Nearly 100 percent of businesses that don’t have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy express frustration and defeat in being able to receive intelligence that has a real benefit to their company. Seeing how metrics and analytics work together, gaining insight from those metrics, and building a strategic digital plan, seems out of reach.
Here are the top barriers to building an effective digital strategy and, in turn, how to start breaking them down:
A made up term used by digital marketers, it’s the Frankenstein of software strategy where you bring together multiple pieces of software that report marketing intelligence that don’t naturally match up with other marketing metrics or integrate with your other software.
- Breaking down the barrier – audit all of your digital marketing reporting tools and replace it with a single tool that does all of the things you need to accomplish. You may want a consultant to help you through this process, as there are thousands of options. For a quick reference, take a look at this graphic.
Marketing and Sales Alignment
When working in digital marketing it’s critical to consider and integrate the needs of your salespeople as you create your marketing strategy. First, every piece of content your marketing team creates should be based on your persona and it should have relevance to how the sales department will be using it. Second, digital is all about speed. Your digital strategy should be based on the journey and user experience of your prospects. Sales should know when a prospect moves from a marketing lead to sales lead. Once that happens, your sales strategy needs to have a plan for when and how to communicate to the lead. For example, if a prospect communicates with your company through chat and wants a quote, who should follow up and how quickly should you follow up? We know that the chances of you doing business with that person goes up 400% if you follow within five minutes. Ergo, digital is all about speed.
- Breaking down the barrier – have a series of meetings where you create a marketing to sales hand-off agreement and involve representatives from both departments. The sales side can provide insights to what marketing materials are helping them do their job, and those can lead you to answers on how to improve them. Additionally, your sales team should commit to reaching out to sales qualified leads when the time is right. This is the single most important meeting we conduct with our clients in the early stages of creating a strategy.
Paid and organic ad alignment
In a well thought out strategic plan, your paid ads should support your marketing departments work on getting your website to rank organically in search engines. Too often companies farm out their digital media buys, many times, to a media vendor that has little knowledge about their marketing plan or the sales process. The reality is, those two activities are interdependent and should be managed together. This ties into the benefit of having marketing software that shows how every visitor found your website.
- Breaking down the barrier – find a software that shows where your visitors are coming from – AdWords, Facebook (other social) paid ads, search engine marketing, referring sites, organic social posts, direct search, etc. With that technology, you can see how paid ads and organic search are working towards your overall strategy. When you know the sources of your traffic, you can strategically plan to do more of what works.
Closed loop marketing
This means that you can track every part of the customer journey including the sale:1.) How they found you.
2.) Every interaction on your website and social - what content they engaged with (blogs, forms, etc.) and what CTA’s and offers they clicked.
3.) If/how they interacted with sales.
4.) What communication worked best for them (emails, social connections, chat, instant message, phone call, text).
5.) If they made a purchase and how much it was.
6.) Interactions and engagements after the sale: survey, net promoter score, join our social, refer a friend, etc.
- Breaking down the barrier – utilize an all-in-one marketing platform that pulls all of this information together and gives you metrics for each stage of your buying process. Many platforms are now priced for the small business market specifically. These software-as-a-service platforms do the heavy lifting of a great marketing staff person. Assign them the value that they bring to the table.
Manage actual return on investment (ROI)
Many companies can say that their marketing is working, but aren’t sure where to attribute the success to. Today, a competent digital strategy will show sales and ROI in real time. Great digital intelligence delivers metrics on what tactics are attributed to the most sales (emails, social, blogs, ads, etc). Sales metrics can tell you how each salesperson uses the digital tools and then measure their activities and their results.
- Breaking down the barrier – digital marketing platforms can give you a dollar return amount and intelligence on every part of your marketing efforts that contributed to ROI. This is also known as touch attribution: email, paid ads, blog posts, website pages, etc. With the click of a button you can update customers that bought and have the ROI and analytic snapshot of their actions.
Today, the speed of getting and understanding your marketing intelligence is the foundation of the choices you make in software and strategy. Researching and finding what kind of software works best for your business, aligning marketing and sales as well as your paid and organic strategy, and understanding your customers actions and how it impacts your ROI are just a few ways that can help you get answers sooner so you can pivot your business toward growth.