I’ve been reflecting on the successes and challenges of this past year, to help plan for the future. I’ve also dusted off my mission statement (yes, I have one). I won’t bore you with the details, but I often consider a passage from Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
In Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind, Covey says, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” That analogy helps me check not just what I’m doing, but why I’m doing it in the first place. Is my ladder leaning against the right wall?
Those of you in digital marketing are probably ready to do the same thing. After laser focusing on holiday performance, it’s now time to look at the big picture.
A 2015 Gartner study of CMOs found marketing budgets grew 10% in 2015. And 2/3rds of respondents expected their budgets to grow even more in 2016. These trends have continued as marketing, especially digital marketing, has gained more prevalence and potential for higher ROIs.
As such, a lot of time and money goes toward marketing execution – the keyword lists, the campaign creative, the ad placements.
But without the right analysis, you’re sunk. In a recent Forbes Insight study about data-driven digital marketing, 72% of respondents said their organization was more focused on knowledge gathering than acting upon their data.
Take a moment and evaluate where your team’s ladder is leaning.
If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.Stephen R. Covey
- Is it time to revisit our mission statement? These can get overlooked and stale in the crunch of day-to-day operations. Define this correctly, and you’ll get everybody in the same mindset. Ask yourself: What are you trying to achieve? Maybe you aspire to more than simply hitting top-line goals. Maybe you aspire to attract more of the right customers. More satisfied ones. Raving fans, even.
- What metrics are most meaningful to us? You’ve got the main ones covered: sales, retention, satisfaction, ROI. But what are the lower-level metrics that are your leading indicators of future success? Which metrics will most drive your mission?
- How can we get the data? Starting now, you shouldn’t deploy any digital marketing that isn’t trackable. All of this data should be easily and immediately available to your team.
- Do we have the right tools? With all of this data you’re accumulating, you’ll need an easy and fast way to analyze your business trends and opportunities. A solution like AnswerRocket provides self-service analytics without any technical involvement. You’ve got the simplicity of a Google™ like search with data shown immediately in charts, graphs, and maps.
- What does success look like? It’s probably time to redefine your goals and targets. Digital trends are changing rapidly. See HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics from 2018 to make sure your objectives are current.
Unlike marketing strategies of the past, it’s not enough to define metrics once. If you’re truly studying your data, you’re going to have a lot of additional questions to explore. The answers to those questions will help you not just shift your tactics but also ensure your ladder is leaning against the right wall.