Digital Advertising: How to Create a Competition-Beating Ad Strategy with Rob Harrison-Plastow, Source Nine (episode 167)

by April Buencamino-dy

Rob is CEO at Source Nine home to The Empathy Blueprint (which you may remember from a previous episode!). Rob and the team at Source Nine help you take the guesswork out of your ad strategies and create a highly effective campaign that deeply resonates with your target audience.

Rob Harrison-Plastow Source Nine Digital Advertising

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Dive in:

[05:45] Directly engage with customers for advantage.
[09:50] Quantitative data helps with segmentation.
[13:36] Clear objectives, solve problems, and focused participants.
[16:04] Good recruitment.
[23:15] Quickly complete projects.
[29:57] Change your thinking.
[32:29] Gain customer insight for effective marketing strategy.

Building a Successful Ad Strategy

Start by recognizing the insights, strategies, and tactics involved. Tactics are the actions you take, but strategy is about choosing where to invest your efforts.

When it comes to insights, rather than relying on guesswork, begin with data. This is where it’s important to truly know your customers. Gather direct insights from your customers. By understanding your customers – their perspectives, needs, and preferences – you gain profound insights into who they are and why they act the way they do.

And while numerical data and trends are readily available, it’s the qualitative data – the rich understanding of your customers’ essence – that truly matters. Once this level of understanding is achieved, everything else falls into place.

Starting with Insights

Rob emphasizes starting with insights, which involves understanding the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your customers on a deep level. This begins by collecting both quantitative and qualitative data.

Quantitative data involves reviewing trends, analytics, and existing metrics. Qualitative data involves conducting interviews, focus groups, and engaging with customers directly to gain a rich understanding of their motivations, perceptions, and language.

Moving on to Strategy

With insights in hand, the next step is to develop a strategy.

Rob stresses the value of collaboration and aligning your strategy with your team’s strengths, resources, and customer preferences. Instead of chasing after trends like everyone else, he suggests focusing on what aligns best with your unique capabilities and customer needs. The strategy should be clear, actionable, and aimed at achieving specific objectives.

Coming Up with Tactics

Once the strategy is in place, tactics can be determined.

This is where the specific actions and channels are chosen to execute the strategy effectively. By having a well-defined strategy based on deep insights, the decision-making process for tactics becomes much clearer and aligned with customer expectations. This reduces the need to chase after every new trend and allows for focused efforts.

Streamlining the Implementation

The process of insights, strategy, and tactics is not as time-consuming as it may seem. Even small-scale efforts, such as conducting interviews with a handful of customers, can yield valuable results. Collaborating with partners or agencies can expedite the process further.

The key is to approach marketing with a growth mindset, acknowledging that you don’t need to have all the answers, but you can find them through conversations with customers and team members.

Insider Tips

If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with digital advertising – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?

Follow the three-step process of insight, strategy, and tactics. By nailing this, you’re already ahead of most competitors.

Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve digital advertising performance?

Keep getting feedback regularly. It’s a bit like conversion rate optimization but make it a routine to check your and your competitors’ reviews. Stay connected and keep asking customers what they need, want, and think about things.

If someone listening wants to learn more about digital advertising is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?

Rob recommends the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, which he says will change the way you see yourself and other people.

Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in digital advertising?

People’s behaviors, preferences, and priorities change with evolving environments. Even if you had previous success or a solid strategy, staying connected with customers is essential to minimize risks from changing circumstances.

Interview Links

Rob on Social media:

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