Digital Marketing is rapidly becoming more complex. The number of channels and the number of devices are increasing everyday. When our company started on our journey on the road of digital marketing, we discovered a bewildering array of technologies, processes and skills to be mastered. We have discovered the single biggest truth about digital marketing, — there is no point solution that will work for this objective.
Let us look at the state of the digital marketing ecosystem and the shortest path to success.
Let us start with the metro transit map of digital marketing, courtesy the gartner group:
Take a little bit of time to follow each of the colored paths.
The areas that look like watermarks are neighborhoods,
the colored boxes are core functions, the colored tracks connect stations and neighborhoods.
The junction points are the intersections between the tracks and interchanges between different tracks.The stations along the tracks are technology and process solutions or providers of the services.
Most organizations usually start with digital search engine marketing. Getting the content on the website discovered by the rest of the world provides the discount that can be subtracted from your marketing spend. Similarly meta tag management and search engine marketing or google adwords marketing is the usual next step. However many of these areas now overlap significantly. Ad Tech used to be outsourced to creative agencies, but there is now an overlap between ad-tech and social media marketing. Similarly user experience and A/B testing also overlap. Mobile analytics and social analytics have also started to be blended together.
If this transit map confuses you don’t worry, the trunk is the digital marketing hub. The areas in dotted lines are areas still under development. There are a lot of areas where you could spend significant investment and not get the return on marketing investment.
Andy Frank the VP of Gartner answered the question, “Where do you start?” quite effectively. Gartner offers a maturity model that large organizations can use to get started.
Digital marketing can get quickly confusing and complicated for smaller organizations. For smaller setups Andrew recommends to get started with data and analytics. It is always easy to justify investment in new technology if you have a method to assess what is the value of the new technology is going to be, in terms that your senior management can understand, the KPIs that you already use such as customer acquisition growth,profitability, market share etc.
The first thing is to come up with agreed upon methodologies to measure the effectiveness of marketing. The methodologies don’t need to be complicated. Start with a simple spreadsheet of KPIs that can be tracked along the way. How you can attribute the results to certain investments so that you can do pilots and do experiments to determine just what the most effective use of your marketing investments would be.
Managements are today focused on data driven decision making. The Oakland A’s and the Nate Silver have proven that analytics can lead to great insights in any field. It only makes sense to use data and analytics in marketing.