Many digital marketers lie about one thing. That they have everything figured out. They don’t.
Taken from Seth Godin’s article about marketers lying.
If you are a fly in the wall when a meeting of management is going on in a medium sized company to large enterprise. There’s one question thrown around. “What is our digital strategy?”
Agencies are asked this question a lot and this in turn forces these agencies to come up with a digital strategy.
They prepare huge presentations, they throw in crazy jargon and go through many back and forths about which channel to pursue etc.
The problem is, this is a huge waste of time and nothing gets achieved.
Marketing is like sport. You can have a basic plan of what you want to do before the game, but the truth is, reality is quite different.
This post is from a CEO of a small to medium sized business. She was looking to do email marketing.
From the points you can note that she was prepared, researched subject lines and still failed.
So when you hear stories of successful planning and strategy, take it with a grain of salt.
Strategies don’t work because marketing platforms don’t stay constant. Facebook and other marketing platforms keep changing their algorithms all the time. Just recently because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has immensely restricted their targeting options for advertising.
Advertisers who were succeeding with Facebook ads are now in a dilemma about where to put their money and if they advertising will still be as effective. Previously, Facebook had given prominence to pages. Building likes on a page was a good way to get access to thousands of people. But after a while, they reduced organic reach and forced page owners to advertise to reach their own audience.
This is why strategies fail. When the core is shifted, the strategy will not work.
The best alternative in a constantly changing world is to experiment. Create a culture of experimenting within your organization and you will succeed in a few campaigns that will positively impact your business. Here are a few ways to go about this.
Employees need to be trained to think of marketing in a different light. Instead of having a mindset of only planning, the mindset should be shifted to more towards execution.
One of the things new companies have adopted is have, experimental wednesdays, where every wednesday they run experiments (campaigns) and figure out what worked and what didn’t and to keep improving it.
So let’s get to the actionable part of the article. So when you create a campaign, the number one thing that you need to optimize for and prepare for is learning. Here are a few questions you’ll need to ask, if a campaign did not work out.
As you can see, there are so many factors to measure. When experimenting with campaigns, you’ll need to document your processes extensively.
Documenting your experience is key and keeping a note of all metrics are important as well.
Google sheets is the perfect tool for tracking all your campaigns. Here is an example of how you can track all your campaigns in one excel. When you keep all your campaign information in one document and track them religiously, over a month’s time, you will see what works and you can double down on those channels and campaign.
Data is your number one teacher. Numbers tell you the truth of your business and also give you very specific information about certain campaigns.
For example, here’s a hypothetical scenario. Say click throughs from a campaign might be great, but conversion is poor. Whereas in another campaign, click throughs might be less, but conversion is much more higher. Very specific data like this will give you an idea about where to spend your time and money.
The problem with a preconceived digital strategy is, there are a lot of assumptions. A lot of time is spent on assumptions without getting them tested. Even when you have an experimental marketing process, there are assumptions. But testing your assumptions quickly and figuring out the right strategy is key.
To help with this, A/B testing tools need to be used. What’s a A/B testing tool. It’s a simple tool where Assumption A and Assumption B can be tested to see which performs better.
An example is copy. Say you have two different call to action copies and want to know which one works better, the best way to find out is to use a A/B testing tool. The tool shows Copy A to half the people visiting your website and show Copy B to the other half and see which one converted better.
A/B testing can be used for numerous cases.
I don’t want this article to preach ‘Don’t prepare’, but we want people to focus more on executing rather than getting caught up with strategies that are more likely to be old news by the time you execute them.
Roll up your sleeves and start to EXPERIMENT NOW!