A marketing staff is only as good as its ability to bring in business and justify its budget. The best Chief Marketing Officers and Directors of Marketing know that proving ROI is the bottom line. And yet marketers keep making the same mistakes. Here are three digital marketing blunders that you can’t afford— and how to avoid them.
Planning without research
“Digital marketing strategy” is so common a phrase now that it’s not even buzzworthy. But when CMOs and their marketing departments get in a rush to adopt the latest social media, inbound and content marketing practices, they often lose sight of a very important step to undertake before planning: Research.
Before you outline your 12-step program to conquer Pinterest, it’s important to know who is using Pinterest, how and why they are using it, and if it’s relevant to your product or service after analyzing this information. Early adopters are often credited with success for diving in to the pool first and reaping the rewards—but there’s little credit in reading the rules of the swimming pool before jumping in.
Analyzing your audience, their wants and needs, how your product solves them, and how they interact with this information—in a social landscape, on you and your competitor’s website, and so on—are just as important steps as developing campaign KPIs, outlining your plan of attack, and measuring your success. Don’t be afraid to dive in, but do look before you leap!
Targeting just problems
A common reason marketers are called into the conference room is to solve the Big Problem—be it a post-algorithm update dive in rankings or an unexpected market shift for a product or service. While it may not be every marketer’s dream to take heat for these unpredictable occurrences, they’re a fact of life in the marketing world.
But the smartest CMOs and marketing directors focus their time on more than just solving problems—they look for opportunities, too. Being proactive, rather than only reactive, allows organizations the opportunities to be early adapters in the first place.
It might be a new group of customers to target, a new product or service to offer, or a new way to communicate with your existing users—keeping your eyes open is the best way to create success and show the members of the conference room how cutting edge your marketing truly can be.
Focusing on the solution
We see it time and time again: another marketing or SEO department focused on the thing that generates the most sales, and ignoring the reasons why that particular thing generates sales, because that’s what the boss said to do. While it is true that you can’t sell that product or service without the customer clicking “add to cart” or “contact us to get started,” to ONLY focus on those goals is short-sighted.
An agile marketing organization must be willing to focus on the “Why,” and not just the what. Rather than just saying “Buy This Thing!” and expecting customers to come a-runnin’, a more nuanced, community-centered approach allows customers to not only discover your product, but how it solves their problems and why they should want it.
Done correctly, this focus on more than just your solution helps your company build brand awareness, and eventually brand loyalty. Start out with research—locate new opportunities—target “why” you do what you do, not just what you sell. Avoiding tunnel vision and the traps of too much focus on the bottom line can help you transcend your problems and solutions, and really start to help your company shine.
Image credit: Carbon Arc