It’s a cliché because it’s true: It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world if no one in the world knows about it.
For many business leaders, even at the medium-to-enterprise level of business, the focus is not on marketing but product development. After all, if the above cliché is true then so is the reverse: All the hype and interest in the world won’t make up for a substandard product or service.
Given that, business leaders are right to focus on continuously improving their operation. But at some point, they must take advantage of what the online world offers in terms of digital marketing.
Three of the primary areas are building a site, leveraging data and marketing outreach. For execution, organizations with larger customer bases don’t have to handle this work on their own. They have the resources to turn to outside help to accomplish these goals.
Building A Professional Website
It’s understandable for small businesses or “one-person operations” to build a website themselves. It also makes sense that most of the marketing they rely on is word of mouth, since it’s a free from of advertising. But for larger businesses, an investment must be made in digital marketing to live up to the “larger business” title. This is where capital should be invested to have a professionally-created website by a reputable company that will deliver a positive ROI. All digital marketing efforts, from social media outreach to search engine optimization – will work better with a professionally built and maintained website.
Everything Starts With Data
Guesswork, instinct and hunches have long been the hallmarks of marketing. In fact, this “marketer’s intuition” had been a staple before the age of data. It would be naive to say that has completely gone away. However, with the analytics now available for websites, business leaders have access to the numbers, demographics, psychographics, etc. that can drive better strategy for both the short and long-term.
Data collection is now as much part of a business as accounts receivable and human resources. However, what to do with – and how to keep clean – the massive amounts of data available continues to be an issue. That’s where professionals with a successful background in analytics and measurement can make a different. Data is not information. Information is derived from data, and it’s best to have someone you trust mining data for that information.
Success in digital marketing is based on having an overall strategy and goal, augmented by more specific strategies and goals for each marketing funnel. For example, social media continues to take on an increasingly significant role in marketing. LinkedIn offers an excellent pathway for business-to-business marketing. Facebook and Twitter offer opportunities for business-to-consumer marketing. Having a team to handle social media outreach, which goes beyond posting content and into engaging consumers via the various social media channels, is an area where outsourcing can prove the best option.
But social media is only one of the many areas of focus. Using the insights from data mentioned above, marketing today integrates email, content, search engine optimization, paid search campaigns, marketing automation and others that engage consumers at all stages of the marketing funnel.
That kind of detailed, wide-scope marketing effort is needed by larger businesses to take advantage of the potential impact that digital marketing offers. In the digital world, businesses essentially have an ongoing conversation with customers across multiple channels, and maintaining those channels is the key to success.
Those are the three fundamental areas where medium to enterprise-level companies should begin when developing a plan for marketing efforts. That and getting help from digital marketing professionals. The initial investment might scare off the less ambitious. But the return on investment is big for those willing to leverage everything the digital world has to offer.