Most internal marketing organizations have a scale issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and pop or Fortune 500 brand. While the size and scope of your organization might be different, every company is facing three key issues:
Marketing has become highly technical and fragmented.
If you are a brand or agency you’re probably hit up several times a day from a new technology provider or advertising platform that will supposedly make your marketing more efficient, more effective, and/or improve your ROADs. Unfortunately, all of these platforms take resources to setup, manage, and use to their fullest potential.
The reality is just about every marketing department has a long list of platforms and none of them are setup and/or optimized to work efficiently. To make matters worse these platforms are rarely integrated. The technology we rely upon as marketers to make our lives easier is in many cases making our lives harder because it unintentionally is fragmenting our operations.
Difficulty hiring and retaining key talent.
This headline says it all here. Every industry seems to be facing a shortage of talent, but technical expertise is at a critical shortage. As marketing becomes more technical we find ourselves competing with other tech companies for talent. Finding people with experience on the platforms we rely on is hard enough and many organizations (especially SMBs) do not have the resources to hire an inexperienced employee and train them.
Challenges identifying, working with, and managing 3rd parties (agencies, consultants, and tech platforms).
Since it is difficult to hire and manage domain experts to service all aspects of a marketing tech stack most organizations look to outsource to agencies, consultants, or they allow their tech partner to manage their instance for them (for an additional fee). Unfortunately, the amount of experts you need is growing.
Advertising on just Google and Facebook/Instagram isn’t enough for most brands anymore. You need to be on TikTok, Snap, connected TV, streaming audio, native, and digital out-of-home. Add these unique channels to your CRM, CDP, email platform, SMS, content calendar…. (I’ll stop). It quickly becomes unmanageable to oversee best of breed 3rd parties to manage all of your platforms for you.
The end result of these issues is chaos and inefficiency. How can your organization take meaningful steps to address your scalability issues and make your marketing team more efficient?
Marketing Operations Leadership
A lot of marketing teams lack dedicated project management or operations managers who are dedicated to making sure everything runs like a well oiled machine. While it is difficult to hire anyone with specific domain/technical expertise it is easier to find good project/operations managers. You don’t even need a senior level hire for this role. Having someone on staff that is dedicated to the operations of your marketing department will pay major dividends. It will provide the flexibility you need to ensure your internal staff and 3rd party partners are in sync and operating efficiently saving significant time and money.
Balance 3rd party agencies/consultants between how much assistance they can provide to match your goals.
If you have marketing ops that can manage many 3rd parties then select best of breed, niche partners to service all of your needs from ad buying specific platforms like TikTok, to analytics/reporting, and more. If you’re a leaner marketing organization you need to identify your core needs and find partners that can provide support for multiple items. While domain experts are great, more often than not someone who has some experience across multiple disciplines can provide work that is good enough to significantly enhance your marketing efforts (basically you don’t always need someone with a ton of experience, the vast majority of orgs can get the job done with intermediate level expertise on most platforms).
Simplify your platform/tech stack.
This might sound similar to point #2, but this gets down to doing a good job of picking the right partner/platform. There are thousands of martech/adtech companies and I’m sure you have seen 10s if not 100s that could theoretically help your organization. I always challenge our clients to ask one of two questions:
Does this solution help us enough to take on the additional responsibilities to maximize the opportunity?
Does this advertising platform help us reach enough incremental new in-market consumers to take on managing it?
The bottom line is looking at the incrementality of a solution. Any time you add a solution to your stack it requires resources to manage and make it work properly. The new solution must provide a lot of value to justify adding resources to manage it.
While there is no “easy button” in marketing, here are two things you can kick off today that can give a boost to your digital marketing efforts.
Test A New Platform
The digital media landscape is changing. More people are spending time online across a more diverse range of content. Whether you want to diversify your paid, earned, or owned media there are several new platforms to try. The key here is to pick one platform, perfect it, and move on to another.
One mistake we see organizations routinely make is trying to be everywhere all at once. This creates a haphazard user experience and ultimately fails to resonate with your target audience. We strongly suggest getting really good at one platform first. Do not move on to another platform until you feel like you have maximized your knowledge of how to optimize it.
Find opportunities to plug all of your communications channels/social platforms so your audience knows where to find you. When you embed a video into email communication make sure it links to your YouTube page. If you are active on Tiktok use your video content generated on the platform on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Invite followers on social media to join your email list. The options are endless!
The bottom line is that you remain consistent with your cross-promotion. Whether you used paid, earned, or owned tactics to acquire your audience, make sure they follow you on as many channels as possible. Organic reach is limited on every platform so the more opportunities you have to reach the same person with organic content the more likely they are to see it!
Since the dawn of the digital era building, a high-quality email list has been the foundation of any marketing strategy. Not only does the ROI from email beat every other channel, but the email address has also become the gold standard in cross-channel audience targeting. That said, competition for attention in the inbox is at all-time highs (and will continue to get harder).
It is time for marketers to take a more holistic approach to their audience engagement. Your audience spends a lot of time on multiple digital platforms consuming content in myriad ways. Here are some places you should build community:
TikTok has found a niche to provide people an easy way to produce, share, and discover short form user-generated video content. TikTok also isn’t just for young kids anymore. The 28-50 demographic is rapidly growing. Like it or not, TikTok has made it easy for user-generated video content to go viral, opening up affordable opportunities for individuals, brands, and organizations of all types to get into video promotion.
In fact, we are seeing the adoption of user-generated video content from TikTok get applied to other video formats including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even Connected TV. If you haven’t invested in a video strategy due to cost constraints now is the time to get in on the user-generated video content craze. All it takes is a little time and a cell phone to create a short video that connects with your target audience.
YouTube reached a whopping 81% of the connected audience in the US every month. Usage is strong across every demographic and being within the Google ecosystem targeting is second to none. Using paid promotion to get key video messages in front of target audiences using an email list, contextual targeting, or even an affinity audience provided by Google is a scalable strategy for any marketing strategy.
Facebook and Instagram are dynamic duos that can be managed using Meta’s Business Manager. The tools available for managing and analyzing brand owners’ accounts are generally easy to use so even marketing beginners can pick up the basics. The combined reach of Facebook and Instagram across all demographics plus a wide variety of content types (video and static post types) gives you a lot of options to engage your audience.
Twitter is an often forgotten social media platform, but it is a powerful tool to reach audiences looking to consume small snippets of content at a time. Many communities have emerged on the platform. You can pretty easily identify key influencers and topics that are pertinent to your organization with a keyword or hashtag search. organic content on the platform. It doesn’t take very much time and you will be surprised by who is out there listening. A few minutes per day on Twitter could unlock your next big customer/partnership/advocate or even make your organization go viral.
LinkedIn is the place to be if you’re targeting business professionals. The reach and targeting options for ads are second to none in B2B. While it can be expensive to run targeted ads to boost your reach there are ways to get organic content amplified. Target partners, brand champions, or key allies on the platform and ask them to share your content with their connections. It is a tried and true method for driving awareness of your message.
When you have multiple touch points with your target audience you will increase your overall organic reach and ensure no important communication is missed. Be sure to follow Population Science for more content on how to build your omnichannel community online!
Two major announcements shook the digital advertising market. First, Disney announced a new partnership, bringing its inventory to The Trade Desk. Included in the deal is Disney’s immense 1st party data that will bolster The Trade Desks Unified ID program. It is a huge win for The Trade Desk in its quest to rival Google’s dominance in the ad tech/programmatic ecosystem. Second, Microsoft came seemingly out of nowhere to land the Netflix ad inventory business.
While there are many details to be sorted out, one underreported but crucial aspect of these announcements is the continued fragmentation of ad tech. When I first started buying programmatic media, Facebook had an ad exchange and I bought my ads via DataXu. It could be a bit clunky, but it was nice to be able to manage so much media buying via one console. In fact, I was very bullish on the future of programmatic. The promise of a fully open marketplace to buy all forms of digital media leveraging all datasets publicly available proved fascinating. We all know how this story ends as FBX shut down and ever since we have slid further away from the original promise of programmatic advertising.
Unfortunately, the implications of this fragmentation go beyond programmatic and strikes at the heart of digital media in general. I think it’s safe to say that there will never be a fully open digital media platform. If you want to access all of the premium ad inventory out there, chances are you’ll be running 10+ ad buying platforms. To maximize the targeting of your first-party data you’ll likely be using several ID solutions. Finally, I think you can pretty much kiss the idea of a reliable attribution system for omnichannel media buys goodbye.
The outlook isn’t all doom and gloom. Out of the ashes of chaos there will be opportunities for savvy media buyers. Since buying media at scale is virtually impossible for any organization to do effectively and efficiently, there will be a lot of opportunities to find alpha in the digital media marketplace. There will be tremendous opportunities for boutique, specialty agencies/consulting firms to continue their growth by providing expertise across all of the platforms necessary to manage an ad tech stack at scale. Brands are already beginning to seek out these niche experts to exploit the opportunities in all of the nooks and crannies of the digital media ecosystem.
Your website is a pivotal asset of your business. A quality website is organized, easy to navigate, and inspires customers to conduct business with you. From design and content to user experience, no matter your industry, a top-notch website is crucial to the success of your business.
We’ve been sharing useful data in our Stats to Consider When Crafting Your Digital Strategy series. Previously we shared Social Media Marketing and Email Marking statistics. To keep helping you craft a high-quality digital strategy, here are 10 website statistics you need to know.
1. 94% of first impressions relate to your site’s web design
First impressions matter. You don’t want a potential customer to be turned off at first glance due to a poor design. Invest in a high-quality web design that is a reflection of your high-quality business.
2. 89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience
It only takes one bad experience for a customer to swear off a business for good. Provide seamless online experience that keeps your customers on your site and in your corner.
3. 74% of users are more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites
We’ve said it before- optimizing for mobile is crucial to the success of your business. Customers are accessing information on their phones daily, so it is essential that your website fits their mobile needs. Bonus stat: In 2018, mobile ecommerce revenue accounted for 50%of total U.S. e-commerce revenue.
4. 47% of Users expect a maximum of 2 seconds loading time for an average website
Customer’s patience isn’t always high- and frustrated customers leads to abandonment. Don’t allow something like loading time turn customers away from your site.
5. Slow-loading websites lead to a $2.6 billion revenue loss each year
Customer abandonment has its repercussions. Investing in a website that prioritizes high speed loading times helps ensure your customers are satisfied with their digital journey.
6. Users spend 88% more time on pages with videos
The more time spent on your site, the more likely someone is to make a purchase. Video content can be used to grab users’ attention, provide information, and keep your customers engaged on your site.
7. 77% of agencies believe that a bad website User Experience is a weakness for their clients.
This statistic shows there’s major room for improvement when it comes to user experience. Poor user experience leaves customers confused and irritated, making it more likely for them to abandon your site. In turn, a stellar user experience builds trust and helps ensure there’s nothing standing in the way from creating long lasting support.
8. It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression
Your website design should be balanced. Consistency, cohesiveness, and functionality contribute to a quality website design. We recommended checking out industry leader’s website to gauge what web designs repeatedly perform well.
9. Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content
Written content is important, but 5.59 seconds isn’t very long. It is crucial to provide your customers with the important information they need to know in a quick and concise way so they are getting the most out of their online experience.
10. 70% of small business websites lack a Call to Action (CTA) on their homepage
Providing a clear call to action on your homepage gives your customers the guidance to understand what it is you’re wanting them to do next. Call to actions inspire your customers to spend more time on your site, further conduct business, leading to overall success.
A quality website is at the core of a quality business. Invest in a website that tells your story, is well-designed, and is user friendly to set yourself and your customers to be as successful as possible.