This morning as I circled the parking lot at the local Virgin Active, it struck me that many digital marketing clients have about the same amount of patience as the average gym member signing up for the New Year's special. In the heady rush of their New Year's resolution to get from dad bod to sex god, they forget that fitness requires a fair amount of time, effort and patience. In the same way that there's no silver bullet to help you go from flab to fab, digital marketing is all about the long game.
While I generally prefer sport and mountain biking to the somewhat more tedious gym workout, I recognise the benefits of slogging through days when it feels like my efforts have plateaued. Patience & persistence (along with a great personal trainer) will inevitably lead to progress and in my case, reduce the chances of a stress-induced heart attack.
In an era of instant gratification, “patience" is not something any business wants to hear when it comes to spend. After all, who doesn't want results right now? But not all marketing channels are about producing results today. Instead, many marketing channels are all about long-term awareness. That's right - Long. Term. Awareness.
Digital Marketing doesn’t “turn” individuals immediately because that's not how customer behaviour works. In marketing terms, it takes multiple interactions for customers to convert to a particular product or service. While historically, many people worked on "the rule of seven," meaning that it takes seven interactions to convert a prospect to a paying customer, today's digital information overload translates to a magic number that is closer to fourteen days and it only works if you’re consistently in front of your audience.
Before you can even consider customer interactions, you need to know who your customers are - and better still, have them opt into your tribe (see our handy article on The Unified Identity of a Tribe). To do that, you need data. Data is the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy. To get meaningful data, you need to allow enough time to collect it. And once you have the data, you need to take the time to analyse it and make informed decisions. We're not in the information age anymore. We're in the information management age.
Knowing your audience is crucial to digital marketing success and it doesn't happen overnight. First, you must test different channels and messaging to find the most effective way to reach your target audience. Herein lies the time and patience bit! You need to be willing to put in the effort to find what works optimally for your business.
There's a reason Discovery make you do all those annoying health checks. Measurement is essential to tracking progress; in other words, they want to see that all those workout points you've earned translate into actual results and that you're not just swiping your card at the gym while grabbing a coffee!
Once you've found your target audience, it's essential to measure your touchpoints. By measuring touchpoints such as visits to your website, social media interaction, or click-throughs from your emailers, businesses can gain insight into how customers engage with their brand and identify areas for improvement.
This can include anything from tweaking your website navigation to targeting specific audiences through customising your content on social media. This data can also help businesses create a more personalised customer experience - which is increasingly important in today's competitive market. By optimising customer interactions, businesses can build stronger customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth.
One of the things that many businesses fail to grasp is that the way we discover and consume content is constantly evolving. Algorithms need time to understand your content and place it in front of the right audience, and the algorithms are continually changing.
While collecting and analysing data is the foundation of every good digital marketing strategy, managing and implementing your digital strategy is an art that requires a balance of craft and science – in much the same way as your favourite artisanal brew is created. Minor changes and refinements over time, in response to regular, careful analysis, lead to quality results. There are no shortcuts.
Just like a pro athlete (or a busy CEO) needs a team of professional trainers and dieticians to get serious results, your brand needs a team of digital master craftsmen who have the experience, backed by science and the product knowledge necessary to translate your digital strategy into real-world results. Why not give us a call, at very least that cup of coffee will be on the house and you’re bound to learn a thing or two.