The 5 Digital Marketing Lessons we took from 2015
A year filled with growth and so much learning. Reflecting upon Plugmedia‘s journey through 2015 has shown us the biggest lessons we learnt from and how we can use these going forward in the future. We hope that you can take something from these and perhaps add your own lessons learnt from 2015.
- Good Digital Marketing is like Good Communication – it is vital you keep their priority, in the following order. No. 1: Who – the audience – knowing your audience is the most important thing. Nothing else matters until you get this one right. Creating detailed personas for who your audience/customers are is the beginning of good digital marketing. This can feel time consuming and difficult although it is worth every drop of sweat. Doing this right will be the success or failure of your digital marketing plan. No. 2: What – the message – what are you trying to say (remember the audience) – each message is unique based on who you are taking to and what you are trying to say. This may seem time consuming although the more personal the message the better it lands and the greater success you will have in moving them down the sales funnel. No. 3: Where – what channels – once again based on audience and message, you need to use the appropriate channels to reach the right people. Fish where the fish are. This may also include traditional marketing channels like radio, newspapers or even parish noticeboards. No. 4: When – what time and how often – of course you have to include No. 1 to 3 in this decision planning. Your audience tells you the most here. Where they are and how often do you need to get the message infront of them before they take action.
- KISS – Focus – Less is more. Plugmedia has always offered this advice. Although 2015 brought this one home over and over again. I remembered when being trained in Media Production 23 years ago, being told to Keep It Simple Stupid. We live in a world of overload and it is so easy to get lost in the information. Tell your audience what steps to take in the most simple language. Good inbound marketing works by following this principle. Landing pages designed to bring the user on a fluid seamless journey so that you can either capture leads or increase sales. Ask yourself when it comes to content, images or text. Why is this here? Do we need this? What is this going to do for our audience? Can we do with out it? Less, less, less.
- Engage not engaged – this one is the 101 of Digital Marketing. Nevertheless, I see the biggest and boldest companies missing this one all the time. Opening the dialogue with your customers takes time and takes a good clear digital strategy. You need to get the conversation going. The more engaged your customers are the more successful your overall campaign will be. It’s a big lesson although great learning for us and our client this year with both the Fuel Poverty Conference and NZEB Open Doors. We began from total zero. It takes time to build a community and takes longer to get people engaged. They need to feel spoken to and not at. Both clients have agreed to keep some of the conversation going between now and their next events in 2016. The second part in this one is to respond. Make sure you have yourfinger on the pulse. Interesting to see how Facebook have recently offered aspecial badge to business that have a faster response time. It’s a little more difficult to get than you think.
- Learn from the data – we keep hearing about the importance of data and monitoring and the need for it. You really need to get clear on what this means for your business. With the proper analysis the data can tell you everything and the more data you have the more you can learn. Make sure to track everything. I mean everything. Put tracking URLs and Pixels when the opportunity arises. Every action you take needs to be monitored and the then more important you need to find the time to go through the data with someone and understand what is going on. Otherwise you are just throwing money away. Initially this can be very time consuming although the more you do it, the easier it gets. Unfortunately free tools like Google Analytics are excellent although they are hiding large chunks of the necessary data unless you are running everything through Google Adwords accounts. This goes back to the importance of reflecting. By reflecting we learn what we did well and what we need to improve on and then we put this into action going forward. So learn from your data and then alter your strategy for where it is needed.
- Be realistic with your expectations – forecasting can be a problematic business. Ask any good meteorologist. Sometimes we believe that digital marketing can be the solution to everything. Or that we can throw vast amounts of money in to marketing something and you will see the return. This one is a little harder to explain and one that may deflate a lot of peoples ideas. Sometimes the idea or product is just not ready for the market or vice versa. All the marketing in the world is not going to change this reality. You can make the audience aware of something. You can incite them to purchase it. You show its strengths. Now and again even with the most brilliant digital campaigns the demand never surfaces and the project appears to fail. My learning from this was a hard one in 2015. It made me question our ability on one project and then upon studying the data we learnt that the reality was different. Our client need to reassess what they were offering before bringing it to the market again. Also we learnt that our goals were way too ambitious. It can be difficult when you dont understand every product you market for. You can only do your best and learn from it.
An ongoing lesson for me is to take time to pause and look around me. I find that at times when there are a million tasks that need to be done I lose myself somewhere in the mist of doing and then I stop and realise I need to start being. It can be really beneficial now to take some time and look back on what you achieved and learnt from the last year before jumping head first into 2016. What have you learnt from and what can you use going forward.
Were you to need help with visualising your digital path for 2016, feel free tocontact me directly to enquire about a digital consultation to help you achieve your goals in the upcoming year.