Companies, large and small, are blindly spending huge amounts of precious resources on digital marketing budgets. It is problematic that, in many cases, they don’t know if it is working or not because they are not appropriately measuring the results. Even worse, they aren’t even sure why they are using this tactic in the first place. Oh right, we do it because everyone is doing it…. The shareholders and key stakeholders of the company deserve better. The good news is that there is a pretty approach to fixing this challenge.
I am going to assume (I know, I know…Dangerous) that you are laser focused on who your ideal customer is and fully understand why they would do business with you. If you don’t absolutely know this then stop spending money and start with the customer.
Define Your Business Objective
I know, it is a bit cliché but hear me out. So many companies jump into new activities and don’t stay focused on the overall business objective. When we ask our prospective clients to define their business objective they generally say, “Of course, we want to grow revenue and profits.” But it takes more thought than that. Are you focused on customer acquisition, customer retention, growing lifetime value? What are the goals that will help achieve the larger objective? Once you have clearly defined the business objective and the goals to achieve the objective then you can begin to determine how digital marketing fits.
Determine which Digital Marketing Tactics Fit
Now that you have a clear objective and set of goals you can focus on the tactics. Here are two examples of how tactics fit.
- Website – A website is a marketing tactic and is the digital hub of the company. It must be utilized to achieve a goal. In many cases for b2b companies the goal of the website should be to generate leads. Unfortunately, many business websites were set up to simply present information and not to generate leads. This is a good place to start.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – SEM has many components including organic listings, pay-per-click advertising and retargeting to name a few. If your goal is to acquire new customers then this may be a good approach for you. A recent survey conducted by Forrester shows that 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. If customer acquisition one of your goals then SEM is a tactic that can help reach your goals.
There are many digital marketing tactics and each one needs to be evaluated to determine if it will achieve the goal and ultimately the business objective. Don’t just take it on because everyone else is….
Measure, Adjust, Measure, Adjust…
The beauty of digital marketing is that there are endless ways to measure the performance.
The challenge is to know which metrics will help you reach the goal. Additionally, you need to make sure you can track what you want to measure. For example, websites have multiple ways they convert. Make sure you have the ability to track these conversion events. To learn more, check out our blog on website conversions.
Measurement must be done on a regular basis to maintain a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This must be the foundation for you decision to make adjustments. Adjust what isn’t meeting expectations and measure again. The key is not to stop this measure and adjust cadence.
Yes It is Basic – So is Blocking and Tackling in the Super Bowl
I know some of this information comes across as basic. The reality is that this process of starting with your objectives and then moving on to tactics and measurement is basic. It starts with discipline. Then comes the understanding of the nuances of the tactics to choose and the measurements to follow. But no matter what, without the clear business objectives and goals you are just wasting your time and money.