Building a results-driven digital marketing strategy can be frustrating. You think your plan is solid, but it feels like you miss every time. It’s as if someone is changing the rules without notice. How is a digital marketer supposed to know what works and what doesn’t? Read on! We have a few helpful suggestions.
Digital Changes Daily
The digital landscape is evolving faster than ever. It’s nothing today like it was yesterday, and that can make it difficult for digital marketers to identify the best strategy when approaching an audience. For example, according to Convince&Convert, trust is eroding because of fake and over-sensationalized news. This has resulted in a new buzz phrase over the last year, and thus a shift toward, what is referred to as more “authentic” marketing.
Technology is also advancing rapidly. This article in SmartInsights points out that advances in big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are improving the ability to target and customize campaigns to specific market segments. These changes keep marketers on their toes. It’s a constant shuffle to stay current, but you need to know what’s changing so you’ll know how to respond in a way that drives results. These types of environmental challenges shouldn’t be controlled; rather, they should be harnessed.
Overcoming Challenges to Drive Results
Trust and technology are only two of the challenges that you’ll have to face as you build a results-driven digital marketing strategy. And there’s a good chance there will be more uncontrollable environmental factors that marketers will be required to face in the future. So, how can these factors be harnessed to drive results now and in the future?
Focus on what can be controlled: Your own internal environment. An article on eMarketer points out that one of the greatest challenges to marketers is visibility into the performance and results of their marketing efforts. In part, this may be caused by selecting the wrong metrics to track. For example, many digital marketers are focused on metrics such as views, clicks, and unsubscribe rates when evaluating their e-mail marketing campaigns.
The problem is, these particular metrics don’t provide an answer as to why people are viewing, clicking, or unsubscribing from an email. Understanding which metrics indicate someone has a deeper interest in your organization can be confusing. Gone are the days when digital marketers could make valid assumptions about very general actions taken by their target audience. That why it’s paramount for modern-day marketers to spend time understanding the bigger picture. Keeping tabs on views, clicks, and unsubscribes might provide a benchmark for overall campaign performance; however, there is a huge difference between performance and results. To drive results, marketing professionals need to analyze how individual subscribers are connecting and engaging with their brand on an ongoing, regular basis (through several consecutive campaigns and channels).
The Key to a Results-Driven Digital Marketing Strategy
Focus on moving the needle, rather than moving your entire audience. There is no silver-bullet when it comes to implementing a results-driven marketing strategy, but the key is to follow a consistent process and perfect your approach little-by-little every time until you’ve reached digital marketing nirvana. Here are a few simple tips:
- Set small, achievable goals
- Regularly evaulate marketing plans
- Execute, execute, execute (consistently)
- Measure the outcome and make adjustments
- Repeat. And, most importantly, document your activities!
TopRank Marketing Blog points out that over 50 percent of marketing professionals surveyed do not have a method for documenting their content marketing strategy. We’ve become over-reliant on marketing software to gather our data and produce reports. Marketing software should be used to collect data not interpret data. So … we recommend a good old fashioned spreadsheet. This is absolutely critical since data is often coming from multiple platforms like Google Analytics, HubSpot, a sales CRM, customer service portals, and more. Many of these platforms can integrate with one another but there’s nothing more telling than having all of your key metrics, for all marketing activities, in one place. Read the “Q&A: What is Digital Marketing Really all About” for additional insight.