1. Is my digital strategy aligned with my overall marketing strategy?
Just as a chocolate chip cookie isn't complete without mixing the chips with the batter, a digital strategy needs to be properly 'mixed in' with your overall marketing strategy. Yes, in this analogy digital marketing is chocolate. Tempting isn't it? Is your goal to generate more leads? Raise brand equity? Recruit? Maybe customers are having a hard time finding you....I'm starting to think we'll need more chocolate chips. The fact is, digital marketing is a huge deal and if you are not taking advantage of it you are behind. Even if you are doing nothing in the current environment, "standing still means you're moving backwards." It is vital for any company to make sure its digital strategy aligns with the overarching goals of its marketing strategy. Let's say your company has decided to concentrate on segmenting your customer base to attract older consumers. If your digital strategy is not aligned with this and is targeting keywords like 'lit', 'savage' or showing content of bottle flipping and Chance the Rapper (if you don't know these you are probably the one being targeted by the fake company in this blog) there is a clear disconnect and your company will not be found by your target market. The point is, make sure your entire marketing department is well aware of its goals as they shift and change. Don't know how to do that? Ask a professional. At Top Floor we strategize WITH our clients to make sure everything is firing on all cylinders.
2. Do I know my customer's journey?
Knowing what stages your customer goes through before making a decision is like a roadmap to sales and your company is the GPS. Are you making sure the destination is set to your company? Are they taking the fastest route, or will heavy traffic make them turn off? Whether your sales cycle is short or long, knowing how your customers get to you is paramount. First and foremost, are you the destination? How do consumers find you? Are they using search engines? Chances are they are. In fact, more than 80% of consumers will do online research before they buy. This includes product or service specifications, pricing, reviews, and company values along with a myriad of other attributes. Understanding your customer leads to understanding your customer's journey. These are things like demographics, location, what social media they are on, likes, follows etc. They are key to putting together a broad picture of the customer. After these are determined, a deeper look is necessary to build a full customer journey. The 'directions' of a consumer are the reasons why they do the things they do. As you can tell, this takes a little more work to figure out. Things like who they follow on social media, past purchases, surveys or focus groups are all great tools to try and fill in the details of your customer's journey. Just like adjustments made to GPS directions to account for traffic, construction, or new routes, you need to continue to check in and change your customer's journey as needed to ensure they are getting to you in the most efficient way.
3. Do I know all of the important metrics and if they are working?
Starting around the early 2000s the words 'Business Intelligence' and 'Analytics' were popping up everywhere. No one really knew where they came from or what they were. But companies knew that if you weren't using analytics, you were falling behind. Fast forward to 2017. The terms have evolved. Analytics is now known to represent meaningful information gathered from huge amounts of data. This information, in the right hands, can be used to gain powerful insights and direct business decisions. Analytics is a very broad term and can now be applied to almost any big data information system. There are analytics packages for customer management, financials, sales/marketing funnels, operational management and many, many more. When it comes to digital marketing, make sure you have the right people handling your analytics. Without the proper training in recognizing trends in the data, analyzing the data would be like trying to decipher hieroglyphics without the Rosetta stone. Do you know your CTR, conversion rates, new sessions, bounce rate or CPA? More importantly, do you know what they are saying about your current digital marketing strategy?
4. Are we operating under a 'Jack of all trades, master of none' strategy?
Remember that old saying, 'just because everyone is jumping off of a bridge doesn't mean you should too.'? Sometimes consolidating outranks diversifying. It's really a matter of knowing your business, industry and consumers. Do you need to be on every social media channel known to man? Do you need to post on said social media channels 3, 4, or 5 times a week? Just thinking about that is making me tired. I know what happens to me when I am tired. I can't concentrate, quality goes down and something will get overlooked. Is your digital marketing strategy exhausted and stretched too thin? Remember that quality will always suffer when you try and burn the candle at both ends.
5. Is it time to outsource some or all our work?
Marketing is such a diverse and ever-changing field that if you want to do it right, you need a specialist in each area. If you expect one person to run your paper ad campaigns, radio and tv spots, face-book, twitter, e-mail, CRM, branding, networking and more, you are doomed to mediocrity...or worse, invisibility. Though invisibility would be a cool superpower, it is about the worst thing a company can experience. This is too much to ask of any one person. I am directing this message specifically at smaller companies who expect to compete on the next tier of their business. It is great if you can find someone to head the marketing department and delegate to the department heads, but if you have one person trying to do it all, the quality of work will inevitably fall short of expectations. Do you have one person running your day-to-day marketing operations? Maybe it's time to hire help either with more people or a professional firm. I would strongly suggest looking into a digital marketing firm. A marketing professional will earn between $50,000-100,000 starting salary in 2018. Couple that with insurance expenses and it adds up quick. Many full-service firms have the resources and know-how to take some or all the burden from your marketing department while at the same time maximizing exposure, building brand equity and saving the business money. That's the bottom line.