Archive for November, 2009
Online marketing, just like all traditional B2B and consumer advertising, should be focused on the customer. While we’re all psyched about the ability to calculate and compare statistics down to the smallest detail, the true measure of marketing success is still in the minds of the customer.
Many online marketers have lost sight of marketing basics. With technology moving so fast, many of us have gotten caught up in the latest and greatest digital gizmo or gadget. Having the ability to track and target people more precisely or better understand their buying habits is certainly an asset to the marketing process, but it still can’t replace or even become the strategy.
I was with a client yesterday discussing the cause of their slumping conversion rates on their B2B web site. Despite having a excellent product, a terrific sales team and outstanding customer service, they didn’t understand why their inbound marketing efforts were sagging.
One look at their ads, web site, and landing pages told the entire story. Since they are a technology company, I can understand how these guys view their business through an analytical prism. The problem is that their customers don’t. Their marketing sounds like it’s talking to their management team, not to their customers. And while they’re doing a great job measuring the results, the adjustments they’re making to the creative make the numbers may move slightly, but don’t get to the root of the problem, and that shows in the bottom line. These guys have lost the forest and are stuck in the technical trees.
The focus now seems to be on who can be the first to leverage the newest mobile platform or how fast you can utilize a certain new software. Digital marketing, whether your using social media marketing, pre-roll ads or just PPC is still about the end user and what is important to them. The metrics will come. Marketing must still be about the value of the message and the content first — and less about how it’s delivered.
Ask yourself this: in a year from now when the technology you are using today becomes common place, will your message your sending still resonate? Channel selection is and must always be a result of where your customers are, not just what happens to be the hottest technology today.
If you ask most marketers if they do multi-channel marketing, you’ll likely find the vast majority resoundingly say YES!. But if you ask about their plans to coordinate the effort to ensure proper timing, the right amount of consistency without redundancy and an overall reliable brand message, the answer is surprising. It seems that most marketers sort of “wing-it” and don’t plan on how to use these multi-channel marketing efforts to multiply the results. They just happen to be running at the same time.
While there are several channels that historically work well together, such as email & direct mail or direct mail & print, there should be a more systematic approach to execution as well as to analyzing the results. Not surprisingly, even though these multi-channel marketing programs are often unplanned or uncoordinated, they most often yield better results than individual efforts.
With the increasing number of new marketing venues and the shift in consumer behavior from observer to participant, it’s pretty tough to always know the best or most cost effective way to reach the market.
Consumers move between markets seamlessly as they multi-task without even realizing that they are doing it. When asked “How did you hear about us?”, often customers are unsure. But if the same message is repeated across a multitude of media without any new content, consumers tire quickly and just it shut out.
Simply put, integrating timing, content, responses and metrics amplifies results.