Today we’re going to give you a little snapshot of the digital marketing we do at Santarium and how we actually do it, and how evolved that process is.

So I thought I would start with a little video clip that just sets the tone for how a completely clear you can be with things.

So we’re gonna attempt to be that clear. So if anything is slightly unclear you’ve got a few choices, you can either just ignore it or walk out, that’s probably the two obvious choices. Alternatively, you come and ask me later and you may get a similar convoluted explanation.

Why would anyone…?

The first thing I want to do in setting the scene was not talk, just about Sanitarium, but about digital marketing in general. Because from what I can see, there’s sort of four types of businesses that digital marketing works for. And you kinda have to figure out which of these four buckets you feed into before you start to work on what your digital strategy would be. And I’m gonna talk a little bit more about the fourth one because that’s the one that Sanitarium fits in, but I’ll briefly cover the other three as well.

1. Online Functionality

The first one is online functionality. You have a business where the value exchange with your customers is enhanced by what you can deliver online, then that is a really obvious place to start. There’s a couple of great examples in the banking sector, travel, if you’re online shopping, you know, those sorts of things, dating services, and maybe poker. If you’re in one of those types of businesses where you can actually offer a service online, you can offer a product or service online, you can enhance that value equation by offering something tangible in some sort of functionally, that’s where you should start and that’s what you should be famous for. Probably the easiest and most obvious is probably not the one that suits most of us in business, though, because a lot of us have real-world offline businesses and we just wanna figure out how we could use digital as a way to reach audiences.

2. Content

The second one is a content-led strategy. So if you have a really rich source of content, that’s a great place to start. Some of these include the entertainment industry, maybe you’re in sport, maybe you’re in food or cooking, nutrition, something like that. Or porn, I suggest is a content-led strategy as well. If you’re in one of those industries, then that’s probably where you would start with your digital strategy.

3. Engagement

The third one here is a little nebulous and that’s the engagement-led sort of business. If you have a business where you have high involvement or social currency with the sort of product or service or the type of content or the type of discussion you might have with consumers, then you might choose an engagement-led strategy. Some examples of that might be if you’re in fashion, media, alcohol, or even the fitness business is probably a great one where people want to talk about what they’re doing and they want some advice and then they’ll work with you.

4. Campaign Reach

And then there’s the last one, which is where Sanitarium fits in. This is the campaign-led approach. You’ve got an offline business, you’ve got real world customers that buy your products or services, and you think that maybe the digital environment is important because your consumers happen to hang out there. And that’s probably the biggest one. It’s the one that I’m gonna spend the most time on. It’s the one I know more about because it’s where we are at with Sanitarium. Now, I’ll also add that you’re never likely to need just one and none of the other three. You’ll probably have a little bit of a mix and you may be able to choose elements from those other three, but you’ll probably have one that becomes your kinda cornerstone and will profoundly impact the strategy that you deploy.

Digital Strategy Inputs

I also thought I’d just really quickly talk about what are the kind of inputs, what are the things that you need to decide or need to figure out before you’re ready to write a digital strategy? And some of these things will save you a lot of time and money, especially if you start calling agencies and consultants to help you write a digital strategy. They would charge you a fortune for things that you probably already know. And so getting this stuff down and understanding it is really critical to get started. And so the four areas are:

  1. Communications Strategy
  2. Audience Insights
  3. Competitive Assessment
  4. Asset Audit

1. Communications Strategy

  • What is your communications strategy?
  • What are the messages that you’re wanting to impart and leave with people?
  • What do you know about your target audience?
  • What do you know about the consumers that you already sell to or you would like to sell to?

And there’s a heap of information if you can extract it before you start will make the rest of the process a lot quicker and cheaper and smoother.

2. Audience Insights

What do they think or feel, where do they shop, what are they buying currently, where do they live, what types of digital activity are they already doing? All of those sorts of insights, any information you can get about the audience you wanted addressed.

3. Competitive Assessment

Competitive assessment I stick in there because I think it’s important to understand what the people in the same business as you already doing, because you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. There’s often some good examples of stuff that’s already taking place that you can either shamelessly copy or do better.

4. Asset Audit

And the last one over here is an asset audit, and this is actually a digital asset audit. So, what have you already got? What have you got in terms of a website, and not just one with pretty pictures on it, but how much traffic is your website attracting? What types of people are coming there? What things are they doing when they come to your website? Which pages are they looking at? How long are they spending on those pages? Because in understanding that information, you’re getting a clearer picture of who your audience is and what types of things motivate them. That becomes critical to save time and money when you build your digital strategy.

Also what size database have you got? Have you got a database of people, and who are they? Are they people who’ve previously bought from you? Are they people who have been in the sales promotions that you’ve run because you had a lucky gold promise or something? Where do they come…How old is that database? How often do you communicate with them? All of that background information will help in understanding, you know, what opportunities are here for you.

And I would also probably include social assets. A small word of caution in referring to social media assets, it’s a little bit of a misnomer, they’re kind of not your asset. But if you have a Facebook page and you’ve got a bunch of people that follow it, you could call it an asset. I firmly believe that you actually don’t own anything that happens on social media, rather, you’re leasing an audience. But still, you are leasing an audience and they’re a good audience.

Digital Channels

And then what’s the content that would appear in a digital strategy? Now, it’s probably slightly controversial because people in agencies like to talk about paid, owned and earned as the three elements of a digital strategy, and I hate that terminology because it just doesn’t work for me. It just seems to sell consultancy head hours, in my view. Paid, owned and earned, I mean what’s social media? Do you pay for it? Well, you can. Do you own it? You don’t really, but you sort of do. Are you earning stuff on social media? Well, you can, you can earn some comments, but you probably paid for them to start with. It’s kind of a fruitless way to look at your digital strategy.

So I prefer to just be practical and look at the four elements of what makes up a digital strategy. And that is:

  1. Campaign Activity
  2. Social Media Strategy
  3. Web and Database Activity
  4. Search activity

I’ve grouped them into the top two, the campaign and the social are sort of the paid ones. They’re the ones where the traction that you get will be pretty much determined by the amount of dollars you spend, either in time or in real media. And the bottom two are the ones that are more fixed costs, so they’re things that you build and that you do. And by and large, you can pay for search, and you should if it’s relevant, but a lot of the results you’ll get from the bottom two you will get because you’re putting in the effort. Also, generally the ones in the top two will tell you what happens in the ones at the bottom two. In our experience, the ones in the top two continue to be expensive and the ones in the bottom two, if you do the top two well, become more efficient over time.

1. Campaign Activity

This gets kind of Sanitarium-specific and I’m sorry about that, what we do is national advertising. It probably doesn’t relate to if you have a pizza shop at Killarney Vale, I’ll try and relate to that as well.

I looked at what’s the cost of TV, regional, metro, and regional TV, radio, out of home magazine, display, online videos, and social media. One of the first things for us is these channels aren’t that expensive, on face value. So you know, we should be seriously considering how we use digital channels to complement what we’re doing in TV, for example. And in your world, you may understand this or be able to understand, get some data on this based on who your audience is, and it may look quite different.

So this is main grocery buyers, cost of media. This is teens, and this gets really interesting. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve got the traditional broadcast media, TV, Metro TV, regional TV, so that’s kind of central coast NBN. You’ve got radio and out of home, and out of home’s a bit of pain anyway because you get really high frequency and not great reach if you’re only buying the limited number of sites. So out of home’s a bit of a pain. Magazine is a little bit of a pain also, because unless you’re spending huge dollars, you’re gonna be on page 47 and you no one gets to that part in the magazine.

So all of a sudden, there, your online media display, online videos and social, become really cost-efficient against teens. So that’s why I say it’s valuable to assess who is your audience and if it happens to be…you know, if you’ve got a pizza shop in Killarney Vale, it’s the people who live within a 10 kilometer radius from the store in Killarney Vale who have a mouth, which is probably most of them. So you would be able to get some numbers on what would it cost you to reach those people in the express advocate, Star 103, Facebook display advertising or online video? You would be able to get a pretty clear picture as to whether or not online channels are for you. I quite like this, I did make a little note on that last slide about ad fraud. I’m not gonna spend too much time on this because I suspect Andrew from Louder, who is eminently more qualified to talk on this topic than me, will speak about it.

Ad Viewability

Ad viewability, Marketoonist

I know it’s kind of a little bit of a joke, but it’s kind of not too. And it’s a little word of caution, it’s not something that is easy to understand but it is something that must be understood and there are great professionals in business who can help you understand it. And you really do need to be careful of wasting money on online advertising. It’s not like buying a radio ad where you can tune to 103-point-whatever and listen to your radio ad and go, “It actually played.” You can’t just flip open the express advocate and go to page three and see your ad on the bottom of the page. You kind of throw money at. You just hope that it’s reaching the right people. Well, there are things and tools that can be put in place to actually measure and track that. And if you don’t know how to do it, make sure you hire experts to do it because you can get fleeced in a rush, we have.

2. Social

The second area was that social strategy. There are a few considerations when you are setting up your social strategy.

Which platforms are you going to use?

Understanding your audience becomes the key to knowing which platforms you’re going to use. But I would also add the comment that for the vast majority of audiences, Facebook is still by far and away the platform that has the scale, accessibility, and the ability to be able to easily buy media through it.

Some of the other platforms have great resonance with certain target audiences like teens on Snapchat or people who love great food photos on Instagram. But still, they’re really hard channels to figure out how to deploy in a commercial sense. Not saying don’t do it, but be cautious with the amount of money that you invest in those things. Facebook is the one that has a great platform for buying media on. It’s really measurable. And I don’t work for them, so I am going to say that they do over-represent their value from time to time. Beware of that.

What are you going use those social platforms for?

Reach or engagement. These are the two things in a Sanitarium world we are interested in. Reach, how many people we put out our ads or our content in front of, and engagement, what kind of reaction can we get from people. If you have a pizza shop in Killarney Vale, you’re also interested in how many people will buy a pizza through the Facebook page. I can’t measure that at Sanitarium, so it’s not my principal concern. But if that is the type of thing you’re interested in, eg a beauty salon, and you want to know how many people have actually rung up and booked an appointment, then that is a valid measure. It’s just not something that concerns my world.

Know how much it costs you!

But when it comes to reach and engagement in Sanitarium’s world, we prioritize reach. We use these platforms as an advertising platform, and we measure everything against how many eyeballs that we’ve reached and what did it cost us to reach those eyeballs. So engagement, for us, is predominantly a serendipity. It’s not often the main reason we would use a social media platform. But we measure it and track that for a couple of reasons, but one primary reason is that it’s our Litmus test on whether or not the stuff we’re putting onto Facebook is of interest. So if we get high levels of engagement, we probably know that people are interested in it. If we get low levels of engagement, we probably know that people don’t give a…whatever. And as a result that helps us to tailor the types of things that we will do in the future.

The only thing I’ve kind of written in red on this slide is:

“Know what you’re buying and know how much you’re paying for it.”

Figure out what your cost per thousand is for the placement that you’re getting. Figure out what your cost per engagement is and if you are direct selling, figure out what your cost per acquisition is from using that platform. And measure every single instance of it, aggregate it up, by all means, get really granular because you will learn so much from that.

What about influencers?

A little comment on the bottom two…what about influencers if you’re in small business or large business, but I think small business even more importantly, the ability to find vocal people in your content space who are willing to spruik your business is really valuable. Find them, and figure out how to leverage them, but don’t overpay for them.

Be really careful again, about how many people did they reach and what did you pay for that to happen? Sometimes it’s not an immediate cost. You don’t necessarily have to pay someone $5,000 to write a post for you, and maybe a customer may be delighted with it, you may be able to encourage them to do it. But you also figure out how much time the energy you’re putting into that because the one thing I’ll say about Facebook and social media is that it is a rabbit hole. And you have to decide before you write your digital strategy. When you’re writing the strategy before you get started, how much time and investment you want to put into this channel because it will suck you dry if you let it. It literally can consume resources like there is no tomorrow. So decide how deep you want to go down the rabbit hole before you start, and then measure everything that you can as you go, and then learn from that because you may decide next year you want to invest a bit more or a bit less. But don’t let it rule your life because it easily can.

Facebook ROI

There are three things that drive how much you’ll pay for your reach on Facebook. One, and the most important thing that you would have control over is how interesting the things that you put on Facebook are. So you know, in the instance of Weet-Bix gluten-free, there’s an enormous following of people who are desperately seeking gluten-free ideas for having normal food for gluten-free. 1% of the population in Australia is diagnosed celiac and really need to be gluten-free, but there’s another 20% to 25% who self-diagnose, believe they need to eat less gluten, and they’re all voraciously seeking out ways of living that way. And as a result, you put something up on this topic and it’s really interesting, they really dive in and engage with it. As a result, Facebook’s algorithm determines that this is really important content and it drives the cost down.

So the relevance of your content is the number one factor. The number two and three-factor that is also important is the size of the audience and what the competition is for purchasing that audience. So you’ve got a pizza shop in Killarney Vale and you’re looking to use Facebook to buy the 10-kilometer radius around it. It’s a small audience. It might be expensive. But then again, they might really love pizza so who knows. That’s what you’ve gotta figure out. You’ve gotta test that as you go. And you’re similarly on engagements if engagement is your primary driver.

3, 4. Web, Database & Search

Web and search, just kind of have a couple of points on this. And my apologies, this is really small. And I actually clipped this from something else. This is not my genius at all, probably the best reason…yeah, take a picture of that batch. Yeah.

So there are three elements that this application purported to be the critical elements to having a solid web and search strategy, and I would really like them. I think they’re actually the right three.

Web & Search Success Strategy

SEO & Technical Compliance

So the first one is your SEO and technical compliance. Now, this is not something that I’m an expert, so I’m not gonna pretend to talk about it. I know Troy is an expert, so I’m sure he will, and if he doesn’t and you need an expert, see him after because figuring out how to get your web page findable by Google is the number one thing that you should be interested in doing. Way more interesting than whether or not you’ve got nice pictures or whether it’s laid out right, although these things are important. But Google finding it is the number one thing that’s important. I’ll tell you why. In our world, I can’t tell you why 75% of the traffic that comes to our website comes to it from Google search. Seventy-five percent, that’s the most of it. So, it’s number one for a reason.

Content Strategy

The second one is your content strategy. So what are you putting on your web? What content you’re doing, how often you’re doing it. You know you can test your content on social media, by all means. But you should reposit [SP] it into a web place where people can find it again and again and again because you get enormous efficiencies from that over time.

Social Media

And social media typically comes with social media strategies, paid or web presence, but is because social’s the one place where you can buy an audience and encourage them to come back to your web. It’s the one place where you can buy an audience and encourage them to sign up to your email program, your database. So, you certainly should be viewing social media as part of your web and search strategy.

How do we evaluate channels

So what does it cost me to get somebody to do something? What’s that outcome, that digital outcome, that I’m getting and how much does it cost?

How do I optimize activity to drive costs down further, because some of that will get better year on year? For example, the better that website traffic number looks, the more people who visit my website, the more important Google will think my website is, and the more people they send it. Wow, you know, it’s a bonus. So that’s why I say when building a strategy, for us, and it would be a little different for everybody else, but for us, it’s all about how do I optimize activity to make sure that I get scale and volume, because that’s where I get the return on investment? My very last slide. And I actually haven’t been following the clock so apologies, Troy.

Digital Ecosystem

So this is our digital ecosystem, and it kinds of looks horrible but I’ll break it down because it’s a pretty simple model of the Sanitarium world. What is our digital strategy and how do the pieces fit together.


Because otherwise, you’re kind of got these four elements, campaigns, social, web, search, and they can’t operate independently. But what’s the journey that people are taking through our digital marketing activity, and what’s the end-outcomes that we’re looking for? And this is sort of my attempt to pictorially represent that, and notice from some of the puzzled looks that I haven’t done a particularly good job, so I’ll have to explain.

So at the top here is kind of our campaign activity. Now, in our world, that’s the biggest piece. So we spend a fair amount a year on online advertising, about half in Facebook and half in video, and a little bit of display. So this is all of our activity at the top here that is driving interest in our products and in our messages. And essentially, the outcomes of those messages is to drive traffic to our website, and that’s our website, that’s what’s that intended to be.

So that’s our web pages. Over here on the left is our search activity. So our search activity is predominantly natural search. We don’t buy a lot of search terms for the reason I showed you on that Weet-Bix one. We buy some search terms and we buy some campaign specific stuff, but you know, by and large, 75% of the volume comes to our websites from the Google search and most of that is from natural search, not from paid. So, search also drives traffic to our website. And then there’s our content strategy. So this is the content that we’re building that we believe people will be interested in.

And we are constantly looping back and validating whether we’re producing the right content, as you all should be as well, and that content on social platforms also drives traffic back to our website. But it also, at the same time, drives this engagement on the social platforms, so the liking, commenting, and sharing on those social platforms. Now, liking, commenting, sharing has a kind of two-way relationship with the website as well. We put the content up on the website and people find it there through Google and they share it with their social media, and that’s a great thing. And also, people who have shared content that they found on social media are going back to our website to find more information.

So there we go. That’s our engagement on social media and our website traffic. Then, people who visit our website, we try to get them to enroll in our database so that they can get ongoing communication from us. And people who like, comment, and share stuff also kind of telling their friends because, you know, it’s a default thing that happens if you like something or comment on something, all of a sudden your friends in your network sees it. So that’s the outcome we’re particularly interested in, in that model of social media. It breaks those four elements down into three pillars, if you like, campaign activity, out social activity where we engage, and web and search activity where we’re driving our best efficiencies. So it’s just a way for us to understand where all the pieces fit together and why we do the different elements and what the end game is for those different elements. I hope that was of some value. If there are any questions going, I will be around, so come grab me after.