Planning For Optimization And Digital Marketing Strategy
Make optimization & refinement a part of your Digital Strategy
No one can see into the future and predict or forecast every positive and negative thing that will undoubtedly appear. If that were the case, every one of your data analysts would quit their jobs and make millions of dollars trading stocks. Planning for and implementing processes to optimize and refine digital marketing strategies is often the last thing leaders focus on, when it should be a one of the first.
As leaders of an organization taking on a major digital strategy project or implementation, how you deal with and plan for unexpected outcomes goes a long way towards earning the trust and sponsorship of executives. It also helps keep worker morale high and makes people want to be a part of and engage with your team on big projects.
How often have you heard people refer to past projects where all the talk about was the little things that were overlooked, the unintended consequences, or how hard it was to deal with all the conflicts?
It is common to hear people disparage other business units or the ones who took part in a project… “they did not plan for this”, “these guys left that out”, “they ended up breaking this”, and so on. As leaders in your company vent their frustrations, usually to people who report to them, when the time arises for them to be a part of the next big project, how do you think they feel?
People will want to be a part of projects where they know their efforts will be appreciated. The point I’m trying to make is how you approach and deal with these unknowns, and unplanned outcomes will make a huge difference. Preparing and discussing a plan that acknowledges potential anomalies allows you to control the conversation and put the next steps in place to deal with them. This is not about ignoring or omitting things, this is more about the language and the tone of how project challenges are discussed. Present these as learnings or opportunities for optimization rather than shortcomings.
Beyond how these things are discussed is the importance of emphasizing processes that allow for improvement and optimization. Some may feel that once they flip the switch, engagement, conversions, AOV, transactions, revenue, or whatever KPI you have will immediately improve.
The reality is that it takes time to get into a rhythm where you know how to use the tools and put workflows and processes in place. When the light turns green, there should be steps in place to iteratively execute increasingly complex tasks while learning from each iteration. Finding the right content, call to action, design, digital assets, and cadence for a marketing campaign takes time. In addition, do not forget about the customer experience. If you are going through a website redesign, and suddenly, a visitor is now given a new experience they never saw before, it takes time for them to adjust and react. And as you will imagine, customers will always interact with your product or move around on your website in ways you never imagined. There needs to be time and processes in place to recognize and make necessary adjustments.
Lastly, when testing, take it slow and test as few things as possible at a time. Too many variables will muddy the data and lead to bad results. You do not want to implement too many distractions or inadvertently create conflicts and obstacles to conversion. You want to make sure your measurements are clean and represent a clear picture of performance. When executives ask for progress, you want to have the ability to show results whether they are good or bad, and have a plan of action going forward.