My role has evolved dramatically over the last year or so. I saw myself as a digital marketing consultant and trainer helping my clients to develop, build and deploy campaigns across the multitude of digital marketing channels that seem to grow by the month. SEO (search engine optimisation), Social media and content marketing, Pay per click campaigns on Adwords and the various social media paid ad platforms. Lots of managed campaigns, creative output, and standard marketing agency style work.
Measuring the success of these campaigns has always been a critical part of every project and part of my job is helping my clients to understand how best to know when they are winning. Marketing budgets are only so big and are always liable to a squeeze every now and then so making sure that your money is returning what we all want (sales, leads, subscriptions, brand awareness – all that lovely stuff) is always important. But now, with so many channels firing traffic towards your landing pages, different demographics, tighter targeting and ever more complex technologies across so many different channels and platforms makes things even more tricky to measure effectively.
Typically the core activity associated with your web and social presence will either sit somewhere between a web/graphic design agency and a marketing agency or it will be undertaken in-house (or a combination of the two). Often supported by PR professionals and content producers. Whether your campaigns are being run in-house or by a third party the ROI and the value is measured by successful outcomes. What does winning look like for you? Most probably it’s more service or product sales, lead generation; the things that lead to more income.
If you’re outsourcing your web marketing then you may well be used to receiving a monthly or quarterly report that outlines what has been undertaken and what the outcomes are. Hopefully with lots of pretty graphs, trending upwards, traffic increases, conversions and the like.
If you’re taking care of business internally then almost certainly somebody is asking you to pump out a similar report so that everybody knows that things are on the up.
Here are the two things I hear the most when it comes to digital marketing:
- We need more sales and leads! This service/product/category is underperforming and we need to improve. What can we (‘we’ generally means the marketing team) do to make this happen?
- (When asked how things are being measured so we can benchmark progress) I don’t look at (understand) analytics much / I’m not sure what our conversion rate is / I don’t know what I’m paying per lead/sale across all the digital channels we invest in
Sound familiar? There’s a lot going on, a lot of activity and quite often a lot of encouraging (please retain my retainer) ‘reports’. But how much of what you’re paying for is returning on your investment? Do you know how to check? Do you have the requisite insights into your various digital marketing investments (let’s call them that because campaigns cost actual money) to make the right decisions going forward? What to do more of, what to cull, how to save money and how to spend it wisely? By wisely I don’t mean with speculative intelligence, we’re all smart enough to do that, but with data-driven wisdom. Are you engaging in effective measurement?
What exactly is effective measurement? In my experience, effective measurement is simply having the answers to the most important questions: What works? What doesn’t? What are my leads and sales costing? Where am I leaking money? What should I do next?
That starts with the confidence to login to your web analytics account and very quickly be able to see, via custom reports, dashboards and campaign tagging, exactly how everything is performing and what it is costing. If you can’t do that then you cannot know if you are spending wisely or wasting money. You cannot know which channels are performing well and which are not suitable for the task at hand. Most importantly, if you need to boost sales, brand awareness, launch a new product or simply generate more leads for your sales team, with data drove wisdom you can make the most effective decision.
I’m only interested in building digital marketing campaigns that are data driven for my clients because there’s no longevity otherwise, only a conveyor belt of brief > campaign deployment > pretty monthly graph. I may have to redesign my business cards because I think a better job title would be a Data Driven Digital Marketing Consultant
This is just as important for an established business as it is for a start-up – all budgets need looking after – and quite often “but this is just the way we’ve always done it” isn’t the best way to future-proof your success – in fact, it never is! So I’d urge you to take the time to explore a data-driven digital marketing philosophy because when you truly know what’s going on you’ll find it a lot easier to make the decisions that lead to whatever winning looks like for you.
If you’d like to chat about how your digital marketing data may or may not be informing you effectively then please give me a call. I’m almost always showing someone how to do something so if you don’t catch me, leave a message and I’ll call you back ASAP 07850 938255
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