Oct 09 2015 | by JON FLETCHER
The pace of development within digital marketing is such that it can be a full time job, even for those of us who specialise in the field, to keep up with the latest innovations. If you have other jobs to do then you are at a distinct disadvantage and the gap between best practice and existing practice can grow remarkably rapidly. This general challenge is even greater for the senior manager who has less time, more to consider and, to be frank, may well have been a step behind with the digital revolution. It is a partial solution to employ those who do understand the latest innovations but how do you choose who they are when you don’t know even what to ask for. One would hope that the solution would come from the tactical employment of consultants and agencies but again how do you identify the expert from the… less than expert.
There really isn’t a simple solution but there are things that you can do to to get a little more control of the situation:
Step 1: Choose an advisor
A real digital marketing expert advisor should be able to communicate with you in plain English, have an appreciation of your business ethos and goals and be results focussed. This person should be able to ‘sit on your side of the table’ when selecting staff or agencies, they should be impartial and have demonstrable experience of successful digital marketing. Someone who has just been a consultant in the field is unlikely to fit the bill.
A less expensive alternative is to commission the services of a reputable agency to act in the role of advisor and ‘sit on your side of the table’.
Step 2: Audit your agency and/or department
Using your advisor or advisory agency take a long hard look at what you have in place. Start with measurements: what are you recording, is it reliable, what else can you record? Chances are that at some point people will be telling you how well you are performing on search engines or the like. Best to ignore this and ask how many sales can be attributed to your digital marketing. When told "it isn’t as easy as that” don’t accept the answer, there is always a way to track sales from digital marketing. Remember that cost is a factor, you will not get first rate results from a cheap and cheerful agency or unskilled staff.
By now you will know a great deal more about your digital marketing and have some processes in place to ensure that you are on the right track.
Step 3: Plan ahead
Things may change on a monthly basis but most of the fundamentals remain the same. Ensure that you, your advisor and your staff/agency map out where you are and the next 3 years of development with costs. Any more than 3 years is a little too ambitious and will most certainly change with the latest disruptive technology. For example, three years ago we saw the advent of tablet devices which have now become so ubiquitous that mobile friendly web design/development has become responsive (web sites that can adjust to whatever screen size is presented). In a year or so we may well have to be coping with Virtual Reality web sites and Immersive Information Platforms.
Step 4: Deliver and Measure
Once you have the plan, delivery is much safer ground and familiar territory for a competent project manager (preferably on your staff). Your attention should go back to Step 2 and the measurement of success. If you don’t see real bottom line success it’s time to look for a better advisor!
Need any help?
AlphaQuad have been providing advisory services for companies, corporations and organisations since 1998. We are able to offer a wide range of digital services ourselves but also review the work of other agencies to help them provide a better service for our mutual clients. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.
The 4 Steps to Digital Marketing Success