Law of Diminishing Returns, Applied to Digital Marketing

This isn’t an economics post. So, what’s the law of diminishing returns doing here? Read on

Andrew Chen wrote an insightful piece of the Law of Shitty Click Throughs where he writes that everything new doesn’t remain new. What’s new and novel now doesn’t stay like that forever.

He writes:

“Over time, all marketing strategies result in shitty click through rates.”

Digging your head deep into SEO and working hard? Swearing by Facebook ads? Can’t get away from Google Adwords now, can you?

It’s all getting old, and very soon at that.

By the time you read this, the “growth hack” you were chasing all this while will cease to work as well as it used to.

Meanwhile, ad spend is only getting higher. The average Facebook feed is now crowded and Google can only show that many ads per keyword per locale.

The number of blogs are still increase and the volume of content being produced right now is astronomically huge.

Will you gain anything at all from all this digital marketing work you do? Do you have a way to manage your ad spend on Facebook and still get meaningful returns?

I call it the Law of Decaying Marketing.

They say nothing lasts forever. Digital marketing won’t last forever too.

It might not die, but it’ll change completely.

It might take a few years. Or several years. But everything that seems to be working now won’t work. Even if it does, it’ll take a lot more cash and monomaniacal obsession to digital marketing best practices to make it work.

  • For a long time, there was a lot of content on web. Reading and engagement was high.
  • With more content being added, the attention to “any” content on the web is fast diminishing.
  • Podcasts and audio came along and called for some attention.
  • Video started ruling the hearts now and continues to do so. This is making that new blog post you (and I) wrote that much more irrelevant.
  • At the time of writing this, Facebook and Google Adwords are both turning out to be expensive in terms of CPC (Cost Per Click) and Cost Per Lead (CPL) or Cost Per Action (CPA).

The novelty will wear off. New ways will come forward and new technology will power the dying battery, but it’ll all wear off soon enough. It’s getting harder to get noticed; it’s virtually impossible to stay ordinary and hope to win.

Everything is getting more expensive, and we shouldn’t forget that we don’t two or three lifetimes.

What’s the point then? What should we do?

  • Learn to squeeze the best you can get from whatever you can do. Then, prepare to move on.
  • Always follow best practices given the options you pick from your choice of digital marketing strategies. Start with high-impact marketing channels like email marketing. Without lead generation followed by email marketing sequences, really, what else are you wasting time on?
  • Make use of whatever you have instead of making mindless opinions and running by preconceived notions. Also, don’t take advice from your geeky cousin about digital marketing (or anything, really).
  • Don’t wait till everything you do stops making a difference to your customers. Aim for making an impact right from now so that you get used to “always making an impact”.

Say hello to the future.

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