Seeing beyond our inner geek. A digital marketers biggest challenge

flyersSometimes a flyer with big black letters printed on bright yellow paper stuck in a person’s front door handle is the best marketing tool.

Okay, I said it. The world doesn’t revolve around digital marketing. Sometimes the best answer is the simplest, most straightforward, non technical approach.

This is true on the spectrum of marketing. As we roll out digital marketing programs for our clients, there is the temptation (on their part as well, because they are all jazzed up on digital) to chase the shiny objects, newest social media fads, latest photo / video sharing sites, or whatever is out there at the time.

Time tested, and perhaps altered a bit, methods of digital marketing are no longer sexy, but they are effective. From paid search (which some of us still think is pretty cool) to basic email marketing, all pointed to a creative site with great UX, is often the foundation of a good digital program. It’s not sexy like Facebook or twitter used to be, or instagram or (I hesitate to name channels because “cool” will change before I finish this paragraph), but if you are looking to drive business, then the basics have to be core elements.

Looking at shiny objects without losing focus on the core contributors

It’s not a matter of avoiding the shiny objects, but one of managing the resources and measuring the impact. One client (SMARTMD) has implemented a simple yet effective method derived from “The Lean Startup” that:

  1. Clearly identifies the problem and hypothesis for the solution
  2. Sets success criteria (before starting the experiment)
  3. Provides a timeline
  4. Tracks all experiments – successes and failures.

To allow any testing regime to succeed, organizations need commonly accepted methods of tracking. I am a Google Analytics fan, and use it for simple and complex tracking/ analytics/ reporting, but the key is creating one view of the truth that everyone agrees to before hand. Too often we get caught up in why two methods of measuring don’t show exactly the same results (this could lead to a really long bit on methodology and technology differences) rather that focus on the objective. So, chose one measurement method and stick to it.

By setting up the analytics and reporting methods, experiments can be executed quickly and either implemented or left behind. This way we get to play with the shiny objects and keep our proven performers in place and managed.

ps. if you’re interested in those flyers on the image above, you can order them here. 🙂

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