5 Tips on How to Survive the Madness
(This post is an excerpt from a longer post that originally appeared on nectafy.com on March 7, 2014.)
This past Tuesday, in a meeting where we were discussing digital marketing, my colleague, Mark, said, “.”
I thought, “Man, that’s exactly the challenge for my clients.” As more and more companies embrace technology-driven marketing, they discover that things change more quickly than they can adapt. It’s exhausting. You never get to stop pedaling.
If your company is like most, the burden of staying on top of this constant change falls on your marketing team, who already feels overwhelmed with their existing work load and with the broadening scope of digital marketing. If your company is smaller, and you don’t have a marketing team yet, you’re the one trying to figure all of this out. Oh, yeah, and you’re also trying to run your company.
So, to solve the problem, you’ve started researching software and digital platforms in the hopes that there is a singular, highly effective tool that will simplify all of your marketing. Instead, you’ve discovered a dizzying array of software platforms that will allow you to automate email lead nurturing, build A/B landing pages, publish to social media channels, track the whereabouts of small rodents in Antarctica, and at least 37 million other things.
(And, while you were reading this, three new start-up technology companies just launched the latest, most stunning piece of marketing technology ever invented. I’m not kidding.)
So, how is your company going to survive this marketing technology mayhem?
1. Resist your instinct to research first.
When you are trying to select marketing technology, it’s tempting to follow your first instinct, don your super-research cape, and save the world. But not so fast, Batman. If you fly off into the Gotham-like netherworld of marketing technology without the proper preparation, you’re in for a super-reality check. Trust me.
2. Get specific with marketing goals.
Instead of looking for tools that promise the world, do the tough work of deciding the key goals that you need to reach with your marketing. And get ridiculously specific. If you are trying to generate leads around a new product launch, specify how many leads, what type, and a time deadline for achieving that goal. While you’re at it, bounce your goals off of a few people outside the marketing team, for a sanity check. You don’t want to set your goals out of reach and simply frustrate yourself and your sales team.
3. Only use technology that moves you toward those goals in measurable ways.
Keep your focus as you research tools. It’s easy to become enamored with features in one tool over another and completely lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish to reach your goal.
4. Track your progress.
You absolutely must track the progress of whatever technology you use. In fact, if a piece of marketing software doesn’t make it stupid-simple to see what’s going on and track your progress, just pass on it. Otherwise, you’re doing your marketing team a disservice by giving them inadequate feedback on their efforts.
While we’re talking about data tracking, let me just add here that you don’t need to track all types of data. You need to track the data that matters. There’s a huge difference between the two ideologies. I know “big data” is the rage for large corporations. If your company is huge, and have skilled analysts, by all means, collect all the data you can. But if you’re a mid-sized company, collecting all data instead of key data will clog your marketing productivity. Plus, if you can’t see and understand data, you’re not gaining any advantage.
5. Stay on board with one technology for six months before jumping ship.
Since technology changes so quickly, it’s tempting to jump from the greatest to the latest. Establish some boundaries on how frequently you’re allowed to try a new technology. Commit to fully embracing a technology and really understanding how it helps you before abandoning ship.
When you set a limit, you free your marketing team from the unending burden of “finding a new solution,” because you only need to go into full-on research mode a few weeks before your test expires. If you stay focused for six months, you’ll be able to see if a certain tool is helping or not, and the good news is that if it doesn’t work, there’ll be brand new technology available for you to try that didn’t exist six months before.
PSMJ thanks Lance Cummins for allowing us to re-publish part of his blog post.