More and more companies are including digital advertising as a critical component to their marketing strategies. However, there are still some companies out there who have not yet jumped in, or maybe have jumped in and didn’t like the results.

We know how important digital is and how big of an impact it can make for small and medium sized businesses, so it is important to know how to overcome objections when a client pushes back on your proposal.

Here is a combination of the objections we hear the most from our partners, as well as strategies to help overcome them and ways to guide the conversation back on track.

“When I run an ad on broadcast TV I know exactly what program it will run in and I can’t know that with OTT video ads or display ads”

  • Talk to this client then about running display or video ads on Facebook or Instagram, doing Pay-Per-Click (the ads only run on Google) or SEO.

“I can’t justify spending $x for x amount of clicks”

  • You shouldn’t be justifying your spend based on the number of clicks your ad gets but rather on the number of leads you get or increased sales.
  • Sell this client something with very tangible, directly correlated results. For example; Mobile Conquesting™ where we track on-site visits; Facebook Lead Ads; Pay-Per-Click ads with Lead Extensions; and tracking conversions such as filling out a lead form on their website.
  • You shouldn’t be justifying your spend based on the number of clicks your ad gets but rather on

“Everyone is selling digital, why should I do it with you?”

  • Talk about unusual products such as Social Mirror™ and Amazon ads – that you are always enhancing your product offerings.
  • Talk about the clients you’ve done digital for and the success they have had.
  • Talk about your digital expertise. You get “me” and my dedication and knowledge.
  • I’m always available to be your marketing guru and help you through the process and answer your questions.
  • We will track specific metrics from your campaigns to show you every month like conversions on your website and view through visits. We can even offer a Live Chat function to track leads.
  • We work with 444 Private Marketplaces (PMPs) and 1385 Ad Exchanges, through our Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) partners – so that we have access to the people you want to reach with your ads.

“I don’t want to spend on advertising right now because I don’t know what products I’ll have in stock”

  • It’s important to keep your brand top of mind for the public. Keep your advertising more message specific rather than product specific.
  • A survey of Twitter users found:
  • 64% said brands should continue advertising products as normal
  • 52% agreed that seeing/hearing ads gives them a sense of normality
  • 77% agreed they feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society at the moment

“What percentage of what I pay you goes to the advertising and what is your profit?”

  • The only product where I can give you a fixed answer to that is if you do Google Pay Per Click we charge you a 30% management fee.
  • For all of our other advertising products everything is priced by a cost per thousand that we charge you as a flat rate. We, however, pay a wildly fluctuating rate with Real Time Bidding/Programmatic buying which means the margin often fluctuates based on who we are targeting and with what product.
  • Our goal is to give our clients a flat rate cost per thousand so you know EXACTLY what you are paying each month, that we can work with and build in costs for your ad production, buying, optimization and reporting.
  • If we ever run more impressions- they are free- any less you will be refunded, so you know exactly what you’re getting before we begin.
  • Do you reveal your profit margin to your customers?

“I’m a (credit union, bank, financial company, Realtor, real estate company) and I heard I can’t do advertising on Google & Facebook anymore”

  • Google and Facebook have implemented new guidelines that restrict some types of targeting if you are a financial or housing company (applies to recruitment ads also:
  • You cannot target by age, household income, gender, marital status or zip code. However, we can target by city, state, or radius (min. 15 miles).
  • All other targeting categories remain available.
  • This only applies for those platforms (Facebook, Instagram, PPC and YouTube) – ALL categories remain available for use with our other products.

“I need to target people who speak ________ language or who live outside the US in ________”

  • No problem – we can target speakers of many different languages both inside the US and in other countries.

“Why would I pay a higher cpm to use display ads with Amazon Targeting to be on some of the same websites that I can be on for a lower cpm with regular display?”

  • The Amazon Publishers network DOES include many of the websites that we buy on for regular display such as CNN. The difference is you are paying to target a specific AMAZON USER when he/she goes onto that website.
  • The Amazon Publishers network also includes many options not available with our other products.

“I have no idea how much I would need to spend to see results”

  • Talk about geographic area client wants to target. Is it small (one zip code or a couple of miles radius) or is it large (city wide, multiple zips, large radius)?
  • Talk about the range of product pricing and how certain products cost more or less depending on which ones the client is interested in.
  • Use the forecasting impressions graph on your Campaign Planner to justify the ad spend.

“I’m nervous about doing digital advertising because of all the privacy laws – how do I know what’s legal?”

  • All of the ad exchanges that we buy on are compliant with all laws and guidelines on user privacy and client privacy (such as not sharing advertiser’s data and proprietary info with other advertisers).
  • Whether you do digital advertising or not, you should have a Privacy Policy on your website that outlines how you store and collect data (i.e., contact us forms, newsletter sign-ups, Google Analytics tracking, etc.)
  • There are online Privacy Policy generators that a client can utilize to create one.
  • If your client has a specific question about Apple’s ATT, Google deprecating cookies, etc. we have FAQs on everything!

“I don’t care about impressions I want clicks”

  • Measuring an ad campaign’s effectiveness by number of clicks is an outdated metric – clicks do not equal sales. Less than 1 in 1,000 people click an ad (.07%).
  • A click is meaningless if it doesn’t lead to a conversion. We track any conversions you want.
  • You are paying to target your ad repeatedly to a specific audience that is likely to buy your product or service – just as you would with TV or radio ads.
  • Paying “per click” is expensive, especially if the person doesn’t convert.
  • The only true campaign metric for any advertising’s effectiveness is your sales numbers.

“If no one is clicking on ads why should I buy digital advertising?”

  • Just because someone didn’t click doesn’t mean the ad didn’t register with a person. Eye tracking studies prove that people notice digital ads!
  • The focus of digital advertising is showing your ad to the right targeted people and getting them to buy from you. That might be by driving them to your website, or getting them to call, or coming to your business location.

“Why can’t I do this for $500 a month?”

  • Explain to the prospect, “We want to give you the best chance of success and we’ve found that a lower investment than this has less chance of getting you results.”
  • “I’m not going to take your money if I don’t think it is the right fit for what you are trying to accomplish.”
  • Is it worth your time to chase after accounts that can’t commit to a decent spend level?
  • One of our smallest sized markets is one of our top billers. If prospects are saying they don’t have enough money – either you haven’t hit on a need or you are talking to the wrong type of prospect.
  • Low $ campaigns = no renewals.

“Why can’t I do this for a month and test the results?”

  • Unless you have a large budget you aren’t going to see major results the first month. It’s a process, much like SEO is a process
  • You are reaching a very targeted audience of your potential customers, those people need to see the ad as many times as possible.
  • Within that 3 month commitment you and we can make changes based on what is working best. We optimize.
  • As a campaign progresses the exchanges’ algorithms learn and can predict better who will respond to ads based on prior performance.
  • Digital is a frequency medium. The more someone sees the ad the more likely he is to take the next step.

You need frequency to break through the advertising “noise”

“I’m targeting businesses not consumers so digital ads can’t help me since I’m B2B”

  • Use the B2B Client Capabilities Presentation deck to show all the ways we can target specific types of businesses and job titles.
  • Let your prospect know that nationally B2B digital ad spending was UP in 2020 over 2019!

“We only do Pay Per Click/Paid Search ads”

  • Are you happy with the results you are seeing? Is someone going over monthly reports with you?
  • Are your campaign and keywords being optimized?
  • What is the management fee you are being charged?
  • Are you using extensions for your ads such as location extension, Call extensions, Lead Form extensions, or Call-Only ads?
  • Are you ONLY doing Pay-Per-Click ads and not other types of digital advertising?
  • Paid Search Ads only reach the 5% of searchers who click on search ads, can I show you some ways to reach people clicking on organic results? (Keyword Targeting)
  • People who click on Pay-Per-Click ads are at the bottom of the buying funnel, they are ready to make a decision. How do you reach people at the top and middle of the path to purchase?
  • People are only going to click on a paid search ad if they know your brand – how are you reaching people and exposing them to who you are and what you offer?
  • Are you getting a lot of leads or a lot of clicks? Clicks don’t mean conversions/sales – you should track how many of those clicks actually convert.

“You are more expensive than your competitor”

  • Are you comparing apples to apples? Many digital products sound the same but are very different.
  • For example if you are buying digital through the newspaper it may be cheaper because most of the impressions are running on their newspaper website.
  • What kind of reporting are you getting?
  • Are you tracking and getting conversions?
  • Is anyone reviewing results with you?
  • Are you getting quality inventory?
  • With digital as with most things, you get what you pay for. If it’s cheap, there’s a reason.
  • With some prospects it might be wise to have them try the cheap competitor and then check in with them after a month or two and ask if it is working.

“I never see my ad on a website”

  • You might, but it’s unlikely.
  • Real Time Bidding means we bid in “real time”, no way to predict where the impressions will be served at an exact time.
  • There are millions of available ad impressions and your budget is a small percentage of those millions of impressions.
  • We do not win every impression, nor do we bid on every available impression.
  • You will receive detailed monthly reports that show many different metrics including conversions on your website.
  • You can also track traffic in your Google Analytics and your Google My Business profile.
  • Would you like a screenshot of your ad on a website?

“Digital advertising doesn’t tell me if people seeing my ad are becoming customers” aka “How can you prove this works?”

  • How do you currently track your advertising to determine how many people are converting to customers and that “it works”?
  • Google Analytics.
  • What we can track. Conversions on the website.  The more engaged a person is on a website the more likely he/she is to become a customer.
  • Driving traffic to your website helps your organic SEO.
  • It’s not just about the website traffic, exposing your advertising message in front of the right people, just like other advertising mediums.
  • Digital is more trackable than other types of advertising mediums.
  • We can do match back reports to your “sold list” if we are using a list you provided us of people to target with HHIP, Facebook Custom Audience, Amazon Custom Audience, Mobile Conquesting™ Address Targeting or Native Email Matching. On-site visit tracking with Mobile Conquesting™.
  • Facebook Lead Ads/PPC Lead Extensions

“We work with a digital ad provider that specializes in our industry”

  • Are you getting the results you wanted?
  • Is the company responsive and timely when you need something?
  • Our partner technology company has the expertise of running campaigns in your type of business, across the country.
  • Would you like to share with me what you are doing with them and I can compare and contrast it with what we offer?

“Your SEO is more expensive than others”

  • What is included in your SEO campaign?
  • On the page and off the page optimization?
  • Google My Business optimization?
  • Just directories and listings?
  • Does it optimize for Voice Search?
  • Reputation Management?
  • Reporting?
  • Past results from that provider?
  • Does it include a review widget on your website?
  • Does it include sending review requests to your email list of past customers?

“I asked people how they heard about us and no one says digital ads.”

Why Asking Customer “How Did You Hear About Us?” Doesn’t Work…

Excerpted from the book, “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” by Michael Corbett.

Rule #16: Don’t Ask Your Customers What Brought Them In

The way most advertisers attempt to track results is by asking their customers what brought them in. Allow us to share an experience: When Michael was getting started in the advertising field, he was responsible for the successful grand opening of a new “lumber” store. This was a complete store that carried almost everything imaginable. Michael, his boss, and the store owner stood at the frond door of this huge place and polled customers as they walked in for the grand opening weekend. As they entered the store, each shopper was asked: “What brought you in?” Roughly 50% said radio, 30% said TV, and 20% said newspaper.

What interested the poll-takers most was the fact that they never ran an ad on TV. The grand opening was advertised only on radio and in the newspaper. How could it be that 30% of the people who came into that store that weekend said they saw the ad where it had never been? And when questioned them about how sure there were, they were sure.

After speaking to scores of local advertisers who have had a similar experience when they polled their customers in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising, we’ve learned some things about polling and about people, and about what not to do with the polling results:

  • People don’t know what brought them in.
  • People don’t know that they don’t know what brought them in.
  • People don’t like not knowing what brought them in and they want to be helpful, so they’ll make things up.
  • Never change your multiple media advertising plans based on what people say brought them in.

The only foolproof way to evaluate advertising effectiveness is by setting measurable growth objectives for your business, and by monitoring the results in the cash register. Period.”

“I tried digital before and it didn’t work”

  • What digital advertising did you do? Hundreds of types of digital advertising.
  • How was it targeted?
  • How long did you do it and at what budget?
  • What was your ad creative call to action?
  • How did you track it? How do you know it didn’t work?
  • Digital does work for local businesses, they wouldn’t keep buying if it didn’t work.

“We get great results from Boosted Posts and it costs less”

  • Are you seeing an increase in sales or conversions or are you just getting a lot of likes?

What do you do to get past the gatekeeper who says “We’re not interested”?

  • Use a Valid Business Reason inserting categories specific to their type of business that they would be interested in. (Find a list of these in your shared drive under the folder “Prospecting”)
  • Look on their website for upcoming sale or promotion, create immediacy.
  • Talk solutions not products.
  • Sell the gatekeeper first and create an inside coach.
  • Email a success story.

“We’re happy with who we are using now”

  • Great then you know the power of digital!
  • We have some unique products and do some things differently then other digital providers.
  • Can I show you what we have and you can compare and contrast?

“We do all of our digital in house”

  • What type of digital advertising products are you using?
  • We might be doing some things that are different from what you are doing, can I show you?
  • Digital advertising campaigns are time consuming to manage – we can help with that.
  • We have the benefit of managing hundreds and hundreds of campaigns.
  • We stay on top of changes to products, new products and algorithm changes
  • “Could” vs. “Should”

“I don’t like the invasiveness of digital advertising”

“Ads are annoying”

  • Even if you don’t like it, your competitors are using it and have an advantage over you. Also, a majority of consumers like personalized ads:

“My ad budget is allocated to other media and it’s working”

  • If you are not reaching people online with digital ads you are missing an important way to communicate with potential customers.
  • Digital advertising works with traditional media providing frequency of a specifically targeted message.

“I don’t have a good website”

  • Most people when coming to a website are looking for hours of operation, phone number, address, and/or a contact us page. Does your website have the basics?
  • People are going to your website, whether you want them to or not. Not advertising isn’t going to make it better.  If it’s that bad, take it down.
  • Use, or create, a Facebook business page and land people there until you have a better website.