any return on investment from it. Facebook is pretty solid for everything because it knows everyone and what they like. It wants to sell your products because it wants you to pay for more ads. 


So What Systems Should I Avoid?


My number one Avoid would be an email marketing system. Whilst these do work occasionally for businesses, how many times do you subscribe to an emailing list only to ignore the emails completely. Only a small percentage of business emails are even opened these days, and even then, only a small percentage of those are acted on. For a massive multinational corporation, yes, it’s a good idea to invest some money into a system like this. For a smaller business, anyone selling that system to you shouldn’t be trusted. 


Complex Systems, reliant of integration. Complicated systems tend to glitch out or have errors and problems at the worst possible moments. Maybe too many people are using it at once, causing crashes in parts of the system. Maybe there are integration issues or access issues, failure of tokens, you name it. Avoid anything that sounds too complicated and utilises too many programs. 


Systems that hand over too much control. As a social media manager, I always ask people for admin access on their Facebook account. Whilst I don’t particularly need it, it’s always nice to have. I would recommend for people who post for you to always consider using editor as their role, as it’s pretty similar. Admins can take the account from you so if you ever want to sack your Facebook admin, kick them off the page before you contact them. Whilst unlikely in any line of work, there is the chance that a bitter or malicious person might try and steal your Facebook page for nefarious purposes or just to delete it out of revenge. Minimise risk, keep things safe and always protect yourself.


Systems that require storage of Personal Data. I am against storing data for numerous reasons. From Chatbots to Email Marketing, if you are storing data, you’re liable if there is a data breach. If someone is in charge of the system that takes this data and there’s no contract in place which states that they’re responsible for a breach in their system, do NOT get involved. Data breaches are ugly, horrible and messy to sort out. I’ve had to handle two data breaches for people who were sent to me for advice on them. Be very careful storing any sort of customer data. 


Instagram – More of a program than a system, I have long had a hatred of Instagram. This is based on me mainly being a restaurant marketer, using it with over 50 restaurants to date and with no actual return on investment at all other than instagram likes. Don’t trust anyone trying to sell you an instagram campaign. Instagram is a luxury, not a necessity.


Is There A System I Can Rely On?


Yes, to a point. As Social Media is important to all businesses, a simple posting system could be a great answer to your problems. Social Media can be fiddly with multiple logins, but it can be handled from one platform. I recommend a program called Content Studio, It’s super easy to use and gives you a tonne of programs and features that can revolutionise how you run your social media. Basically it’s a shortcut website application that allows you to post to all your Social Media at once without logging in. Even with Content Studio, there are sometimes small down times, but it’s useful. If you’re interested, it’s currently on sale until the end of [todaysdate format= “F Y”]!


The only other thing you can rely on is that customers will always love give aways. A chance to win something such as a competition that gives anything from free food to an I-Pad, even a few cheap amazon vouchers will get a lot of likes and shares. Some people will only ever like and share because they want free things. But there are a lot of local people who will see the competition and notice your business. You can quickly get people to follow you that way. Then they see your other posts and products when you put them out there. 

Alex O’Neil

I am the CEO of Ramro Synergy LTD, an up and coming digital synergy firm based in the UK. I work as a blogger, SEO specialist and Web Designer, and my hobbies include making small films and writing music.