By Jessica Mitchell
Digital marketing – the obsession of the present and the inevitability of the future. Trying to stay on top of Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms, Google’s newest and greatest analytics reporting capabilities, advanced mobile marketing tools, relevant and exciting videos that will hopefully go viral, and personalized content that changes based on who is reading…*deep breath*…it’s exhausting.
As crucial as digital marketing is, let’s just take a deep breath and a brief step back to ensure that our foundation – those marketing basics – are securely fastened and ready to take us into a successful new year.
Things around us are changing at tremendous speeds and it is easy for us as businesses to want to stay relevant by adding new products and services, broadening our target audience and finding a presence on every social media platform available. Adaptability is a skill that is essential for businesses; however, it is very easy to lose sight of your ‘why’ – the reason you do what you do – and not take the targeted approach for fear of missing out on a potential customer. Are you able to have a presence on every social media channel? Yes. Is every channel applicable and, in the end, profitable for you? I would venture to guess no. Keeping your eyes on the end goal, pinpointing the exact audience who will help you accomplish that end goal and realistically building your strategy to engage with that targeted audience will not only build your credibility with that audience, it will also produce a stronger return on investment (ROI) in the end.
Be specific…I cannot stress enough the importance of having tangible numbers and realistic goals. “I want an increase in sales” does not help you or your team strategically set benchmarks. Understand your key performance indicators (KPIs) and use the data you have compiled from previous campaigns as well as data from your industry to determine 1.) your metrics for measuring a successful campaign, 2.) realistic benchmarks for your campaign in the timeframe you have allotted, and 3.) where and when you will implement changes throughout the campaign to continue to focus and improve your results.
This is arguably one of the hardest tools in marketing. If we are honest with ourselves, we hope to see immediate results with each campaign we launch. When I launch an AdWords campaign, I will often find myself refreshing my dashboard and analytics to monitor the performance, eager to capture that first engagement. However, campaigns need time – months – with careful monitoring and gentle tweaking before you will be able to realistically assess the success. Utilize A/B testing to get as much bang for your buck as you patiently monitor, adjust and wait for your campaign. Your patience will be rewarded.
Develop your marketing campaigns with a focused strategy; assign realistic and tangible metrics for measurement; and give the campaign time to work, making gentle adjustments along the way. Undoubtedly, you will see a stronger ROI and hopefully help things feel a little less chaotic for you and your marketing team. Now…back to reviewing a lifetime value report in Google Analytics…wish me luck!
Jessica, has worked in depth with numerous in-house marketing/communications teams and is passionate about equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge to confidently represent their brands with consistency, cohesiveness and innovation.