Using digital marketing data to make intelligent business decisions is a value that has the ability to go beyond the marketing to sales ratio.
McKinsey’s annual Global Survey came out in June. What I found most interesting was that although respondents say their CEOs are more involved in digital marketing efforts than ever before, there are some pretty major hurdles for most large organizations to really see the impact of what digital can do.
Yes, Everybody is on board with using digital marketing to grow – and 30% of respondents named the digital engagement of customers as a strategic priority. However, only 7% say their organizations understand the exact value at stake from digital.
Why the imbalance? If it’s truly a strategic priority, then why is there such ambiguity in what to do and why to do it? To answer that question, we really need to explore what’s possible online. No longer is customer engagement the only value found online, and methods to impact most avenues of business are becoming more emergent online. To truly understand what I mean by this, we should look at top challenges for small and midsize companies.
According to the Mckinsey Report, the top 5 challenges for companies under $1 billion in revenue are:
1. Finding talent (32%)
The important part here is that even the best talent, in any industry, is going to be active online. We know this because of one truth: If prospective employees are NOT active online, they’re probably not up on current events – in or outside the industry. Candidates with no understanding of the digital age should be an automatic “pass” at this point. Use digital means to recruit – even as an augment – and you will see much more success in the recruiting game.
2. Lack of quality data to inform business decisions (19%)
For way too long as marketers, we had to rely on sales numbers to measure the success of multi-channel campaigns. The major problem with this is, sales numbers are too far removed from the campaign to get true readings…and certainly NOT in real-time. Online marketing gives us an opportunity to use big digital marketing data to monitor strengths and weaknesses with a marketing campaign as they arrive, allowing us to adjust quickly. Also, big questions, such as – where are my customers located, what are they most interested in hearing about, what are my best sellers and profit centers – can be answered relatively easily and in the moment with the trackability of digital channels. Using digital marketing data to make intelligent business decisions is a value that has the ability of going beyond the marketing:sales ratio.
3. Organizational structure is not designed appropriately for digital (16%)
What does your infrastructure look like? Who do you have in place managing digital implementation? Anyone to manage (and draw insights) from the data? Because of these challenges, companies often need to outsource digital marketing. But even then, how are you tracking successes internally. Even the best agency can only track a lead to your doorstep, what is happening with it after that? What’s your cost per lead? How does that fit in with the bigger picture of your growth?
4. Business processes too inflexible to take advantage of new opportunities (15%)
Good marketing – and further – effective digital marketing data, should open new business development doors. Be sure your ready to adapt and take advantage. Many companies don’t even know where to start.
5. Inability to adopt an experimentation mind-set that is key for best practices (13%)
Sometimes, you just have to try something. It might work, it might not. Be willing to take calculated risk. Often, marketing risk can be mitigated online because there are no dead values with digital marketing data. You will always learn something from your efforts if the efforts are tracked effectively. Try things like newsletters, social selling, and others.
So, is this Doom and gloom? Nah. For me it’s exciting. These hurdles can be overcome by leaders who see the value in investing in digital strategy for the long term. The beauty of digital is that everything is measurable and nothing is set in stone. Create a plan, execute the plan, measure the plan, and make changes to improve as you go along. What do you think? Is it that easy?
Have questions? Want to talk more about your company’s digital strategy? Give us a call. We’d be glad to help.