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May 16 2019
Marketing is changing. It isn’t just because of digital, although digital has been the catalyst for most of it. It is changing because with digital we have better opportunities to create more meaningful (and effective) marketing. Yet many brands and businesses struggle to fully take advantage of this because of internal processes, partners, and approaches involve linear workflows and old ways of working.
For businesses and teams to succeed in marketing today they don’t just have to understand digital marketing and digital technologies. They need to truly adapt how they work to make the most out of digital.
The 3As of Digital Working outlines the approach that is needed to really succeed in digital. This isn’t as simple as adding a digital tool to your toolbox – this is about transforming the way that you work to take advantage of the rapid-paced data-filled world we live in.
Traditional marketing was linear – we did research, built, and launched. From idea to execution a TV commercial could take years and if a campaign didn’t perform we’d say “well we won’t do that again” since we were probably half-way through the next campaign.
In the new world we need to create and adapt much more rapidly. We don’t need to put all of our efforts behind a single piece of copy – we can test, learn, and evolve with an agile approach. We don’t have to pretend we have all the answers.
There is more data available than ever before – yet many marketers don’t take the time to really process it and make smarter decisions. While we are inundated by “big data” and reports, many marketers don’t access (or fully understand) the data readily available to guide their decision-making.
We live in a data-rich world, yet we still mostly miss incorporating data smartly into our workflows. You don’t need data scientists or big data to get started – start by using the data that is at your fingertips more frequently.
There is data available to inform almost every decision and most of it isn’t included in a report or dashboard available from an agency or marketing team. It requires some understanding of the information available, a desire to answer a question, and some time.
Spend some time getting your hands dirty analyzing data and answering the tough questions.
Even with all the data and talk about measurement and KPIs, digital still largely lacks accountability. Accountability means that we are truly accountable for our results and we take action.
Marketers are used to measuring activity as success – we sent five emails, we launched the website, we decided on the campaign strategy. These are just activities. We need to shift from activity driven to results driven. That is true accountability.
I recently spoke to a large pharma company – they sent weekly emails to their list. They had no idea (and didn’t even get reports) on the open rate, click rates, etc. They were very familiar with the design and content of the email, and painstakingly approved and crafted every word before it was sent, but they didn’t actually have a clear objective, measurements (KPIs), or benchmarks for their success.
Digital has the opportunity to drive deeper accountability – but only if we are open to the fact that half of what we do will probably fail.
Accountability means that we have a clear idea of what success looks like and we are disciplined about improving or stopping things that aren’t successful.
Many businesses look at reports but can’t answer the simple question of whether or not the results are good. With real accountability of the results we can improve the ROI of our marketing with continuous improvement and smarter decision-making.
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