In the last two months, we've seen record traffic and leads on the Kuno Creative website. Not a bad way to close out 2012. A combination of new downloads, marketing automation, social outreach and consistent blogging helped make it possible. But, as I was putting together our monthly report, I could see places that needed improvement. That’s the upside and the downside to digital marketing: No matter how well you are doing, you can always do better.
The Era of Continuous, Daily Improvement
Striving to do better than you did before is nothing new. With real-time analytics, however, our ability to make changes to reach our marketing goals can happen just as instantaneously. As we look forward to 2013, one thing is becoming very clear: Marketing must be both leaner and more agile to take advantage of the data at our fingertips.
Last week, when we were looking to hit the record traffic number, we wrote additional blog posts to push us over the top. Just three extra posts made the difference. On other sites, placing additional calls to action on pages that have spikes in traffic can take advantage of short-term audience increases.
Recalling this blog post from a few weeks ago, those small changes can make a big difference. The key is to monitor the data daily, giving it at least one serious look, and then continuing to glance at that data throughout the day.
Merging the Big Picture with Small Improvements
Everyday, I log into a number of HubSpot portals and check the Google Analytics information on just as many websites. There isn’t one day that goes by where data doesn’t show a small change that could result in big improvements. Some days, the changes can be made quickly. Other days, they can’t be made at all for any number of reasons.
Because even we marketers are human; we have to pick and choose the small changes to make in order to maintain structure (and sanity). How do you do that? Having a clear vision of the bigger picture is important before you start making incremental changes... because you can’t just throw a post on your Facebook wall and hope users click.
There has to be a master plan, a vision for the brand and the content that will support it. This comes from the top down. Your goals? Your strategy? Your tactics? These pieces fall into place once you know what or who to target.
Unblocking the Road: Managing Obstacles
Today, thanks to analytics, marketers are able to account and measure more than ever. However, there are always challenges that may slow down the lean, agile approach, which takes advantage of those marketing analytics. It may be internal reviews. It may be lack of bandwidth on your marketing team. And it may be data distraction, focusing on too many metrics that inhibit marketers from accomplishing anything at all.
The good news is that digital marketing doesn’t stop. What can't be done today can be put off until tomorrow. If you face common roadblocks, plan to hit them and adjust your timeline accordingly. If you don't have bandwidth, keep a list of the jobs that can be done and fit them in when you can. And if you're looking at too much data, define the essential KPIs and expand from there.
This doesn’t mean you simply do a mediocre job in hopes that you'll get it right later. The first attempt should be the best attempt at the time. That way, even if obstacles appear as you try to make improvements, you don’t have to worry about what is out there.
photo credit: blumpy
Dan Stasiewski is an Enterprise Data Consultant at Kuno. When he's not talking about marketing data and trends, he's probably in a movie theater... or randomly breaking into song. You can connect with Dan via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.