We’re almost at the end of our journey…. I do hope you have used my tools/tips and are well on the way to having a strong digital strategy.
Now is the time to put it into action! The last step in any marketing plan is the execution of the tactics. The best way to get results is to do more of the things that work and less of the things that don't. The first step in execution is thinking about how you can test & measure ideas.
Test, Measure & Improve
The great thing about digital marketing is that things are infinitely measurable and easily changed. So, if something is not working, you can test something different and see if you get improved results. You can even often test things side by side – called A/B testing or multivariate testing.
If you find something is working, then keep doing more of it, until doing more of it makes no difference or starts to cost too much. Which brings me to my next point.
What do you measure?
This will be very dependent on your digital marketing goals. However, do think carefully about what you are measuring and why? For example:
- Time on site/Pages viewed: Does people spending a long time on your website & visiting lots of pages mean that they are engaged with your brand? Or does it mean that they can’t find what they are looking for?
- Exit Pages: Does tracking the pages where more website visitors exit the site tell you the pages are naff? Or that they were perfect and the customer found what they were looking for?
- Facebook Likes: Do these mean anything unless they’re engaged? Did they just enter because you offered them a prize for entering but have no interest in your product or service? What is the value of these likes?
- Click-through rates: Are these important if you’re looking for brand awareness? Or is it the number of people who have seen the advert? And how many sales did they lead to? What is your conversion rate from click through to sale?
- Conversion rates: 35% of people in New Zealand purchase items online. 34% of these researched online and then bought offline…. So where do they feature in your conversion rate? Do you have a unique 0800 number for your website so that you can track people who research online and then call and purchase? Or do your staff ask how what prompted them to buy from you?
There are so many things to measure in the digital marketing environment, and it’s difficult to cover them all in this article – just make sure you’re measuring things that lead towards your ultimate business goal.
To finish off talking about measurement, there’s a great quote that I love to use:
“Only a truly capable manager is willing to measure their results as it quantifies both their successes and failures.” - Anonymous
Nothing is really a failure though – it’s just an opportunity to revise your thinking and try again!
Social Media Listening
Social Media Listening is one of the terms that has appeared over the last few years. What is really means is having your eyes & ears open to see what customers are saying about you in the online environment – and monitoring the trends.
- Are they saying more good things than bad?
- Is there an increase in people talking about your product or service?
There are many different tools that you can use to do this but the key thing is, what can you do with it?
- What can you do when they say bad things?
- Can you do something to turn a negative situation into a positive situation?
- Can you amplify the good experiences?
- Can you surprise & delight your customers?
One thing about social media, is that you can’t control the environment and if you start to block or hide ‘negative’ comments then it will come back to bite you. There is never a right & a wrong in a situation…. Just 2 different viewpoints :)
The best thing you can do is try to put yourself in the customers shoes and see what you can do to make things right in their perception of the world. Try to never have a disagreement online or in the digital space… these very quickly become viral!
If you’re not keen to engage in social media as a business then you don’t have to broadcast but don’t stop listening. You need to understand when customers are saying things about your business and product / service. At a very minimum, have a way to jump in and take the conversation offline to see if you can help them.
If you can continue to do more of the things that get good results and do less of the things that don’t appear to work then you will have a digital marketing strategy that works. However, just with any other form of marketing or channels, customers & the marketplace change over time…. What worked last week may not work next week. So, continually review your objectives, strategies & tactics and make sure that you are still getting the result that you need!
That’s all for now folks… Please don’t forget to celebrate success & have some fun with it!
Other parts in this series:
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 1: What Is a Good Strategy for My Business?
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 2: Analysing Your Current Strategy
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 3: Developing Digital Objectives
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 4: Decide on Your Strategy & Tactics
- Digital Marketing Strategy Part 5: Test, Measure & Improve
This blog series is written by Debra Chantry, an Executive in Residence (EiR) & Business Coach at The Icehouse working with start-ups and established business to help them achieve their growth goals. Debra is also the owner of Ventell, a Strategic Consultancy focused on growing businesses profitably through business coaching, business and digital strategies and governance.