Most of us are digital creatures today. It seems we’re always plugged into some sort of communications designed to inform, entertain and motivate us. And the level of control we have to adjust these interactions to meet our immediate needs is both delightful for users and challenging for marketers.
Consumers get to choose what they want to know, when they want to know it and the channel they want to use to learn it. It makes sense to have options when there’s so much information to access. But here’s where it can get a little unsettling for marketers: How can we tell whether the marketing tactics we’ve chosen are working properly and effectively to reach our targeted groups?
There are so many options for investing marketing dollars that the sheer breadth of digital can be both good and bad, especially if budgets are tight and each dollar has to work really hard. But the fact still remains: You have to reach your target audience with the right message, at the right time and in the right channel to make sales.
The good news is that digital marketing tools allow you to optimize both the message and the tactic so that there is always a way to make the most of marketing initiatives.
Here are five core tactics to optimize your marketing mix for better ROI and customer loyalty.
Get Your Marketing House In Order
Before you send one email, make sure your customer profiles and persona information are current and relevant. Customer profiles can tell you everything about targets, such as their job titles, purchasing habits, goals, pain points and more. A B2B customer profile should also include company size, employee count, sales information, etc. If you haven’t completed this step, you risk running campaigns that are grossly out of touch.
Ensure that your content and product stories are relevant to your audience to pull them in and make them want to learn more. Some typical content types include case studies, white papers, testimonials, social media, events, blog posts, articles and videos. Influencer marketing is also gaining traction in B2B marketing initiatives.
Whichever channels you select, make sure that they’re in alignment; consistent messaging will increase campaign effectiveness and help you remain top of mind for prospects. When your channels are digitally aligned, you also can automate a large part of the work, saving hours of valuable human time.
Be sure to make your sales team aware of any marketing campaigns. This is especially important if you’re using an account-based marketing strategy where you’ll want to work even more closely with sales to get more revenue even faster. Aligning your sales and marketing is invaluable.
Your customers will likely dictate the media you employ because you’ll need to reach them where they are. Those brands that can employ person-level data will have the best view of how their target engages with touch points across channels. Look for marketing and media platforms that provide you with as much person-level data as possible, such as sales, exposure across media types, location information and other individual attributes.
Be sure to take into account any non-digital media used in your campaigns. Correlating offline and digital campaigns will give the truest information about the selection of media going forward.
Digital campaigns are markedly easier to measure than more traditional tactics. Advanced analytics platforms can capture program performance and process the collected data so that marketers can make easier decisions. When working with specific campaign activity, it’s easy to understand context, such as campaign creative, offers, target engagement and more, and make the appropriate decisions. And it’s critical to be able to see how all of your channels are working together.
If you’re looking for an advanced analytics platform, it helps to start with an audit of your current programs and a clear list of aspirations for where you think you’re headed. Understanding your existing marketing mix, backed by strategy, will help you ask the right questions to find a platform that delivers what you need. Ensure that your key performance indicators align with the platform features so the insights can inform your progress.
Use the real-time insights from your analytics platform to quickly grasp campaign performance and make adjustments if necessary. Some standard campaign performance indicators to pay attention to include the number of blog shares, number of conversions, click-through rate, bounce rate and ROI. Users will appreciate any positive changes to the campaign and will be more likely to engage with the brand in the future because of the attention to their needs.
In our world of click-through and conversion measurements, it is possible that marketers overlook one critical component of marketing campaigns: the creative. This is where a brand sets the foundation for all communications efforts, including their unique perspective, messaging strategy and visual look and feel. And, of course, this is where a brand’s story lives.
Measuring non-digital assets can be a challenge, but there are media optimization tools that serve up multi-touch attribution engagements, brand measurements and insights, and contextual market and customer information as well as the correlation of offline and online attribution metrics.
You can use such tools to measure media efficacy by looking at the ROI you get from different media channels. This can help you get a clear picture of what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. You can even look at diminishing returns and other key aspects of marketing investment simulations before making investment changes.
There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Today’s analytics and automation software opens a playground of possibilities to create campaigns that deliver the right messaging to the right person at the right time, allowing for real-time revision to optimize the marketing mix and boost revenue. All it takes is the savvy to experiment and the guts to make the right changes along the way.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?