The Top 3 Digital Marketing Mistakes…and How to Avoid Them

It’s not easy being a digital marketer today. The pressure to deliver quantifiable results is greater than ever. Why the pressure? A 2015 survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of business shows:

Digital marketing spend is expected to increase by nearly 15% this year.

Yet, only 34% of Chief Marketing Officers can prove the long term impact of marketing dollars invested

This disconnect will be a problem when it comes time for digital marketers to prove their efforts are paying off. Make sure you can analyze, measure and report your marketing success by avoiding these three common digital marketing mistakes.

1. Missing Valuable Data

The multi-channel journey of every customer is generating massive amounts of data. The problem is, the complex digital trail left behind leaves many marketers in a state of data paralysis.

A common mistake marketers make is relying on traditional methods of extracting and analyzing data. Feeling overwhelmed will be the least of your worries if you’re still using spreadsheets and siloed reports. More importantly, you’ll miss out on valuable data that is hidden using traditional methods, including:

  • Patterns of success in ad campaigns
  • Trends in customer behavior
  • Optimal mix of marketing spend
  • Cross channel attribution
  • Revenue estimations for future campaigns

It’s impossible and wasteful to evaluate all of your internal and external data. Focus on data that delivers results, answers your questions and provides actionable outcomes. Anything else is a distraction.

Also, optimize your use of analytics tools. With the volume and complexity of data today, you’ll be falling behind if you don’t use an analytics solution to help you understand what activities are generating revenue and how to optimize future campaigns.

2. Lack of Defined Objectives

Another common mistake in marketing today is the failure to develop a strategy with defined objectives. Without targeted goals you’ll be wasting time, money and opportunity.

“Data isn’t the problem. What’s needed is a framework to systematically identify the marketing goals, as well as the questions that the data need to answer to deliver against them.”
-Rishi Bhandari, Senior Expert, McKinsey and Company

Compounding the problem in larger companies is multiple groups working on different digital initiatives. Without visibility into the big picture, it’s difficult to achieve a common goal. The varying metrics are also confusing for the C-Suite who need to understand patterns of success and where they should be investing.

Avoid this mistake by establishing clear goals. That includes asking the questions you want answered and determining how you will achieve a result.

Example: “How can I measure lost impression share and how do I use that measurement to improve results?”

3. Failing to Set Realistic Expectations

Whether you work in a marketing department or digital agency, marketers often face the misconception by senior management that digital = instant.

Is there an expectation to deliver leads as soon as a Pay Per Click Campaign is launched? Are you pressured with a page one rank on Google before you’ve barely been able to define keywords?

Chances are, you haven’t set realistic expectations for your marketing activities. Avoid this mistake by explaining that digital campaigns take time to be developed and more importantly, they need time to be optimized and improved once positive results are measured.

In a recent Forbes post, Brent Gleeson, CEO of Internet Marketing Inc., suggested the following guidelines as average timelines of results per service:

  • Pay Per Click Campaign: 90 days
  • Search Engine Optimization: 90 – 180 days
  • Social Media: 30 days

Too often, marketers panic when they don’t see results, then abandon their strategy for Plan B. By defining objectives, using analytics tools and setting realistic expectations, you’ll be able to focus your efforts where they count and quickly deliver results that clients and the corner office are looking for.

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