Today, the distinction between offline and digital marketing has become practically irrelevant. “Offline” marketing like TV and radio ads are likely to spark activity online (say Twitter, Facebook and Google+) which means that a well-executed radio ad could have a significant, if indirect, impact on your SEO. It also means that marketing has become so multi-channel and integrated that making a distinction is not only pointless – it’s restrictive.
The key to getting your marketing right is to understand the relationship between each different marketing channel and how each one can complement the other. While every situation, website and industry is different, there are four concepts that digital marketers often miss.
1. ROI-Driven Metrics
As famed business writer Peter Drucker has said, “What gets measured, gets managed,” and this has underpinned many successful marketing campaigns. However, it is possible to measure too much.
Many marketers simply measure every metric they have access to, rather than focusing on metrics that really matter to their campaigns. As such, they waste valuable resources and produce misleading data.
To streamline your next campaign, make a list of everything you want to measure. How many items are on your list? 20? 30? More? Look at each metric, and ask yourself: “What decision would I make differently if I knew this number?” If you can‘t come up with a clear answer, it’s not a good metric.
Also, if a metrics isn’t about growing your business, it’s not a good number. Focus on metrics that actually lead to conversions. Are you generating leads, sales, voters, donors, patients or members from your marketing? What steps do customers take in order to convert? How do you improve each step? Ultimately, driving more opportunity for your organization is all that matters.
If you still gauge the value of reporting by the pound (that is, if you measure the worth of your reporting by printing out all the pages and weighing them), it’s time to rethink your data. Solid marketing metrics should make your decisions significantly easier.
On that same note, some marketers claim that they can’t be held accountable for their marketing spends, but in 2014, every dollar needs to deliver a meaningful ROI.
That’s why marketers must be able to directly correlate their marketing efforts to leads and sales, which is the backbone of Fathom’s ROI centric reporting. Website traffic gives you thrills, but revenue pays the bills.
2. Behavior-Based Marketing
We all like to think that we understand our customers. And you probably do – to a degree. Unfortunately, you’ll never know your customers better than they know themselves.
In this age of big data, there really is no reason to guess about how your customers will behave. You have access to search patterns, interactions with advertising, and conversations on social media to help you make informed, data driven decisions about how your customers ARE behaving – not how you think they’ll behave. Tools like Google Trends and Social Mention are a good place to start; personalization software can actually identify personal data, and then use it to inform user experiences in real-time.
Also, a data driven approach to marketing will often uncover new opportunities. By analyzing this data, you can form actionable plans that impact pricing, features, sales, customer service, and logistics. Give it a try – you might be surprised.
3. Complete Alignment with Goals
Every day there is a new app, social network, or marketing tool that promises to make your life easier and supercharge your next campaign. Sure, some of them might work, but if they aren’t helping you execute your business objectives, what’s the point?
The fact is, you may not need to be on that hot new social network all of the middle schoolers use. On the other hand, you may see great results from a 15-year-old discussion board where every executive you are targeting gathers. It’s about steak, not sizzle.
Want a simple rule to separate valuable tools from flashes in the pan? Ask if your core client is reachable through this channel. For example, if your target is 60-year-old males with MBAs, Pinterest (where 80% of users are women), might not be your target audience. You can’t catch fish where there aren’t fish.
4. A Willingness to Fail
Sometimes you might see a program that doesn’t produce the results you’d hoped for. Sometimes, it only needs a few small tweaks to get back on track. That said, there are sometimes programs that are going to fail – no matter how much tweaking you do. The trick is learning to identify these situations, and having the confidence to cut and run.
To understand when you should cut a program, as opposed to saving that program, is to understand why it’s failing. For example, you may have a program that’s reaching its target audience successfully, but the messaging is wrong. This program is worth saving – just change the messaging and measure the results. But let’s say that you know with certainty that your email program is being delivered, but the click-through rate is abysmal. In that case, you need to change everything about your send – your subject line, your offer, your copy, and possibly even your segmentation.
Marketing should be integrated, but the integration of all these different marketing disciplines can often lead to chaos. The key to successfully managing this transition is to always keep thinking about the bottom line. Why are you marketing in the first place? Marketing is all about results – and we’re not talking about search positions here. We’re talking about conversions, sales and leads.