With marketing it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of optimizing every little detail. Businesses often spend countless hours trying to optimize every little thing, agonizing over the right hook for a headline, endlessly tweaking landing page layouts, or chasing trending hacks on social. While these details can certainly influence the success of a marketing campaign, focusing too heavily on them can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture: the quality and relevance of the marketing itself.

Just as a computer needs to be plugged in before complex attribution models can be run, marketing efforts need to prioritize the fundamentals of marketing before diving into the weeds of optimization. 


In marketing (and most areas of life) it’s crucial to focus on the “big rocks” – the foundational elements that have the greatest impact on the success of a campaign. These big rocks include developing a clear marketing strategy, establishing a strong web presence, and investing in effective advertising channels. By prioritizing these core components, businesses can help ensure that their efforts are aligned with their overall goals and are reaching the right audience.

A well-defined marketing strategy serves as a roadmap for all marketing activities, guiding decisions about target audiences, messaging, and channels. A strong web presence, including a well-designed website and active social media profiles, provides a platform for showcasing content and engaging with potential customers. Effective advertising, whether through search engine marketing, social media ads, and/or other channels, helps to drive traffic and generate leads.

An illustration of big rocks and little rocks

By focusing on these big rocks, you can create a solid foundation for your campaigns. Only after these core elements are in place should you turn your attention to the “little rocks” – the smaller details and optimizations that can help to refine and improve results.


At the heart of great marketing lies a genuine desire to solve customers’ problems. Empathetic marketing, which focuses on understanding and addressing the needs, pain points, and desires of the target audience, is the foundation of a strong, long-lasting marketing strategy. By putting themselves in their customers’ shoes and creating content, products, and services that truly resonate, businesses can build trust, loyalty, and advocacy.

In contrast, short-term tactics like clickbait headlines, manipulative tactics, pump and dump cash grabs may generate quick spikes in traffic or sales, but they ultimately erode trust and damage the brand’s reputation.

A study by the University of Oxford found that consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and resistant to manipulative marketing tactics, with well over half of respondents saying they distrust brands that use such techniques. By focusing on empathetic, customer-centric marketing, businesses can foster genuine connections and build lasting success.


A well-defined marketing strategy serves as the backbone of any successful campaign. It provides a clear direction for all marketing activities, guiding decisions about target audiences, messaging, and channels. Without a solid strategy in place, you risk wasting time and resources on tactics that don’t align with your overall goals.

Developing a marketing strategy involves a deep understanding of the target audience, competitive landscape, and your unique value proposition. It requires setting clear objectives, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), and outlining the tactics and channels that will be used to reach those objectives. By prioritizing the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy, you can help ensure that all of your efforts are working together towards a common goal.

An illustration of a desktop computer


A strong web presence is essential for any business now-a-days. The first step in establishing a solid web presence is creating a well-designed, user-friendly website that effectively showcases the brand and its offerings. 

A key aspect of a successful website is clear messaging that directly addresses the pain points and needs of the target audience. 

By prominently featuring solutions to the problems that potential customers are facing, businesses can increase the likelihood of converting website visitors into leads and sales.

In addition to a website, businesses should also focus on establishing a presence on relevant online directories and platforms, such as a Google Business Profile. This helps to increase visibility in local search results and provides potential customers with important information about your business, such as hours of operation, contact details, and customer reviews.

Consistent social media posting is another crucial component of a strong web presence. By regularly sharing valuable and engaging content on platforms where their target audience is active, businesses can build brand awareness, foster relationships, and drive traffic back to their website. 

As businesses establish a strong foundation for their web presence, they can then work towards refining and improving the quality of their content over time.

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While a strong web presence and quality content are essential, they don’t guarantee that potential customers will find a company’s website or engage with their brand. This is where advertising comes in. Effective advertising helps to drive traffic, generate leads, and increase conversions.

There are numerous advertising channels available, from search engine marketing and social media ads to display advertising and influencer partnerships.

The key is to choose the channels that best align with the target audience and marketing objectives. By investing in targeted, well-crafted advertising campaigns, marketers can amplify the reach and impact of their content, driving more qualified traffic to their website and ultimately generating more leads and sales.


While optimization can certainly improve marketing results, becoming fixated on every minor detail can lead to “analysis paralysis,” where the pursuit of perfection hinders progress.

As Voltaire famously said, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Excessive optimization, such as endless A/B testing of email subject lines or constantly tweaking headline hooks, can result in disjointed messaging that fails to resonate with the audience.

However, this doesn’t mean that optimization has no place in marketing. The key is to strike the right balance between creating high-quality content and optimizing that content for maximum impact.

An illustration of a person standing on a leaning rock formation


In the complex world of marketing, it’s easy to get distracted by the countless opportunities for optimization and fine-tuning. However, businesses must remember that the foundation of successful marketing lies in the big rocks: a clear marketing strategy, a strong web presence with quality content, and effective advertising.

By prioritizing these fundamental elements, businesses can help ensure that their marketing efforts are aligned, impactful, and driving real results. Only after these core components are in place should you turn your attention to the smaller details and optimizations that can help to refine and improve performance.

In short, turn your computer on before trying to use it.


Let us take marketing off your plate. Visit our pricing to learn more about working with Next Level.

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