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The Ultimate Guide for Beginners



The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

If you’re new to marketing, you might have a skewed perception of it. You might imagine a multimillion-dollar Super Bowl ad or a glowing billboard in Times Square.

Marketing is much more than that. It encompasses a variety of channels, tactics, and formats — and can work for any business at any budget.

→ Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals  [Download Now].

The key to getting started is knowing the fundamentals. Here, I’ll walk you through some beginner-friendly marketing channels and how to build your first marketing strategy.

Cost-Effective Marketing Channels

Building Your First Marketing Strategy

Cost-Effective Marketing Channels

If you’re just getting started with marketing, here are a few cost-effective channels to consider:

Content marketing

The entire premise of content marketing is to provide valuable content to your audience. This can be blog posts, videos, podcasts, e-books, and more. Unlike a pop-up ad, this type of marketing isn‘t disruptive. It’s supposed to feel natural, organic, and helpful.

Consider this: you want to market your product, a productivity app. On your blog, you publish articles brimming with tips and tricks for staying productive at work. By providing this type of content, you slowly build awareness around your app.

To take it one step further, you include a sign-up form for a free trial of your app at the top of every article — giving readers a chance to convert into customers.

Content marketing is a long-term investment. But with patience and the right strategy, you can drive brand awareness and nurture customer relationships without significant financial strain.

Email marketing

Email marketing is relatively affordable compared to other marketing channels. Many email service providers offer free plans or tiered pricing to appeal to different budgets. For example, HubSpot’s email marketing software is easy to use, secure, and free.

With email marketing, you‘re reaching people who’ve already expressed an interest in your business. This puts you in a great position to build relationships, promote your products, and share offers. You can also set up trigger emails when someone completes an action, such as making a purchase or downloading a content offer.

Looking to bulk up your email list? Check out this helpful guide.

Social media marketing

These days, consumers expect brands to have an online presence — so if you haven’t already, sign up for a business profile on a few social media sites.

Once you’re up and running, you can begin to share content. Experiment with different types of content until you have a better idea of what gets the most traction. Remember that social media is all about connection, so interact with customers, initiate conversations, and leverage user-generated content. These tactics can help you ​​foster relationships and build loyalty around your brand without spending a dime.

However, if you decide to run paid ads, social media offers incredible reach that can generate immediate results.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide advanced ad targeting, enabling you to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. And with flexible budgeting options, you can allocate your budget strategically and maximize your ROI.

Online advertising

One of the biggest benefits of online advertising is that it’s often cheaper than traditional advertising. Consider TV ads, which cost anywhere from thousands of dollars to even millions.

Now, think of an ad running on social media for $1 a day, and you can see why online advertising is a great option for small businesses.

Online advertising encompasses a few areas, including:

  • Display ads: these include banner ads, images, and videos that you can buy on Google Ads.
  • Pay-per-click: PPC is an advertising model that falls under search engine marketing. These ads appear at the top of search engine results, and you only pay when people click them.
  • Social ads: these are ads that appear on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You set a budget and specify your target audience.
  • Remarketing: this involves tagging your website visitors and targeting them with content after they leave your site. Think of an email from an e-commerce store reminding you of your abandoned cart.

Unlike traditional advertising, online ads offer powerful analytics. You don’t have to wonder if an online ad is effective since you can track metrics like impressions, click-through rates, conversion rates, and more.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

The goal of SEO is to boost your website’s presence in search engines like Google. While SEO trends come and go, the key principles stay the same:

  • Create and publish valuable content on your website
  • Strategically insert keywords in the content
  • Improve your website’s page speed
  • Offer a great user experience to website visitors

Like content marketing, SEO is a long-term game. But when you consider 95% of search traffic goes to the first page of search results, it becomes a critical strategy for driving traffic and generating leads.

Building Your First Marketing Strategy

You can think of a marketing strategy as a roadmap, helping you make the most of your marketing. Here are the basic principles of a strong marketing strategy:

1. Start with your goals.

Before you can build a marketing strategy, you first need to set clear goals. What does your business want to accomplish? Are you aiming to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Or enhance customer loyalty?

Goals provide direction and purpose for your entire marketing operation. Plus, they determine the effectiveness of your efforts.

When defining your marketing goals, ensure they align with business objectives. For example, if your main business objective is to build brand awareness, your marketing goal might be to reach X-number of social media followers in the next six months.

Further Reading:

The 9 Goals to Consider When Creating a Marketing Strategy

Free Template: Determine Your SMART Marketing Goals

2. Know your target audience

Who is your customer? What are their challenges or pain points? Are they price sensitive? Do they shop online?

Knowing your audience is key to building effective marketing strategies. The more you know about your audience, the better you can craft compelling messages that respond to their interests, needs, or preferences.

Your target audience will also play a huge role in influencing which marketing channels you decide to leverage. For instance, suppose you sell home security devices and your target audience is adult homeowners. Based on this information, you might pass on Snapchat, where nearly half the user base is under 25.

Further Reading:

Target Audience: How to Find Yours

How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business

3. Decide your marketing mix

In a nutshell, marketing is about promoting the right product to the right audience at the right price and time. That’s a tall order.

To nail this balance, you need to define your marketing mix. Your marketing mix consists of four key components (otherwise known as the “Four Ps of Marketing”): Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.


To state the obvious, your product is key to your business. But in order to market it effectively, you need to know what makes it unique. How is your product different from others on the market? What “problems” does it solve? What are the key features? These questions can help you formulate a unique selling proposition.


Landing on the right price for your product can be tricky. Price too high, and customers walk away. Price too low, and you leave money on the table. A good place to start is by looking at your competitors to see how much customers are willing to pay for a similar product. You can also conduct focus groups or surveys to determine the right price.


Where will you sell your product? Ultimately, you need to meet your customers where they are — whether that’s an e-commerce store or a retail location. Consider where your competitors sell their products and how they differentiate themselves.


What tactics will you use to reach your target audience? And on which channels? This could be a billboard on a busy road or a promotional email sent to someone’s inbox. The way you promote your product will depend on your budget and target audience. For instance, if your target audience skews younger, you might prioritize paid social ads over, say, television ads.

Further reading

The Ultimate Guide to Pricing Strategies

How to Write a Great Value Proposition [7 Top Examples + Template]

How to Launch a Successful Multichannel Marketing Strategy

4. Monitor the right KPIs

Establish a system for tracking and analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. If you’re running an email marketing campaign, for instance, you might track open rates, click-through rates, and subscribers. These are known as key performance indicators (KPIs).

Your KPIs serve as benchmarks that reflect your progress toward your goals. By tracking them, you can pinpoint which strategies are working and which need improvement.

Further reading

What is a KPI? How To Choose the Best KPIs for Your Business

Marketing Effectiveness: How to Measure It & Present to External Stakeholders

5. Evolve

The marketing landscape is always evolving. Just in the last decade, we‘ve seen the rise of TikTok, artificial intelligence, and smart devices. All this to say, a good marketing strategy is one that’s adaptable. Be open to testing new ideas, experimenting with different tactics, and adapting your strategy.

Further reading

The Top Marketing Trends of 2023 & How They’ve Changed Since 2022 [Data from 1000+ Global Marketers]

5 Marketing Trends That Might Not Survive in 2023 [HubSpot Research]

Back To You

While frustrating, there‘s no “one size fits all” marketing strategy. What works for one business may not work for another. That’s why experimentation is key, especially when you‘re just starting out. Don’t be afraid to test different marketing channels, tactics, and strategies to find what resonates best with your target audience.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
Ecommerce CertificationEcommerce Certification

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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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