The online landscape shifts daily. New technologies, techniques and trends constantly change the way our strategies are implemented by our marketing teams. But for executive and senior managers, the key questions remain relatively constant: how do we get started in online marketing? What if we don’t have the skills internally? How can we use online to gain a competitive edge?
The following extracts from our Executive Guide to Online Marketing – A Lean Business Perspectivewill help you as an executive or senior manager to answer all these questions.
1. Get Started: Making Room in Your Budget
When the question of online marketing comes up, one of your first considerations will be budgetary. Online marketing requires some investment, but with a lower cost per acquisition and greater ROI than traditional forms of marketing, it is one worth making.
Evaluate and scrutinise your marketing budget, then divert funds away from under-performing channels. Traditional, more costly methods of communication such as direct mail, telephone marketing, and print, television or radio advertising, may be good places to start.
2. Attain the Know-how: Outsourcing to an Agency
If you don’t have enough online know-how internally, find specialist knowledge externally from an experienced agency. Make sure you don’t just talk to specialists such as web developers and IT, e-commerce, SEO, or AdWords agencies, but find a service that knows how to integrate them all for the best results.
No single online methodology will work by itself – modern principles tell us that multiple techniques, working together like a well-oiled marketing machine, give the best results. For example, blogging (content marketing) needs social media for syndication to your community, which in turn grows because of your regular, high-value content.
Be sceptical of agencies still caught up in the traditional, outbound marketing paradigm even if they have (recently added) digital capabilities. A good agency will have a clear online focus, but also be able to recommend ways to integrate online and offline.
3. Take the Plunge: Becoming an Industry Leader
There will come a time when you simply have to take the plunge. Online marketing tends to reward the early adopters, the innovators and the industry leaders. Listen to your online marketing agency, and your in-house marketers tasked with online activities. They will be the ones to hear about new advances and changing trends, which you should be ready to adopt.
Some things you try may not work, so it really is a case of learning by doing. While this may seem hard to plan for, shift your perspective to one of trial, measurement, analysis, refinement and repetition.
There is never a wrong move in online, just one that needs to be refined – understand this and you’ll be less afraid to try something new and in doing so gain a competitive edge as an industry leader.
For the answers to more executive and senior management questions, download the FREE Executive Guide to Online Marketing – A Lean Business Perspective from Versio2. This 40-page, fully researched and illustrated ebook takes the mystery out of online marketing, and will help you advance your marketing and gain or keep a competitive edge.