Digital Marketing Priorities: #7 Optimize 3

This is the tenth post exploring my 8 digital marketing priorities in greater detail. This post will focus on monitoring and optimizing your digital campaigns.

7- Optimization

Any and all significant investment you make, be it personal of business related, merits that you pay attention to its performance to ensure proper working conditions and to highlight any learning that could enable you to perform better at the same or lesser cost.

This applies to online advertising as well.

All online marketing efforts, from branding to direct response campaigns, email marketing, your website, your SEO and your social media presence can all be tracked and measured.

Before embarking on any marketing effort, you should plan which metric or set of data points will indicate whether you are achieving your goals or not. Your goals should not change at any time during your campaign as a campaign is a set of efforts that when properly planned work together to achieve those goals. Should the goal change, your campaign will no longer be focusing on the right objective – it may need minor tweaking, or a complete stop and reorientation.

My personal cardinal rule for interactive marketing is this: there is no excuse for not completing a campaign with a higher performance than the initial plan could achieve. Explained differently, you have access to numerous reports in real time with regard to your campaign; if you do not continually tweak your campaign to weed out less performing elements (creative, formats, editorial sections or entire websites, specific hours or even days) to focus on those that perform the most, your campaign will achieve the end performance it was intended to. If on the other hand you do adjust constantly as needed, you will systematically increase the final performance of your campaign. Moreover, you will gain insight and learning to better plan your next campaigns.

This is not something most marketers are used to doing, beyond the traditional post campaign analysis. This constant tweaking takes time but it yields results you would otherwise not have achieved.

Please be careful to build your own benchmarks per product or service, per brand, calendar period, per website (type) and most importantly by campaign type: branding vs. direct response. This later recommendation is particularly important if you report all your campaigns with a cost per acquisition metric which can allow you to compare across platforms, formats and editorial environments. Branding campaigns don’t tell consumers to buy now as do direct response campaign (I’m simplifying things here) so you cannot in all fairness compare one campaign type’s metrics with the other type.

Next week we will look at priority #8: stay at the forefront of digital possibilities

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below: would you change the order of digital marketing priorities I’ve put forth? Have I forgotten anything significant?

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