Today’s business-to-business on the marketers are never short of stakeholders suggesting new ways to leverage social media, Web 2.0, SEO/SEM, mobile apps and all other tools digital.
But what criteria do you apply to determine what’s worthwhile and what’s a waste of resources? Here are seven considerations for a head start in optimizing your digital efforts.
1. Make Sure Nothing Happens Without Clear Objectives
While this seems obvious, it’s amazing how many companies spend considerable chunks of their budget on a digital media simply because competitors are doing so, or someone thinks it’s new and interesting. You should be able to explain, specifically, how every part of your company’s digital marketing efforts contribute to the company’s sales and marketing objectives.
2. Focus on the Audience Experience, not the Technology
To get the most impact from your digital assets, focus on how they all work together to form a whole experience for various audiences-and not on the individual technologies or media themselves. Your goal is to set up a digital environment which will best fuel your business objectives, not to merely use the latest cool media just because it’s hot right now.
3. Make it a Team Effort
For true success, your company’s digital efforts need leadership. Some companies are going as far as appointing a Digital Chief Marketing Officer (dCMO) to champion their company’s use of digital strategy and media. But for many, good leadership simply means someone responsible for establishing clear vision and objectives-as well as a team of people responsible for both execution and the identification of new digital opportunities.
4. Let Customer and Prospect Behavior Guide You
As you’re mapping out your digital strategy and touchpoints for each audience, don’t plan in a vacuum. Consider how existing customer behavior can help guide your efforts and make them more valuable to both your company and customers. For instance, rather than replicating a website verbatim as a mobile site, consider only making available functionality and information your specific audience would find useful on the go.
5. Always Capture and Communicate ROI
One of the great joys of digital media is how easy and immediate it is to determine the success of a particular effort. Therefore, to not capture, analyze and share the results of your company’s digital media efforts is a tragedy. You must ask, prior to launch, how you will define success with a specific effort in a way that’s quantifiable. And then measure how you did against your objective. Also, don’t just share your wins. Understanding and sharing why an initiative didn’t work is even more important than when something is working.
6. Don’t Silo Digital Disciplines
You’ll never be able to create an efficient and effective digital marketing machine if each discipline within the team is not structured to work together. Designers, programmers, copywriters and everyone involved in a particular effort need to work together from the outset.
7. Learn from Other Industries
It’s natural to look toward your peers and compare activities. But don’t forget that different industries have different new technology and media adoption rates. Something that’s old news for another industry could revolutionize yours. Don’t forget to explore how other industries are adapting digital marketing strategies and tactics as a way to find proven methods.