Simplify Digital Marketing Systems
There are countless tools that can be used for digital marketing. Just finding and selecting the right mix can be arduous, but to further complicate all of these options, many of the systems offer overlapping features which may or may not be useful. In planning a system for digital marketing, make a list of criteria and try to simplify the process to as few systems as possible that meet all those needs.
As was noted in the last blog post, there are a ton of third party apps that will specialize in any number of marketing verticals. These tend to be the bedrock of marketing systems for most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches.
In marketing these apps tend to fall in one of three categories:
Set a map for how your marketing system flows. Start the process by making a checklist of all the critical needs. Then make a secondary list of features that aren’t absolutely necessary but would make managing the digital marketing campaigns much easier. Finally make notes of any add-ons or experimental features that appear to have value but have not been tested to date.
This checklist can be used to evaluate your current systems or to analyze new potential vendors. Be sure to do your own analysis and take advantage of trial offers. Many vendors will list features of things their app can technically accomplish but might do so in such a cumbersome factor as to make it unusable. Even the most robust solutions like salesforce.com’s marketing platform have tons of plugins that do a particular function much better than the out of the box platform will.
Once you’ve completed your checklist you should have a thorough evaluation of what functions are being met, which are not, and some options to fill in the gaps. Filling in the gaps is a more subjective exercise typically driven by budget and true need. For instance, a user tracker on a website can be very valuable but many trainers, consultants, or professional coaches, don’t see a good ROI on the cost because the traffic levels are not sufficient.
In the evaluation, keep the number of systems as low as you can. Double check to see that there is not too much overlap in a one of the three categories above. Often sacrificing some non-critical functionality in communication or reporting can be advantageous if it makes data manipulation easier. This is especially true if a system does not integrate with your other platforms.
As with any tool, a system is only as good as the user behind it. Before investing in any marketing system make sure that it is technically appropriate to the person that plans to use it. Many times a tradeoff for user friendliness over functionality in an app is necessary if the primary user is not up to a more technically skewed application.
As with many things, keeping it simple will eliminate headaches. With digital marketing platforms it’s worth analyzing your systems every other year or so to see if it’s organically grown into something more cumbersome than necessary.