Remember how websites were clunky and rudimentary and the available metrics were centered around website traffic? The search engines were a budding technology and their ranking criteria were fuzzy and ripe for manipulation. Internal digital marketing teams were hardly on the drawing board for most companies and re-allocating offline dollars onto the web was a tough sell. Communicating about different tactics / strategies, began to occur, but nobody really knew what they were talking about.
Today, the foundation of everything is online and organizations have invested heavily on teams to execute on an ever-evolving buffet of digital marketing channels and options, sometimes on their own or in conjunction with an agency.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve our programs for clients and I spend a lot of time observing how companies manage their programs (either on their own or with an agency). I’ve found there’s one common denominator when efforts are successful…tight communication.
Areas where we tend to see communication breakdowns include:
- Confusion on the priorities for the website
- Some folks internally may perceive a site to be more informational while others view it as more as transactional. It’s tricky to do both effectively, so there needs to be meaningful dialogue around the mission.
- Too many cooks in the kitchen
- Whether it’s structural / content changes to the site or PPC management or analytics code, there needs to be a clear understanding of who is doing what.
- Analytics / tracking confusion
- Too often there’s uncertainty with respect to what’s being tracked and whether the data is being collected accurately. Metrics need to be precisely identified and tested to ensure they are aligned with campaign objectives.
The opportunities to manage an increasingly profitable online presence are incredible, but so is the pace of change and the amount of competition. It’s essential for stakeholders to communicate regularly to ensure that resources are being directed in the best manner possible and that there is mutual agreement on KPI’s and expected outcomes.