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Are There Too Many Swimmers in Your Promotional Pool? Why Swim Lanes Matter

by Mark Walls February 13, 2018

At the blare of a siren, ten swimmers simultaneously slosh into a pool, ready to race. Imagine what would happen if they didn’t know whose track was whose, if the bobbing dividers didn’t keep them in their individual lanes. They’d be backstroking and butterflying into each other left, right, and center. It would be chlorinated chaos. Of course, no one would ever dream of organizing a swim meet this way. However, you may be creating similar confusion for your business’s marketing efforts without realizing it.

If you run a large, multi-tiered enterprise and engage in online advertising, chances are, the various components of your company aren’t fully coordinated in their marketing campaigns. If each segment of your business vies for the same top spot in search engine result pages, each will end up paying more and performing more poorly in the process. Basically, your company is probably competing with itself to secure the best advertising costs and slots, continually diminishing your ROI and conversions.

That’s why, when it comes to reaching the pool of your prospective customers online, it’s vital to create swim lanes for the levels of your business. As long as each tier of your company sticks to certain advertising parameters, your entire enterprise can expand. Read on to learn more about swim lanes and how Site Rank Systems can help you implement them to improve your business.

Splashing Up Against Internal Ad Competition

Your conversion rates aren’t at all what you expected, your required ad spend just to stay on the search engine results page at all seems to increase every day, and your campaigns are doing much more poorly than you’d imagined. Does this sound like your business? If so, you’re likely suffering from internal ad competition.

You see, online ad spots are typically auctioned off, meaning that they basically go to the highest bidder (there are some considerations based on the quality, relevance, and other metrics, but the amount you are willing to pay is the primary factor). When purchasing a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad on a search engine results page, you select a particular keyword or key phrase you’d like to target. This is, ideally, something your intended customers are likely to search for, signalling they might be a good fit for your product or service. For example, if you own a toy store, you might target your ads to the key phrase “affordable teddy bears near me.”

However, this process becomes more complicated – and problematic – when your business operates at multiple levels. As a national toy business, your main marketing office might be targeting “affordable teddy bears in Boston,” not realizing it is bidding against its own northeastern regional office and local Boston store, whose smaller advertising teams have also honed in on this key phrase. The result is that your national, regional, and local branches all bid against each other, artificially driving up the costs for the ad. This wastes precious resources that could have been spent on smarter, better marketing. Furthermore, even when one office finally reaches the top spot, this just means the other segments of your company can’t. In this way, internal ad competition squanders time, effort, and money, making your marketing endeavors about as effective as a disorderly swimming pool.

The Trouble with Tiers

Once you’ve identified internal competition as a factor in your underperforming ads, you’ll still need to figure out how to remedy it. Unfortunately, while tiers are a necessity for large corporations, dividing a business into multiple offices based on scope and size can present certain barriers for resolving internal competition. For example, the national office might not want to give up the key phrase “affordable teddy bears in Boston,” since it’s a major metropolitan area, while the local Boston branch might cling to this key phrase because it argues it understands the prospective customers better. In order to truly resolve internal ad competition, you need an independent, external, knowledgeable partner to help you optimize your operations from the outside. Thankfully, SRS is just that.

How Swim Lanes Work

Once we’ve determined the specific circumstances of your internal ad competition, the SRS team will work closely with you to create and implement swim lanes for your business. Just like those floating plastic separators in swimming pools, the policies we author will keep each part of your company in its own space. There must be a clear hierarchy to keep the different areas of your business from competing with each other and unnecessarily driving up ad costs. We will help you determine which key phrases and demographics each tier of your company targets with its ad spend, bringing every branch into harmony. SRS will also help enforce these rules and provide additional suggestions to help you maximize your marketing success.

Dive Into Truly Effective Advertising

Does your business need SRS swim lanes to sort out internal ad competition? Find out with our Free Internal Competition Analysis and contact SRS today to schedule a consultation.

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