With spring in the air here in the southern hemisphere, now is a great time to spring clean your digital marketing strategy. In fact, any time of year is a good time to take a deeper look at what is working and what is not. Failing to review and improve your strategies can end up doing your brand far more harm than you realise.
If you have been battling to see any traction or you do not feel as though any of your digital marketing efforts are getting anywhere, it may be a sign that a clean up is in order.
Keep reading to find out why it can be a good idea to clean things up and to get our tips on how to get started in your spring clean.
Why Change Up Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
There are several reasons that you would need to change your digital marketing strategy. In the digital world, nothing stays the same, year after year. New technologies, new tools, new strategies and new ideas are being born every single month. Failing to adapt as the landscape itself changes can be very damaging on many levels.
In some cases, you may need to make changes that are needed when strategies are no longer effective – a social media campaign that has not gone well, for example, or an email marketing campaign that has not brought in much engagement.
In other cases, changes may be needed when you have not identified your target audience properly or even as a result of outside forces beyond your control. Some of the top reasons that a spring clean could be needed include the following:
- Changing consumer demands. The demands and needs of consumers are changing all the time. Companies can often be hit hard by such changes when they do not manage to keep up with the shifts in consumer demands. As an example, your company might specialise in frozen yoghurt. You may find that you introduce new flavours that do well, with additional flavours being requested by many customers. If you do not stop to consider meeting such requests, you may find that customers choose to go to a competitor who is able to offer such flavours. This is where market research and customer engagement comes into play. Knowing what your customers want and knowing how best to give them what they want is vital to keep abreast of the constant shifts in consumer tastes and demands.
- Maintaining a competitive edge. At the same time, being able to give customers what they ask for also helps you maintain a competitive edge. As we mentioned above, if customers feel that they are not getting what they need from your company, they will go to a company that is able to meet their needs. In order to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be able to adapt and grow. This could be in the form of improving the quality of your products, expanding your product or service range, considering a new audience for a variation of your product or even something as simple as changing your distribution channels.
- Adapting to the product life cycle. It's also a good idea to be able to adapt your digital marketing strategies to the changes in the product life cycle. Once a product hits the market, there are four life cycle stages in place – introduction, growth, maturity and decline. During the introduction and growth stages, sales are typically strong. As the cycle shifts towards maturity, sales will often begin to slow. It can much harder to maintain sales growth when this happens. To maintain sales, companies may look at lowering prices or others may find ways to differentiate themselves from competitors, creating a smaller niche in the market.
- External changes and influences. Finally, there are also many outside factors that could signal a need for change. This could be anything from government requirements or new laws, changing technologies or even limitations in natural resources. For example, a small children's clothing company may suddenly battle to produce products in a certain range when their primary manufacturer goes out of business or a fabric shop no longer sells a certain fabric. When substitutes cannot easily be found, digital marketing strategies need to be adapted to handle the changes in a way that does not lead to lost leads or sales.
How to Start Cleaning Your Digital Marketing Strategy
There are a few ways to go about spring cleaning your digital marketing strategy. Some of the simplest ways to get started include the following:
- Outline your current strategies. First, you will need to outline your current strategies across all existing channels. Go through each channel and think carefully about your campaign goals, the steps required, the touchpoints, responsibilities for each step and touchpoint, sales stages for each campaign, target audiences, whether anything needs to be eliminated completing, whether there are any ways to simplify any part of your campaigns and even whether any campaigns are redundant. When your campaigns are streamlined, they will be far easier to implement and maintain. Once you have taken a good look at your current efforts, you can start to map out each campaign.
- Map out your current campaigns. Mapping our campaigns gives you a clear visual of how each one performs, while also spotting any possible problems. Colour-coded maps are often the easiest way to map campaigns. Things you can include the starting point for each campaign, the various communication touch points along the way, from signup forms to emails, SMS and any other channel, the messages themselves, people associated with each message, sales stages for each campaign, lists and pipelines for each campaign and where campaigns end or join new campaigns. You can use these maps for future reference to easily have an outline of each campaign. From there, you can analyse the steps involved in each campaign.
- Outline the steps for each campaign. Things you will need to consider include the level of effort and difficulty required for each task, the amount of time to be spent on each campaign, whether there are any easier ways to achieve campaign goals, whether marketing automation would simplify any steps and anything else that could improve your campaigns.
Once you have mapped out your campaigns and reviewed them on paper, it becomes far easier to move on with your automated campaigns using a marketing automation platform such as Grapevine. Planning, reviewing and spring cleaning is the most effective way to ensure that your digital marketing efforts are always kept up to date, year on year.