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Archive for January, 2017

Make Use of Digital Marketing Tools or Eliminate Them

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

It’s the New Year resolution time of year. I am a big believer in setting goals with a plan to reach those targets. The problem with resolutions is that the planning phase tends to be omitted. Rather than making a resolution, make an explicit goal because you’ll be ten times more likely to achieve it if it’s well defined. As you define that plan, it’s important to evaluate how past plans were executed to ensure you won’t repeat a mistake or experience a drag from past initiatives that aren’t as productive as you intended.

A lack of analysis on past performance typically means you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in gyms across the country. January is flooded with people that are determined that this is the year they’ll get in shape and stay healthy. By the time February rolls around the gyms have lost that overcrowded feeling (only 60% of new/renewed member still attend). By June the gym is typically back to its normal routine (only 40% of new/renewed members attend). Gyms typically only have their regular members at the end of the year because only a fraction of the new/renewed members will hold to their resolution (8% success rate).

Why are these numbers so defined? Because most gyms track them as part of their business model. It seems logical that members that stop coming to the gym also discontinue their membership. However, that’s a false assumption. Many gyms rely on members that intend to come but never take advantage of the gyms facilities. Many of the people that recommit at the beginning of the year but stop showing up by February carry their membership throughout the year, renewing again the following year.

The obvious fact is that having a membership to a gym is not going to improve physical fitness. Making a commitment to consistently use that membership will.

Statistic Brain compiled an overarching data set on what and how resolutions are made. It illustrates that our undefined intentions are not exclusive to gyms and often fail. 42% of the people that make resolutions never analyze their performance which means that they are more likely to repeat the same fruitless process.

Has your digital marketing become a set of unused gym memberships? Set your digital marketing goals but analyze the results of past initiates. If you aren’t using services and apps or they aren’t well suited to this year’s plan, then eliminate them. It’s better to define a past plan or initiative as a failure than to repeat the mistake or make a half-hearted resolution to correcting it. This can obviously save money on unused paid platforms but will have a bigger benefit in optimizing your digital marketing toolset.

Digital marketing is evolving too quickly to hold on to unused tools because they dilute focus and increase administrative needs. Make sure that your whole toolset has a clearly defined purpose for your marketing plan.

How Advanced Does Your Digital Marketing Platform Need to Be? – All-Inclusive Platform

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

marketing-board-strategyOur last post outlined the types of digital marketing platforms.  How can you best identify whether the top tier is appropriate for your needs? The most common and true differentiator for all-inclusive platforms is centralized control and user tracking.

Let’s review the value for these two items:

Centralized Control

Every aspect of digital marketing is housed in one place.  This allows the marketer an overarching view of their activities and data to simplify execution and analysis.

User Tracking

User tracking is currently unique to all-inclusive platforms.  When a user completes a form or interacts with your site in some way the system logs the IP address and assigns it to the users data.  Moving forward that data is available on that particular user’s behavior.  The obvious benefit is that you have real time data on user behavior. In addition the all-inclusive platforms offer automated communications so that you can systematically engage users when they are interacting with your site.

 

Both of these seem like significant gains but these are only benefits if they offer true value.  As with most benefits, there is a tradeoff:

Expensive Centralized Mediocrity

Of course it’s great to have everything in one place but that often comes with a downside.  Offering every component of digital marketing often means that it’s less versatile or user friendly than a specialized service.  This “enterprise” capability also drives up the cost on the all-inclusive platforms because they have to maintain all the services being offered.

Redundant User Data

There’s no question that the all-inclusive platforms give a whole new level to user data.  But is it useful data?  It depends on the amount of traffic your site receives and the complexity of your marketing lead funnel.  If following up on leads is not a problem for you then automating the process doesn’t have much value.  Furthermore, if you aren’t consistently generating leads then the initial step is not complete and so none of the systematic steps will follow because the platform has not captured usable user information.

 

As you might have guessed all that functionality comes with a price.  All inclusive platforms tend to be about five times more expensive than basic communication platforms.  Our most recent comparison for a mid-size firm was $300/month vs. $1500/month.  Of course these costs will vary based on specific needs, but broadly speaking the 1:5 ratio is about what you should expect.

With such a steep pricing difference it’s possible to combine a small custom group of specialized platforms that offer superior functionality to all-inclusive platforms and still come in well under the all-inclusive platform’s price.

For the right firm with the right marketing user, all-inclusive platforms are a powerful tool.  For most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches, it’s overkill.  There’s just not enough volume to justify five times the cost with an all-inclusive platform over a basic platform.  In general, I only recommend an all-inclusive platform about 10% of the time to a client. The other 90% simply don’t need or won’t use the differentiators.