Over the past couple months, we’ve had the great opportunity to attend several Digital Marketing conferences where the topic of Digital Transformation was rife with trepidation and concern. These events included attendees in B2B, manufacturing, and professional services industries, like accounting, that have, historically, not depended on digital media for business growth. Keep in mind that some industries are natively digital – the most obvious example is any eCommerce or SaaS (B2C or B2B) website with no brick and mortar locations – as such there is no “transformation” to consider. Instead, digital is just in the DNA of the business. That said, many kinds of more traditional B2B companies have been able to embrace (or delay adoption of) digital at their own pace, because there was no inherent “requirement” for them to leverage online marketing any sooner than they were ready. That said, because many had no urgent need to shift their businesses, they are now falling behind when it comes to their customers’ expectations and they are in need of speeding up and changing quickly. Hence, the nerves felt by the above-mentioned conference attendees.
It’s probably not possible to know, for certain, the exact right keys to a smooth digital transformation, but we have noticed some characteristics of successful companies that are worth noting:
- The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step: Nerves and analysis (as the saying goes) can be paralyzing. In order to progress change, you have to get moving. Even if everything isn’t perfectly answered or mapped out, start somewhere:
- Need a better website? Start with a redesign.
- Want to drive more leads / quote requests? Start with targeted Pay-Per-Click campaigns in LinkedIn or Google.
While in some ways you may feel like you need “everything,” don’t overwhelm your team with not knowing where to start and then not starting anything at all. Pick something to become the foundation of your digital transformation and get it going.
- Your audience isn’t going to wait for you – they’re already searching and consuming media online: Many firms that have grown without digital in the past don’t trust that online media will actually have value for them and need some proof of concept to demonstrate that their audience will respond to their presence. There are excellent, free tools that can help a brand discover how big their potential audience size is and how much interest there is in the themes of its business. One such tool is the Google Keyword Planner tool; once you create an account you can look for how many people are searching for words / themes related to your business. Another option is to experiment with creating audiences in LinkedIn – you don’t have to run an ad yet – just use the ad tools to select various audience signals (industry, role, location, and other demographic/firmographic stats) to see how many qualified people are on LinkedIn that you want to market to. Once you know there are relevant people to be targeted online, then you can work to develop a test marketing campaign and measure ROI from it.
- Knowing digital is “working” for you depends on measurement: You cannot define the ROI of online marketing, if you don’t have data to depend on. Google Analytics is a free tool that is incredibly powerful and, if set up properly, can provide vast details about where your website visitors come from and how they behave on your website. With a sound Google Analytics configuration and tracking plan, you can demonstrate a clear “story” about your digital marketing. There are other tools out there, some have fees associated, but Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used and most robust. That said, it can be complex to fully utilize – so you should seek assistance from a certified partner, like MoreVisibility, to help you deploy it fully and accurately.
If your business is lagging online, it’s time to transform. Don’t wait – get started, but be sure you have solid measurement protocols in place and that you know where your audience is and what it is looking for online. If you need help with your Digital Marketing strategy, contact us and our team of experts would be happy to help.