I recently spoke on Digital Marketing to a Business Roundtable Group in New York City on how to grow your business with the power of Digital Marketing.
It was a great event, with lots of exciting conversations spurring from the presentation. In fact, one thing I love about live events are these conversations. They provide instant feedback and the stories that go with this feedback. But let me preface where we’re going here before we dive in.
Generally, most people talk a big talk about their results. Most entrepreneurs are quick to suggest the newest and greatest shiny object (mistaken for marketing strategy) that they’re just crushing it with. This is only amplified by the “guru’s” spouting out of this world results with this “easy and absolutely no-brainer strategy”.
Typical Digital Marketing Results of Your Peers
Here’s the problem. Most businesses fail to achieve the results they desire with their digital marketing strategy! And although this is true, it gets worse… to further amplify one’s positive hope for results, they share with you the great strategy they’re deploying, so you too can proceed down the valley of hope.
Now they’re not doing this to be mean, or bring you down with them. They truly do have hope that things will turn around and explode for them. And when a more attractive shiny object comes along, they tend to shift focus claiming this new strategy is much better. However, it’s just another shiny object.
What Fellow Entrepreneurs Confessed to Me
Okay so back to the group. Being face to face allows for people to trust faster and typically open up when they know you’re there to help them and only for a limited time before you leave. So, with the walls down, people start to confess… “you know George, our marketing is not doing what we had hoped, and we’re trying some of the strategies you mentioned in your presentation, but just not seeing the return”.
So, I ask them to outline their strategy, and the progression from awareness to attraction, to experience, to conversion. For the most part, everyone can give a semi outline of the step-by-step process which they perceived would occur. Then I ask them how they are measuring each stage of the progress. You can hear a pin drop!
Why Marketing Strategies Fail
I ask questions like, what is your impression share in the marketing channel you’re using, your click-through-rate on calls to action, your bounce rate on the targeted landing pages, your top navigational path to conversion? What marketing channel is working, if any at all, and what are the differences?
This is where the story turns sad. If you don’t know this kind of information (and more), then you’re relying on hope marketing – “I hope this works”.
There is a saying in the advertising world that goes like this…”50% of all marketing works, you just need to find the 50%”!
If you’re relying on hope, then you follow a process of one idea to the next, throwing as much as you can muster or afford, against the wall and hoping something sticks. Unfortunately, because you consistently make broad stroke changes, you never learn what piece is working, and are always in start over mode. This leads to financial and business ruin.
How to Implement a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
No matter what strategy you’re using to make your ideal customer aware that you exist, attract them to your business, engage with them to build trust and relationship, and offer them a solution to their problem which translates into conversion, you need to operate on the assumption it will fail to start.
This is a key psychological step in implementing a successful digital marketing strategy, especially with a limited budget and resources. When we operate from this perspective, we limit our risks, we measure each component closely, and we are patient. All key ingredients to success in marketing.
The beauty is, that with online strategies, you’re able to measure every stage of your strategy to the micro detail using tools such as Google Analytics (see our free google analytics training here). Best of all, Google Analytics is free!
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs I speak to, confess they never use measurement to make marketing decisions. In fact, I’m lucky to hear they check Google Analytics even once per month. This seems to occur for one of two reasons;
1. Knowledge. They do not know how to use the information displayed in their Google Analytics account to make marketing and design decisions.
2. Guessing and hoping is less work. They simply don’t have the time to measure.
So, I explained to the people attending the event, if your problem is number one, you can fix that, or hire that specific skill set.
However, if your problem is number two, something will have to give. Either frustration will finally push you to dig in and do the work, or the probability that your business will eventually fail increases dramatically.
To learn more about Google Analytics and how to use measurement as the foundation to all your marketing and design decisions, begin with our 5-day free Google Analytics Training.