How Marketers can be as good as Google
The other day when speaking to a well respected SEO he commented on how Google lacked sophistication, noting that their algorithms could be enhanced and results for searchers improved. He specifically commented on how results differ for the plural of words from the singular, which I agree can be very frustrating (as both a searcher and search marketer). Even though this can be annoying, I commented that this was not very important to Google. That instead the goal for Google is not to be perfect, just better than other search engines. So as long as their competitors are less than perfect, they can be too.
Marketing can be like this as well. It’s not that you have to deliver the perfect message to the ideal prospect every time. Instead, you often just have to get pretty close, and the intellect of the consumer can do the rest. This is important because you can often go out with offerings and messages based on gut and past experience, and as long as you are capturing those results in your marketing systems, you can tweak those messages as you go. This is good for marketers to realize, as technology marketing can often seem intimidating. This also allows you to get started without having to do testing on a sample or making changes slowly.
For lead scoring, start with simple scoring methods like scoring on the completeness of forms and the frequency of visits to your website. This will be enough to get started. Then continue adjusting your score to improve it. If you have a weekly meeting with sales, use part of that time to discuss scoring and then tweak based on what you and sales have decided.
If your scoring holds leads back from sales don’t worry that they are missing out on opportunities. Instead, continue sending messages to those who might be good prospects, but don’t yet make the decided score. Monitor these prospects and pass leads to sales manually that might be a good fit that aren’t making the score. If these then turn out to be good prospects, adjust the scoring based on the actions they took before you sent them manually to sales.
For email marketing, this means you can make some guesses when setting up your first campaigns. Create an auto-responder and then start working on your first re-messaging campaigns. If this means you don’t get to go back and test a number of auto-responder messages right away that’s okay. As long as you see some improvements due to this automated email you are doing better than you were. Just make sure that you prioritize your efforts so you can get the most out of your time.
If you are new to web analytics, don’t worry that you don’t know how to run every report. Instead, start with metrics key to your business, and then learn by drilling down further to understand more details about the results. Similarly with PPC, start with one campaign made up of a few ads directed to a few different landing pages. Spend time adjusting these and then as you become more comfortable grow into larger campaigns.
If you are just entering the world of online marketing, consider implementing a marketing automation system from the start of your online efforts and utilize the resources of their success managers and even of consultants to help get you started. The benefit to this is once you get things up and running you can then spend your time solely on making improvements to programs instead of implementing. You will also benefit because you will be able to capture data from all of your different campaigns in one system, allowing you to see a complete picture of your online efforts.
As long as you can do the things you are doing well, and keep moving forward with new tests, programs, and metrics, you have the ability to stay ahead of what your competitors are doing. You don’t have to be perfect; you just need to strive to be as good as Google.