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How to get digital marketing badly wrong

Put bluntly, digital marketing is simply ‘normal marketing’ done digitally – i.e. on or using the internet as part of the process.

Digital marketing done well is frequently a combination of some or all of the following:

Digital marketing does have pros and cons:

Pros – it’s normally fast, extremely smart and highly analytical.  This then allows you to truly understand your customers and prospects, appreciate ‘how’ they react to your marketing activity, identify what messages capture their attention and establish additional activity to pull (or push) them along your marketing strategy.

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Cons – digital marketing can be easily ignored by the prospect.  The tools and platforms we use are constantly changing so you need to be aware of this and keep up with them.  But, most importantly, it is astonishingly easy to screw up and get digital marketing wrong!

What are the main areas where businesses fail with Digital Marketing:

Lack of genuine strategy / lack of joined up strategy

Any marketing undertaken without a clear strategy is a waste!  Having a clear strategy provides direction and should always be based on a real understanding of your prospects and their needs.

Achieving the right ‘Marketing Mix’ is based on taking this strategy and applying the messages across a range of communication channels that are likely to engage with your prospects.

So, actually, truly understanding your client is what’s at the heart of proper marketing strategy (digital AND non-digital) because this knowledge allows you to put your efforts into the communication channels that they will pay attention to – and not waste time and effort on channels that they won’t be using.

Lack of metrics and analysis

All marketing should be measured and analysed and one of the joys of digital marketing is the normal production of metrics.  From open and click rates on email marketing, click through rates and conversions on pay-per-click campaigns and connections and reach on social platforms.

However, smart marketing people look for fundamental elements to measure, often called ‘feed metrics’ that allow you to establish easy measurement of the overall campaign effectiveness without having to micro analyse every element.  For instance, if you know that you convert an average of 2 in 5 web enquiries into sales then you don’t need to monitor sales, you need to monitor enquiries, etc.  See our article on Marketing Metrics for more on this.

By utilising the information available, you can also measure real value … and start making decisions based on this value.

Too much selling – not enough nurturing

Take a look at our article on the sales funnel for this comment – selling is the process of ‘pushing’ and marketing (and for this point, ‘nurturing’) is all about ‘pulling’.  Since when did you want to be ‘pushed along’ by a sales person rather than making a decision and choosing your own purchase.

HOWEVER – in digital marketing, and especially on social media and email marketing, we frequently see businesses ‘pushing’ out sales messages and trying to ‘force’ sales when they shouldn’t be doing it!

Nurturing is the slow and delightful process of drawing your prospects towards your message – it allows you to identify sales prospects over time and there should be a distinct difference between marketing or nurturing activity and selling activity – if you don’t know the difference then you’re probably trying too hard and pushing viable prospects away!

Lack of professional follow up

Almost at odds with the above comment on nurturing … if you’ve successfully engaged and nurtured a prospect and they are showing all the signs of sales interest then sometimes you do have to ask for the business and follow up!

Take a look at our article on sales closing techniques for more thoughts on this subject but we often hear businesses say they don’t like picking up the phone and calling someone – but sometimes you do actually have to let your prospects know what you’d like them to do!

It’s clearly an area of balance between marketing / nurturing activity and sales / following up activity and one you have to work out for your own business.

Digital marketing can be an amazing channel for your marketing message but only when done well, with a strategic approach, using the right message and in an appropriate way.  Seek expert help from professional marketers and mentors / coaches if you are not confident.

Blunt thinking on Digital Marketing from Yorkshire Powerhouse

You’ve read our introduction to Digital marketing – have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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