Rather than regurgitate information that is already floating around or pontificate on digital strategy, I thought it would make sense to take a more practical approach. Let’s address a few digital behaviors that you need to consider for 2015.
1. Get your data house in order.
New Year’s resolution No. 1 should be to get a handle on your customer data. That means a wide range of things depending on where your company stands today on data management. For some companies, it means to develop a plan to simply start acquiring customer data. For companies that have volumes of data residing in fragmented data repositories throughout the organization, the resolution should be to develop a consolidation plan.
Without complete senior-level support, it can be difficult to manage this issue. It isn’t easy. It takes time, technology, people and commitment. Company leaders need to understand that without managing your data, you will not be able to implement certain digital strategies and will lose out to companies that are taking these measures. Technology is allowing wonderful one-on-one marketing opportunities that cover the full customer sales cycle — and it’s all data-driven. The time is now to get your data house in order.
2. Don’t chase shiny objects.
Keep your efforts focused. Too many marketers spend tremendous time and effort trying to figure out what “next big thing” they need to work into their marketing mix. Concentrate on perfecting the strategies and channels that are currently in your marketing mix. Unless you’re a General Motors, GE, Nike or other brand with an open checkbook, you need to focus on maximizing spend.
That is not to say there shouldn’t be some effort to stay with emerging digital marketing opportunities. As a matter of fact, a portion of the budget should be carved out for exploration and testing on that front. Just don’t let the latest buzzwords sidetrack good, practical marketing plans.
3. Quit feeling like you need to know everything digital.
These are interesting times. There are certainly visionaries in our midst — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Larry Page, SalesForce’s Marc Benioff, to name just a few. But even they can’t predict the exact future of the digital space. There are technology platforms; marketing automation; and Web, mobile, social, and cross-channel media (TV/desktop/mobile) that thousands of people are working on developing each and every day to offer improved marketing opportunities to brands.
It’s OK to not know everything. It’s OK if your agency doesn’t know everything. Good marketers learn and adapt. It’s what makes a good marketer a good marketer. We need to be asking questions and exploring opportunities as digital marketing continues to evolve.
Hopefully these three behaviors will help you take a breath and provide some peace of mind. Operating at a healthy pace to adopt and implement what makes sense to your marketing/sales efforts is the name of the game. So my advice is kind of paradoxical — don’t let the speed of the digital marketing world slow you down.