Finding The Right Channel Mix: The First Step Towards A Successful Digital Journey
Developing a deep understanding of the target customer persona and her journey along the product or content consumption experience is a critical precursor to understanding the best marketing channels, which is key to optimizing the digital channel marketing spend.
The Check List Driven Approach
It may seem commonsensical that a business needs to be strategic in its choice of channels for investing its digital marketing dollars. It is surprising and indeed incredible, therefore, as to how many small and medium businesses (SMBs), and indeed, even some large businesses, approach Digital Marketing with the mindset of quantity over quality – almost like spraying bullets with a machine gun. Well, maybe that’s not the best analogy but you get the point.
Many of the clients and potential clients I have talked to equate digital marketing with a checklist approach – kind of like the following.
Some clients look at you with a great degree of suspicion even if you dare to suggest that posting on all channels may not be needed and indeed may be wasteful spending at a minimum and damaging to the company’s brand, at worst!
If you are a retailer, you might be better off investing in FB Ads and FB page, perhaps Pinterest as well, rather than focusing too much on LinkedIn. However, even if your potential customer segment is drawn to Pinterest, it might not be the right channel for you, if you do not have the aptitude or the bandwidth to create high quality, visually appealing content, or if you do not have the budget or intent to engage professional help on a continuing basis. So, the optimal channel choice depends purely on your Service Portfolio, Buyer Persona and Business Constraints.
If you are a Legal Services firm or any B2B firm for that matter, LinkedIn should be a very useful channel for generating interest and directing traffic to your website for Lead Capture.
Customer Segments, Personas, Journeys and “Moments of Truth” – They Do Matter
We see many business owners not taking the time to really understand their customer segments, create buyer personas (even if informally in their own minds), and anticipate the most effective channels their customers are using. No wonder then, that too many of the businesses feel the pressure to invest their resources in all channels, thus diluting their resources and not getting the optimal bang for the buck.
The concept of customer journey is another key issue that businesses sometimes do not take the time to understand. The fact that not all moments or interactions in the customer journey are equal is a fact that is sadly lost on many. If you are a professional services firm, then the white paper on your site might be a key draw and that’s where you can catch the reader’s interest with a catchy and relevant title, and capture the visitor identity specifics for following up over email and/or phone. So, it is critical that the pathway to such white papers/knowledge artifacts be clear, accessible and easy. If you are an e-commerce retailer, it is critical that the merchandising is easily searchable, filterable along the key relevant dimensions without giving the customer so many choices that she becomes confused. So, understanding that searching for a product is a key step in the potential customer experience helps a long way in minimizing bounce rates. Interactions such as these represent “moments of truth” that are opportunities for the organization to make a good or bad impression on the customer and are key moments in the customer journey.
Analytics – The Boring Stuff
Finally, another obvious thing to state! We all know that what does not get measured does not get done. Yet, relatively few businesses focus on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that really matter for their business success. Frequently, one can see a business reveling in thousands of Facebook likes. But then, mysteriously, these likes are not getting translated into Leads, much less Customers. Often though, the success metric of the campaign has been pegged at one of the so-called “Vanity Metrics”, in this case “Likes”. There is simply a lack of a complete and logical thread running from the business’ vision, operational and financial goals, all the way to the digital KPIs.
And We End Again with A “Moment of Truth”
Continuing with the example in the previous paragraph, often you would find the landing pages on the websites are the culprits. Once the potential buyers arrive on the website, they find themselves to be disillusioned fools. J
The landing page is too cluttered and text heavy and the pretty and sexy page Facebook page they came from seems to reside in a different dimension. Often, the critical information needed for the Lead Capture – the Subscription Form or the Contact Us form – is below the fold, and many visitors who do not bother to scroll down leave without registering their details. Or, the critical push the website content must provide to induce the visitor to register is not there. That takes us back full circle to “Moments of Truth”!
Feel free to drop a quick note to firstname.lastname@example.org just in case you are facing a similar situation while implementing your Digital Plans.
Author: Neel Majumdar, Principal, Protiva Consulting, LLC. Alpharetta, GA
Please visit our website www.protivaconsulting.com to know more about Protiva Consulting and our work.