Tag Archive: strategy

  1. Focus Your Digital Marketing: From Chaos to Order

    Nearly every day a new app, social network, or technology appears promising to make your job easier and kick your next campaign in to high gear. Thanks to the real-time component of social media, marketers can invest a lot of time and energy in the things that will impress and connect with customers online.

    The function of marketing has evolved significantly as there’s been an explosion new channels – both online and offline – including web, email, social, video, e-commerce, and mobile devices. We build community engagement initiatives, develop content around the objectives of of education and awareness, and hope that we can establish early connections with customers online with the end goal of earning their trust and interest. 

    While new and emerging tools allow us to get closer to our prospects, customers, and fans, the integration of all these digital marketing disciplines can often lead to chaos.

    As our world of marketing has become much more complex, the objectives have ultimately stayed the same and are the connective tissue that brings these tools together into one cohesive strategy.

    Digital Chaos to Order

    Goal-Setting 

    New technology and social marketing present an overwhelming array of options to marketers, who have become disillusioned by the allure of “the next big thing” and the endless array of possibilities. So often we take the view that doing something is at least better than doing nothing–How many times have you heard, “Let’s create an app” without first asking why?

    Specific short and long-term goals are essential to creating your marketing strategy.  Any exercise in marketing planning should begin by exploring your expectations of the plan itself. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! Established goals should center on how well the technology aids brand engagement, and whether it helps users consume your content and products.

    Metrics and ROI

    Of course we want to reach the right audience with the right message to drive a conversion, but too often, we waste valuable resources evaluating every metric we have access to, rather than focusing on the metrics that really matter to our campaign.

    Marketo offers this advice: “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.”

    Solid marketing metrics should make your decisions significantly easier.  Data is everywhere (and very “big” these days), so we need to become increasingly savvy about the best ways to leverage it. Marketing in the digital world is still all about results.

    Stop Doing What Isn’t Working

    As famed author Mark Twain once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Stop doing what isn't working

    Sometimes a campaign won’t produce the results you were hoping to see.  The trick is learning to identify when these situations just need a few small tweaks to realign with your goals and when the campaign is going to fail, no matter how much tweaking you do. A willingness to risk failure also requires the confidence and resolve to cut and run.

    While this might be a sore topic for your team’s next planning meeting, you must stop doing things that don’t work.

    There can be lots of reasons why something fails, but resources are finite and the correct distribution of resources to achieve the maximum results is what separates mindless execution from strategic marketing.

    Whether you’re brand new to social marketing and technology or a seasoned digital marketing manager, the integration of all these marketing disciplines can often lead to chaos.  If you find yourself lost in the explosion of new marketing tools, don’t forget the bottom line: Why are you marketing in the first place?

  2. “Medium” is Large On Content

    "Medium" is Large On Content

    Two of the internet’s top ten websites have been created by American serial entrepreneur, Evan Williams: Blogger and Twitter. In 2012, he and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unveiled medium.com, the word-centric website for clever content over 140 characters.

    Medium’s goal is to provide a platform for writers, meaningful content to “readers” and the ability to source more meaningful metrics behind content engagement. The site is used by a wide audience, from professional journalists to amateur cooks.

    The Difference:
    Traditional news editors have always relied on intuition for what drives readership, while Medium relies on reader insights.

    Medium is essentially the Pandora of the written word. Utilizing an intelligent algorithm, Medium suggests stories based on interest, engagement and time spent reading, rather than focusing merely on page views. To further the reader’s relationship with Medium “stories”, the site provides a “Reading List”, a “Top 100” and allows users to bookmark content.

    “Time spent is not actually a value in itself, but in a world where people have infinite choices, it’s a pretty good measure if people are getting value,” explains founder Evan Williams.

    Medium: 
    1) Lets you focus on your words:
    The space is dedicated to reading and writing.

    2) Is collaborative:
    People create better things together than on their own. Medium allows you to write with other people.  There is even a get help before you hit the “Publish” button.

    3) Helps you find your audience:
    You can contribute once or often without making the commitment of a blog.

    After two years, Medium is still trying to find its way and gain a larger audience. Will bloggers abandon their blogs in favor of Medium? Will Twitter users opt for longer content and abandon the “Follower mentality”? Will Medium become a dominant force in news content? Only time will tell.

    In the end, Medium is a fantastic experience for the both the reader and writer. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

  3. Fun with Funnels

    Seth Godin has an interesting post today about the “funnel” that is customer acquisition. Our work and research in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has left us with many of the same thoughts and questions as the ones Seth seems to be thinking through.
    The notion of pay-per-click advertising is a wonderful one. Why pay for a billboard and hope for the best when I can simply pay only for those who express an interest in my product (by clicking on my Google ad)? As long as I am converting a certain number of those folks, I should be fine, right?
    It’s not that simple. First, let’s remember that those who click today might not be ready to buy until next week. That said, a Web site should not only sell; it should carry the water through the entire sales cycle. Second, PPC ad copy should limit inappropriate prospects. If a user searches for ‘bass,’ our copy should distinguish between bass (the fish) and bass (the drum). Silly example but true. Also, let’s not forget about click fraud and how that should be accounted for. I wrote about this not long ago.
    When it’s all said and done, this entire process should be supported by a glorious spreadsheet. PPC is a science, not an art. Building a good model is our best bet!

  4. What can we learn from a Rhino?

    I have a little folder in my desk where I put hard copies of articles that are particularly thoughtful, significant, or otherwise. I usually put about 2 or 3 articles a year in there…quality–not quantity. I’ve got articles from Harvard Business Review (dating back to the 1960s) and BusinessWeek. I have saved articles from espn.com and GQ…and articles from Christian thinkers.
    I’m going to add this one today: The Rhino Principle by Paul Johnson, British historian. It appeared in Forbes this month.