Are you marketing on a multitude of devices, using multiple channels to promote your product or service? Has the explosion of digital marketing channels made the management of your marketing a headache? Great marketing for the digital age is a big ask, but the best people are taking a structured, strategic approach to their digital – and you should be too.
The ‘Good Old Days’
Back in 2005 you built a website, created an email and were forward thinking if you even thought about search engine optimisation. By 2010, SEO had evolved way beyond keyword stuffing and back-links and started to bring content and socialising into its mix. Today you need a fully integrated marketing campaign to have any hope of reaching your target market. You need to know when they want to engage with you, why they want to engage with you, and on which platform or device they want to engage on.
Multi-channel marketing may give us marketeers a headache, but buying patterns have shifted. Brands no longer hold the power to decide where and when they will engage with their target market; that power lies with the empowered, engaged and online customer. As a brand, you need to be where that customer is, when they are there, and saying what they need to hear in order to meet their needs. It’s not enough (and it won’t work), unless your customer is at the heart of everything.
At Mash, we used to be tactically driven, but in the last year we’ve evolved our operational structure to meet the needs of our customers’ customers. Today’s reality is that generating a decent return means being customer-centric and mobile first, having a great social media presence, killer content and on-point campaigns. Whether it’s text, image, audio or video (the latter of which is the fastest growing vertical in marketing right now), there are challenges to be met – we haven’t even touched on search advertising yet, let alone video or social advertising – but facing up to this brave new world is not optional if you want to succeed.
Skill Sets Required
So what skill sets does the average marketing team require now? How about these to start with: strategy, search, content, analytics, social, advertising creative and technical, mobile, landing page design. The list goes on and on. How do you employ all of these people yet keep the costs of managing this marketing mix affordable?
It’s hard to pinpoint exact needs before you begin, but by way of example, we use a mixture of client side marketers or management, our core in-house staff and strategic partners as a flexible and agile team to integrate offline and online campaigns from the front end strategy right through to analytic tracking and reporting. It requires strong project management skills (another one for the list), the ability to plan ahead, and direction. In short, it is a team effort – not on one person alone.
Keeping the Focus
We realised long ago that you need to keep the marketing funnel as simple as possible across all platforms. Viewing data from each campaign under one hood allows us to manage and monitor campaigns and, most importantly, report on their ROI.
We work hard at the outset to understand a business in terms of what they want to achieve, in what time frame and with what resources and budget. Setting expectations at this point saves confusion later on as campaigns unroll. 90 day project plans are a minimum: although often too short to demonstrate success in many digital channels. Regardless of whether its about building an online presence from scratch, getting found by your market, coming up with creative and testing it out across different channels or creating copy, video, etc., the plan saves us from shooting from the hip with fingers crossed.
The final part of managing multi-channel marketing in the digital age is to make sure an analytic strategy is signed off. Setting sensible, realistic KPIs (key performance indicators) that make sense in terms of what you want to achieve and the strategies you are following, and having a way of measuring everything is key. Getting the analytic tracking right, setting up useful analytic dashboards for stakeholders and talking them through what these reports mean for their business is essential. Often, analytics training is required to explain the jargon in Google Analytics – make sure you account for this.
If the complexity of marketing in the digital age is beginning to get too much, call us, we may be able to partner with you to help simplify your campaigns, picking out what is working, what isn’t and providing advice and guidance on how to improve the return on your investment in marketing.