How to get the most out of your Digital Marketing technology
Take a walk down the street, a glance around an office lobby, or a peek into any crowded public place and observe what’s holding people’s attention. It’s not the skyscraping billboards that companies shell out thousands of dollars to display or the carefully crafted retail displays filling storefronts along the avenue. The majority of people are focused on their technology. It’s no secret that smartphones, laptops, and tablets are where consumers are spending their time. To be seen by potential customers and retain current ones, brands must meet consumers where they are- the digital world.
So, investing in digital marketing is crucial. The reason is clear as day. You don’t have to be Seth Godin to realize marketing and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined. But simply having a digital presence is not enough. Strategizing for the future and investing in tools relevant to company goals is now an essential part of the equation.
We know the why, yet the how proves a bit more complex. Deciding how to invest in digital marketing comes with its own set of considerations. The numerous platforms and services on the market can lead to overwhelm. Couple that with cross-departmental involvement (as the decision affects more than just the marketing department) and it becomes clear that this is no walk in the park. However, with clear goals and cooperation across departments, selecting and utilizing digital marketing tools with success is within your reach.
How to Ensure Your Digital Marketing Investment Has an Impact
Choose a system that fits your needs, not the other way around.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store sans list only to roll into the checkout line with a cart brimming with exciting, unusual foods (dark chocolate covered quinoa puffs, anyone?) that you most definitely could have lived without? And only after returning home you realize you forgot to get a staple food that you consume weekly.
Shopping around for the right software can be like wandering aimlessly around a beautifully laid out grocery store. Without a plan of action, you may end up getting a software that does not fit your business’ current needs. To avoid investing in a platform that offers too many or not the right services, compose a strategy that details how the software will be used when first implemented as well as a forward-thinking plan for future use.
Determine KPIs and how they will be measured. Then, see how each service measures up to the company goals and plan you have outlined. You’ll be able to see that certain platforms offer services that are unnecessary to you while others offer tools that align with your goals. are With a clear standard of expectations, judging products will be less of a guessing game and the chances of an accurate fit are greatly increased.
Consult with Others Outside of the Marketing Department
This new tool will provide customer data, insights into campaigns, and other useful information that should travel to sales, customer service, and more. Consider who will be utilizing this tool and include them in the quest to find the ideal service. Seek input from across the organization to gain a well-rounded picture of what solutions employees desire and to identify any common requests or questions that repeatedly emerge.
An added benefit of discussing the topic with a wide range of departments is the feeling of inclusion that it imparts. Because they have been looped into the process, department heads and the employees underneath them may feel more open to learning and using the platform when it is implemented.
Work Closely with IT
Continuing in the vein of open communication, let’s discuss an important shareholder in this digital marketing decision- IT. The technology and marketing teams should be friends not enemies because they can both offer insights in this process.
Consult with IT to gain knowledge about what technology can be integrated with current systems and what cannot. This will avoid the hassle of trying to force an unfit platform into the organization.
Additionally, let the tech team know what the current and future marketing goals are so they are informed about what types of systems you are looking around for and won’t lobby for a platform that does aid in getting towards those goals.
Look Under the Hood of the Platform You are Considering
As helpful as a product rep may be in explaining the inner workings of their platform and how it can benefit your business, the ultimate test involves putting it into use. Before committing to a purchase, look into options of implementing the program on a trial basis. This hands-on experience will offer more insight into the real-time applications of the platform and how it fits into day to day operations.
For varying perspectives on the product, reach out to current users if possible to ascertain their unique experiences and challenges with the platform. Bottom line- conduct additional research beyond the sales pitch to make a well-informed decision.
Research Digital Marketing Trends To See How Your Strategy Stacks Up
The digital world is changing at a rapid pace and staying knowledgeable will aid in determining how to allocate your digital marketing budget. Let’s be honest, if you don’t know where the industry is headed, how will you know what to tailor in your strategy and prepare for change?
A DemandMetric study found that 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. Since content marketing has been found to generate more leads than traditional and costs less to create, investing in content marketing may prove to be a valuable part of your digital marketing budget.
However, custom content is only one facet of the digital marketing world. Other areas like SEO, marketing automation, and cross-device marketing strategies are also at play in the digital space. Take into account current business goals and challenges as well as reliable industry information to guide your decisions on how to prepare for the unpredictable future.
Even with an excellently crafted digital marketing strategy and investment plan, there will likely be unforeseen circumstances that accompany implementing a new tool or software. How will customers respond to it? Will certain departments have trouble figuring out the system? What pain points could occur in the weeks and months following the initial launch? All important questions and all questions that only time can answer.
Although predicting exactly what the results will be is impossible, there are steps to take in order to minimize stumbling blocks. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by rolling out one new solution at a time when possible and keep in mind that certain platforms take longer to integrate than others.
Allow a period of adjustment for employees to get familiar with the ins and outs of the system. It may prove useful to create and share a Google calendar across departments outlining the timeline of the rollout and integration of the system. The timeline should serve as a guide, not a rigid plan set in stone. Remain flexible and keep in mind that the front end work will have long term benefits.