The explosion of digital marketing options means that many businesses are spread too thin across too many channels these days. We often do audits for new and existing clients on their digital assets/channels’ performance. With so much data spread over so many channels, it is crucial for businesses to do this ‘health check’ regularly to avoid over-spending or to identify areas that yield real returns for their business. Smart businesses focus on dominating one channel. Marketers should get more focused and aim to do fewer things better.
Of course it is easy to get distracted by shiny new digital objects. Marketers love new trends and to be on the leading edge of new technologies and platforms. We often see surveys where marketers say AI and machine learning are critical channels. Ultimately, yes, this kind of technology could have a dramatic impact on marketing performance and optimization, but how many advertisers (small businesses and brands) are actually using proprietary AI or machine learning to improve marketing? Currently, not many.
The reality is that many small businesses and a portion of big brands aren’t delivering on the basics of digital marketing like websites, SEO, social media, blog writing, Google ads, online reviews, etc. Given the huge marketing budgets of big brands, small businesses must execute on these foundational tactics. For most SMEs the majority of their business growth still comes from the foundational tools in digital marketing: social media, digital ads, email marketing and SEO.
Don’t forget to focus on your foundation. Often, optimizing your base digital execution will provide a better return on investment than experimenting (and getting distracted) with every new tool. So the next time you speak to an agency or martech company trying to sell you what’s “new” or “cutting edge” or “the future”, ask them to help you get the basics right first.
Upwards and onwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO