Set Marketing budgets by your Marketing Stage

Okay, so it’s officially planning season for our 2024 marketing! BUT before you decide where you need to spend your marketing budget, I’d like you to take a step back and consider these five MARKETING PHASES.

Understanding them is going to focus your efforts in the right direction.

1 Awareness

This is where you really just want to get your name out there. Maybe you’ve opened up a new location, you’re a new organisation just launching in a market. Or you’re catching up for 10 years of bad marketing from your predecessors!


This is where you have all your marketing foundations in place, but you really are just trying to get bums on seats and sales made. This is where you’ll focus all of your marketing budget on getting those sales over the line.


This is where you just want to focus on a few key messages that you want to embed in the minds of your consumers and all your efforts are focused on getting these messages onto various platforms.

You may also want to fix misconceptions in the market or fix the reasons why people aren’t considering you in their buying decision process.


This is where you have healthy growth happening, but you’re finding that the churn of customers, especially for service-based organisations is perhaps not where you’d like it to be. You’ll be focusing your marketing budget on changing the perceptions and the satisfaction of your current clients so that they stay with you for the long term.


The last phase is where us marketers have it made for us. It’s the maintenance phase and this is where you are doing a great job across the board and have a strong brand presence and market share and you are just looking to maintain that position in the market.

Knowing which phase you’re at is really going to help you to set the majority of your budget towards achieving the right goals. Having that clarity right at the beginning of the planning process is going to give you a super impactful 2024 marketing plan!

The Latest Digital Marketing Changes to Take Action On

The Latest Digital Marketing Changes to Take Action On

Keeping up with the latest changes and trends when it comes to Digital Marketing can be challenging. We recently hosted a great interactive webinar looking at the next big 3 changes you need to be aware of, how they impact you and what action steps you need to take.

Digital Marketing – The 3 big changes:

  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  • iOS 14 changes and a broader move to a cookie-less future
  • New .AU domains

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

This is one change we have all probably been avoiding but it’s something you need to tackle as it will be compulsory from July 2023. This change is in line with the move toward a cookie-less future and is more privacy-focused; GA4 will no longer be reliant on cookies for tracking purposes.

Although the installation is more onerous, there are definite benefits to the new analytics. The home page dashboard is fully customisable, based on the data you want to see which will make your life easier in the long run.

Goals are now referred to as conversions; although the setup is more complex, our experience is that the data is far more accurate. Another change relates to bounce rates; GA4 now looks at engagement rates. The new analytics focuses on user behaviour and how they engage with your site, which is the exact type of data you need, especially when it comes to search engine optimisation and how the user is interacting with your content.

A big advantage of the new analytics is the introduction of machine learning with regard to data gaps. The system will automatically alert you to significant trend changes in your data and will provide recommendations. The insights you will receive will be more customer-centric and a lot more valuable for you as a marketer. 

Action steps

Yes, you are going to have to install GA4 but there’s no better time than the present! We recommend that you use Google Tag Manager for installation. We have found it preferable to run GA4 parallel with Universal Analytics as it will take time to convert all your reporting and you don’t want to lose any data. 

iOS 14 changes and a broader move to a cookie-less future

Opting out of tracking is now a default option on Apple devices, which makes our job of tracking our marketing efforts more difficult. This change only affects Apple devices and from an Australian perspective, this accounts for around 14% of your web traffic. At an initial glance, this doesn’t seem like a big number, but it is signalling a change in trend as consumers become more protective of their personal information. As digital marketers, we need to be looking at how to move forward in a potential “cookie-less future”. 

How does it impact you?

This change means that you can no longer easily gather information from visitors to your site and you won’t be in a position to track their conversions. With fewer numbers being reported, your conversion measurements will be less accurate and missing data will impact any related optimisation.

Retargeting becomes a challenge as you are no longer able to track your prospective client’s journey. Apple data will also be delayed by up to 3 days. This will impact any type of Facebook or Google advertising you are doing as there will be less data to work with when optimizing ads.

Another change is that you will no longer be able to receive any form of demographic breakdown of ad data. Basically, all your numbers are going to be less accurate and as any digital marketer knows, this is going to make your job more difficult. Having said that, companies like Google and Facebook are continually working on solutions and there are a few crucial actions you need to take to minimise the impact. 

Action steps

If you have a Facebook page or ad account, you will need to set up Facebook Conversions API. This will allow you to continue to track conversions, but occurs from the server side as opposed to via cookies.

The next step you can take is to enable Advance Matching on your Facebook account. This will allow you to obtain more data about your audience and identify whether or not they were a conversion.

The last step we recommend is to set up the Aggregated Event Measurement. This functionality supports marketers in being able to run effective campaigns while still preserving user privacy, however, you will be limited to 8 conversion events. We recommend setting up standard conversion events and then classifying all the different conversions into one of those categories, e.g. school tour bookings.

New .AU domains

The Australian Domains Authority has released a new domain extension for the first time in decades, which is now .au instead of .com.au.

Although most schools make use of the education extension, we recommend that you pre-book your domain to avoid the risk of a competitor or another business registering that domain.

Currently, preference is being given to owners of existing businesses but if you don’t pre-register, you risk losing that domain name once it is available in the open market.

We wish you all the best as you navigate all these new changes. Make sure to watch the full webinar for more detail. It’s definitely worth it!


Questions regarding this article? Please email me at mara@robertsdigital.com.au



Traditional Marketing for Schools – Measuring Your Success

Traditional Marketing for Schools – Measuring Your Success

As marketers we want to show a return on investment for our efforts, however, with traditional marketing, this can be difficult. Here you have a few ways you can measure your traditional marketing efforts.

Measuring traditional marketing can be like chasing a puff of smoke. It’s challenging to get it right, and it’s pretty frustrating when you want to show a return on investment for all your efforts. I want to share a few tips on how you can measure your traditional marketing efforts.

Google Annotations

The first thing you will want to do is create an annotation in Google Analytics. This is just a little note for a period of time to say, “Hey we had a billboard up.”, So to create an annotation, what you need to do is click on your Google Analytics timeline, add an annotation for the period of time you had your advertising. This will help you directly compare your website traffic versus when you have your traditional advertising out. It gives you an indication of whether your ad is generating website traffic.

SMS To Register

When possible, the next thing that I like to do is to use SMS features in my traditional ads, such as flyers and magazine ads. SMS to register or SMS to opt-in. This is an easy way for people to opt-in, respond to your ad, and give you a way to measure whether it’s working or not, and it also helps you build your email list because you’ll be collecting their email addresses in the first SMS.

Unique URLs

The next thing you can do to measure your traditional ad is to have a unique URL for a specific ad. This is a little bit of effort, so it depends on the size of your campaign, but if possible, have a unique URL that people visit for that specific ad. This will indicate whether the ad is driving traffic to your website and people are responding to your ad. You can add an incentive for them if they visit that URL.


The next thing that you can do to measure traditional advertising is to have a survey of people on your email list who have made previous inquiries. Ask the question, “What are all the ways that you’ve heard about us in the past?”

When measuring traditional advertising, bear in mind that this is for indicative reasons only. It’s not an absolute measure of, “Okay, so we’ve got five new customers because of this traditional ad.” It gives you an indication of if this medium is working better than another medium. Many people will shoot themselves in the foot by being too precise with their measuring, and there may be opportunities to work in the long run.

Traditional advertising is more about brand building and awareness, and you have to understand your customers buying cycle and decision-making process to measure effectively. It may take people two or three months from first seeing a traditional ad to actually register or become a customer.

Questions regarding this article? Please email me at mara@robertsdigital.com.au

Marketing a Business – Business Survival Guide

Marketing a Business – Business Survival Guide

Why is it important that business owners know about marketing and business? In the modern day and age, gone are the days where businesses didn’t need to market and could rely on their location alone, word of mouth or referrals. Businesses really need to know how to market their business in order to survive. Marketing should be part of your daily business routine. What’s involved in marketing a business? Marketing a business involves building general awareness and also digging deep into a targeted market and building relationships with your audience.

Above-the-line marketing incorporates branding and awareness strategies and can be seen as a spray of awareness to a large audience. Media such as television and radio are perfect examples of above-the-line marketing. Below-the-line marketing is where you dig a little bit deeper into your targeted audience. You know your targeted audience and the messages that they want to hear. It’s reaching them where they’re at. These are mechanisms like social media and direct mail. Every business should have a marketing plan that incorporates both above-the-line marketing and below-the-line marketing. This will ensure that you can reach your audience and engage with them on a level that will build a relationship with them.

How should you set up your business marketing? The first thing is to always work according to a marketing plan. Even if your plan is simple and details of a few key events or promotions for the year. It’s important to have a plan that will keep you on track. If you are just starting out, start with a small campaign based around a time of year or a specific promotion. This way you’ll be able to measure the results within a short time frame and take your learning’s on to bigger campaigns later on. Many business owners simply feel that they can’t afford to take part in marketing, that’s why they rely on word of mouth and their personal networking and cold calling. But, I believe that businesses can’t afford NOT to market.

Marketing is essentially buying a customer. The more you put into marketing, the more customers you’ll have. Marketing is one of those areas where you can show return investment for every cent spent. That is why it is important that you measure all of your efforts. Invest in your marketing so that you can get customers. It as simple as that. You cannot afford not to be marketing. When starting out a big chunk of your income should go into marketing and growing and expanding your business.

My simple actions steps that you can take are to first develop a clear, simple plan that you can follow and then continue to measure your results and see if you’re meeting your targets. I also have services that help business owners market their services or product. I can give you consulting on email marketing, social media, Google AdWords, search visibility, media buying and a whole lot more services. Be sure to book a consultation in which I’ll help you draft your marketing plan and get you started with your marketing.

Business Marketing – Getting Started

Business Marketing – Getting Started

Business Marketing – Getting Started

With so much technology available to help owners start their business, today’s market is becoming increasingly accessible and increasingly competitive. Because there are so many new businesses cropping up you need professional training and approach to stay ahead. Business marketing is more than just getting the word out there. You also need to look at the big picture and your product and services and know your target audience in order to carve a niche for yourself.

Business marketing is not just cold calling. You need to know who your customer is. You need to know what they want. Then you need to develop a product or service that they are going to find appealing. Finally, you need to know how to get the word out there and how to make the sale as well after that.

Many people start with the last point. They don’t have a product or service that’s been tested in the market and they just want to get the word out.

Business marketing, if set up correctly starts with market research so that you know who your customers are. That can take place with surveys, focus groups and online research on social media. You then need to develop your product and offering terms so that it meets what your customers are expecting. Develop a prototype or a launch service that you are going to test and measure with your market. Then finally, you can go ahead and get the word out through a range of innovative marketing techniques.

Whenever it takes too long to launch, all that market research is quite time-consuming. You can take a test as you go approach where you continuously improve your product and you are continuously getting feedback and you are developing a product that will serve a higher value as you go.

If you want to launch your business you need to start with innovative marketing and knowledge of your audience. I can offer you a consult and help you to know who your customers are and what they want from you and how to give them a product or service that they are looking for and I can obviously help you get the word out through online and offline marketing.

Marketing for Small Business – How to Get Customers

Marketing for Small Business – How to Get Customers

Small business owners need an innovative approach to their marketing, and they need to take a different approach to large corporations. They need to be innovative and cost-effective in their marketing so that they can get market share in an industry. Small business owners typically are in charge of their marketing themselves instead of working through an agency, and therefore they need the skills and expertise to market their business and get customers.

Marketing for a small business is often less focused on branding, and more focused on call to action marketing. A call to action requires an immediate response such as call now or book now. Call to action marketing is based around a conversion event, such as a phone call, a free consult, or a product demonstration. Call to action marketing is measurable in a short time frame.

How do you set up marketing for a small business? The first thing to do is to get traffic to your website or interest in your business. The next thing is to build your lead list. Instead of putting it on the phone and not having any details, or having people visit your website but not having any details, further from that you need to build your email list. Once you have your list, and you’re building interest in your business, you then need to create your conversion event that you’re going to be driving your interested leads to.  The next thing is that you need to close. You need to learn how to close the sale at the conversion event, and then you also need to focus on up-selling to your current clients and keeping them happy.

Many business owners don’t have the expertise they need to create a successful marketing and sales funnel. That is why you should work with someone that can help you with a hands-on approach, and provide you with training and expertise so that you can learn as you go.