Digital Marketing Management – Driving Sales in a Competitive World
Digital marketing management is the process you need to have in place to get the best out of your investment in digital marketing.
So what exactly is digital marketing management?
In summary, it means having:
- Clear objectives of what you want to achieve this quarter, in 12 months and 3 years’ time
- Meaningful metrics so that you know when you have achieved your goals and which drive the right activity. (What gets measured gets done.
- Clear routines and processes that mean you consistently do what you need to do.
- Timescales and milestones so that you set yourself mini-goals along the way working to a fixed timescale so that you know when you are on track or not.
- Assigned responsibilities. Your team need to know who “owns” each process so that there is somebody ultimately responsible for making sure that the process is the best it can be and that it is producing the desired results.
- Continuous improvement so that the process owner works with team delivering the process so ensure it is regularly reviewed and developed.
So what does this mean to you?
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”, Lewis Carroll
Before starting anything you should have a clear idea of what you are looking to achieve. Otherwise you will lose valuable time and money on projects that fail. With digital marketing it is very easy to spend a lot of time of money and not achieve anything. Having clear SMART objectives is the first step to success.
The acronym SMART has a number of variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition of goal setting:
S – Specific, significant, stretching
M – Measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – Agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – Realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – Time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable
It doesn’t really matter which of the definitions you choose for each of the letters so long as when you run your next a project you take a moment to consider whether your goals are goals are SMART.
So a SMART objective for an eCommerce site could be: For the Digital Marketing Manager to increase online sales by 25% within 12 months with a 30% gross margin.
“What gets measured gets done”, Tom Peters
You need to put in place both financial and non-financial performance indicators so that you can track your progress towards your goals. Which metrics you choose will be down to what your objectives are.
When selecting metrics I like to have metrics which measure activity and also results as some processes take time to take effect and so you need to know early on whether there has been sufficient activity in order to produce those results.
An example might be that you are interested in more visitors to your web site. Google will only display your content for your target key phrases if you have produced good quality content that is on subject and has a good readability score. This means that alongside measuring the number of visitors to your site you need to measure how well your keywords are doing in the search engines, the bounce rate for your site (bounce rate is a measure of how interesting your site is – do they look at the page and leave or go on to look at another page) and finally often you produce content.
Clear Routines and Processes
“A good process produces good results”, Nick Saban
Digital Marketing is both project based such as upgrading the web site and also routine such as producing content and posting on social media.
Routine tasks require processes so that are robust, easy to follow and which if done correctly produce consistently good results.
A lot of digital marketing is about consistency. Produce content on a regular basis; share your content and those of others regularly. Email your customers on a regular basis. Track, measure and identify what is working and what isn’t. Work out why things aren’t working and fix them quickly.
The action is to ensure you have clear processes and there is a regular routine for doing them.
Timescales and Milestones
“Either you run the day or the day runs you”, Jim Rohn
There are many things you can do in digital marketing. Good planning is key to making efficient use of your time and money if you are to make digital marketing work for you.
Identify the milestones you want to achieve and by when. Agree them with the team so that everybody knows who is responsible for what and by when.
There are many easy to use, cloud based task management systems out there for recording what you want to achieve, by when and by whom. Examples include Trello, Asana, Teamwork, Basecamp etc.
If you have a team of employees and suppliers delivering your digital marketing then I would setup a cloud based task management system so that you can keep everybody aligned to tasks, timescales and milestones.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today”, Abraham Lincoln
Following on from the previous section, it is important that every project and every process has an owner. This is somebody who can be held responsible for the success or failure of a task or project. Without that ownership and consequences there will be no drive, no determination to see it through to the end. The metrics that are produced to measure success need to be agreed with the process or project owner so that they are fully bought in.
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”, Mark Twain
There is a term called Growth Hacking within digital marketing and it is used to grow a business as quickly as possible using digital tools and techniques. It is a rapid version of digital marketing but in essence like any continuous improvement cycle follows the process in the diagram below.
There is now a lot to making digital marketing in your business. This article on digital marketing management is a high level overview to help you understand the management processes you need to put in place in order to ensure that maximise any investment in it.