Digital Marketing is still relatively new in comparison to traditional marketing. Although i’ve seen some boasting that they’ve been in the Digital Marketing industry for 30 years. I’ve seen this so many times that I have no response anymore and it’s really neither, here nor there at this point.
At this stage in the digital marketing game, we have been dabbling in this space long enough as marketers that we should “get it”, yet it seems that it’s not the case. There was a study by Adobe that pretty much said as marketers there are a high percentage of folks that are failing. Not only do these folks realize they are failing but they do not even have confidence in their skills in the space, enough to attempt to change. This is a problem!
We need competent marketers that are on their A Game, because the demand in this space is increasing. We are not going backward to that traditional marketing comfort zone that some want to wallow in. If any thing marketing is accelerating quicker toward total technology dominance. The merge between technology and marketing is almost fully realized. So much so, that markers are now considered marketing technologists, not just marketers. The skill set that is required to be successful in the marketing space is probably 90% technical with very little focus on traditional marketing strategies.
We have reached a point that we should recognize the fundamental differences between adjusting traditional marketing strategies to the digital space and embracing digital marketing strategy. This is a hardcore fail because these channels appeal to different demographic audiences.
Digital channels allow us so many benefits that were not available with traditional marketing channels. A huge and amazing opportunity that digital offers those that take advantage of it, is analytics, which it the backbone behind successful digital marketing strategies. Analytics allows us to utilize data to determine ROI of campaigns. This is huge for us as marketers and for the clients that we work with.
As a person that is not overly fond of numbers, I have a love of analytics because these numbers provide a roadmap to where we’ve been digitally and map a path to our next digital destination. However, we must be willing to pay attention in order to see this path. We must first recognize the importance of digital and the important role of analytics. As a marketer, if you miss this you are lost.
There are so many marketers that are NOT paying attention. They don’t realize that digital marketing is NOT a retrofitted version of their old school marketing. It is much better and much, much more but only if we are willing to embrace the change. As marketers in this space we must pay attention to the industry, innovations and most importantly our customers. These are areas in which we are failing as an industry. There are some exceptions of course.
Four Reasons Why You Are Failing At Digital Marketing:
1. It’s not about you, really it’s NOT. I don’t know how many times i’ve heard, “Well, I like this.” or “I like that or I don’t like that.” So what, who cares. It’s not really about you. The content you share is really NOT about you, just as the content that I share is NOT about me. It’s 100% about your audience.
I always share content that I think friends and followers would find useful, thought provoking or will solve a problem for them. It’s never been about my likes or dislikes. A great example of this is one of my Pinterest boards about bacon. This is by far one of my most popular boards and it’s so funny, because I haven’t had a slice of traditional bacon in over 30 years. I don’t even remember what it tastes like. However, it seems that people that follow me on Pinterest love bacon. So, if that’s what they love, that’s what I supply. I realize the bacon board was popular because I was paying attention and analyzing the data.
A lot of people that do not have a digital background or have not learned enough in this industry to venture away from their outdated traditional marketing background, still don’t pay attention. They are hanging on to antiquated techniques like Linus of Charlie Brown with the dirty blanket. There’s a new set of rules and these rules have to be embraced by learning what digital is all about not taking stabs at failing attempts to retrofit traditional marketing into digital strategy. This is not a criticism at all, more of an observation.
Old school, traditional marketing was more about the company that was pushing the message. It was more of a “Me Me Me” channel. Digital is the antithesis of that, because digital is about the CUSTOMER, CLIENT and their user experience. It’s NOT about YOU, as the marketer, so pay attention.
2. Pay attention to the customers, clients and data because they don’t lie. There are so many people that are caught up in the frenzy of doing the “digital thing” that they are just posting, pushing content and doing all of the things that they think they are supposed to be doing but in the process they are not paying attention to the customer or client.
In the frenzy to be “on the ball,” and appear to know it all a lot of marketers think they are winning the fight but they are losing the war. A huge part of digital and social is really paying attention to your customers. What kind of content are the customers interacting with, why are they interacting with that content and how should you interpret that. What is your take away? How can you use that interaction to better THEIR customer experience?
Marketers need to pay attention and create a strategy based on the wants and needs of their customers and clients, but first as a marketer you must pay attention. It’s just that simple. Are you paying attention?
3. Analyze the data because it doesn’t lie and will give you a roadmap to creating a great strategy that will be 100% about your customers and clients. After all that’s what this is about, the entire digital marketing thing is about creating an avenue for your customers, so they can engage with you and your brand with the ultimate goal of increasing brand exposure and potentially sales. However, if you as a marketer lack the fundamentals needed to put your wants aside and if you don’t pay attention all of this is rather pointless.
We have to take the ME out of our digital strategy and a part of that is putting our wants aside, focusing on the customer and utilizing insights gained from the customer to continue to provide what they desire. This is win win for the marketer, client and/or customer.
The data is a roadmap and it will always lead you in the right direction but you must analyze it and plan accordingly.
4. Plan based on data, that is huge because it allows you to utilize analytics and insights to drive your marketing strategy. If you are unfamiliar with insights and analytics, I’d suggest you dive in to that area because it will make your digital marketing strategy so much easier.
Suppose you have a goal to hit a certain target audience for your clients, how are you to know you are successful if you are not analyzing the data around your marketing campaigns? If you are not looking at the data your digital strategy is sort of like, “let me just throw some crap on the wall and see what sticks.” In opting not to analyze the insights and analytics of your social media, websites and campaigns, you leave a lot to chance and that’s not a good road to travel down.
We are all evolving in this space but we have to make an effort to embrace it and keep learning because the industry is continuing to grow. Most importantly have fun with it. This is a FUN industry. With that said, if you find that this is NOT fun for you :-) and need help with getting your digital marketing strategy back on track or if you need help in a pinch for a project, feel free to reach out. I am always online, with the exception of the few hours that I am forced to walk away from my computer due to that thing we need on occasion called sleep.