From email and social media to SMS and mobile apps, today’s digital marketers have a wealth of channels and data sources at their fingertips, ripe for creating and executing that engage customers and prospects. However, as we look ahead to 2013, it’s important to remember that successful campaigns begin by putting the right steps in place. Here are 5 best practice tips for executing successful digital marketing campaigns.
1. Dedicate Resources
The first step when creating a digital marketing campaign is ensuring that you are investing in the appropriate resources. For digital marketing, this means hiring staff that can help you to implement your strategy and reach your goals—that is, individuals with the right skill sets to plan, execute, and measure successful campaigns across a variety of digital media. It also means maintaining the financial flexibility to acquire automation software/tools to augment your staff’s efforts and allow campaigns to be targeted more precisely, executed more quickly, and measured more comprehensively.
2. Integrate Media
In order to deliver a seamless customer experience, brands must integrate all the channels and devices through which they communicate with customers. The challenge is that many brands are still organized by channel, resulting in disparate customer data, content and offers, segments, and delivery tools. This siloed approach significantly hinders marketers’ ability to orchestrate cross-channel campaigns and messaging that are driven by customer needs and behavior. In fact, within siloed organizations, campaigns are often driven by channel goals and metrics, putting the customer second.
3. Develop Relationships
Beyond delivering direct messages to customers and prospects, digital channels provide an excellent avenue to foster and nurture customer relationships. When prospects are identified by interacting with the brand, this opens an opportunity to understand their wants and needs. It’s vital to use these channels to have two-way conversations with customers and prospects, leveraging each interaction to better understand them and respond with increasingly more relevant messages and offers.
4. Listen, Research, Adapt
Listen, listen, listen…and learn! Customers know what they want, and they can be very vocal about it across channels. It’s up to marketers to truly listen to the feedback they’re providing and adapt strategies and offers to meet those specific wants, needs and inquiries. Social media specifically provides a uniquely suitable avenue for marketers to research new industry trends and competitive products. It also provides a forum for customer service professionals and marketers to interact with customers who have had a positive or negative experience with their brand. Having someone respond directly to a customer—usually more quickly than via other channels—can mitigate negative experiences and sometimes transform detractors into faithful brand advocates. The bottom line: listen, research, and adapt.
5. Evaluate ROI
So you implemented a great, wildly successful campaign. Congratulations...but you aren’t quite done. After all, once the aforementioned strategies are implemented, it’s time to evaluate the return on investment. Identifying and tracking the leads and revenues generated through digital media, and comparing this data to the overall dollar amount spent on marketing efforts, will give you good idea of your success and help you to smartly plan for future campaigns.
Digital marketing gives marketers the opportunity to reach prospects and customers through what seems to be a never-ending list of new and evolving channels. While traditional batch-and-blast approaches might seem like low-hanging fruit, today’s consumers are increasingly impatient with misdirected marketing, resulting in diminishing returns. So before you launch your next big-deal campaign, take a minute to make your list, and check all five best practice boxes along the way to achieve your digital marketing goals.