Heading into the summer holiday season, people were telling me of their plans to go away, leave their laptop at home, switch off their devices and 'get back to basics'. It occurred to me that digital marketers should use the 'back to basics' ethos back in the office.
Right now is a great time to take stock and review. As we approach the silly season (aka Christmas). And the November- February pressure to adopt the Top 10 Marketing Trends of The Year is off.
I suggest right now you strip out the complexity and get your digital marketing back to basics – that is, the simple things all digital marketers should be doing. And it starts with your website. Many brands are going big on paid and earned media when they haven't even got their owned media tip-top. Those that sell online have no excuse. Yes, web trends go in and out of fashion every year. But trends are new things we've learned and the new things that are working for consumers right now. Digital consumers change rapidly so your website must do so too.
At its simplest, your brand website should work across all mobile devices. If you didn't act on this before based on the 17 research into consumer behaviour, you will now. As of March, Google penalises sites that aren't mobile-friendly. Saying your site is responsive is not enough. The site has to work well on a mobile device. I get lost in the sheer number of menu options on many mobile sites. Or the lack of key information about the products/services I'm looking for. Marketers complain about the disconnected customer journey. But could it be possible that consumers research on mobile, and buy on desktop, because buying via your mobile site is a nightmare?
What about your About and Team pages? They are two of the most viewed pages on your website. How much work have you put into those pages knowing they could be viewed for longer than your home page?
These days, reviewing your website once a year is not unreasonable. This doesn't have to be a complete rebrand or redesign, but tiny tweaks based on what you've learned from the past 12 months. Ask yourself questions like: Have one or two products or service pages taken off? Should you feature them more prominently? Do you need to retire some pages? Do you need to integrate one of your high-performing social channels into your website?
There are lots of tiny things you can look at but, if you're selling online, you have to ask 'How's my website converting to sales?' Think about it. The bulk of digital marketing spend goes on driving customers to the website. So what if you optimised conversions by even 1%? How would that impact profits? How much better would the RoI be on your marketing investment? Sit down today and run the actual numbers. If you improve conversions by 1%, 2% or even 5%, things get interesting.
If you can't afford to use usability specialists, check out some of the basic tools around. Crazy Egg and Google Analytics provide heat map tools. You could even use a low-cost usability service such as Feedback Army where ten site reviews cost as little as $40. Sending a link around senior execs for feedback is not enough. You've got to find out how real customers use the site.
My second tip on getting back to basics builds on the optimisation theme. Now, while many of your campaigns are running, it's time to review all of your digital marketing KPIs. What if you sliced 20% off your lowest-performing activity and reinvested it into your top-performing activity? How much more effective would your end-of-year results look?
You may even want to check out your Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80:20 rule. Pareto's Law states that 80% of your results comes from 20% of your efforts. So, across your business, you should see 80% of sales coming from 20% of customers. Often the ratio is even bigger, like 90:10. Which are the 20% of digital marketing activities that are driving 80% of traffic/ conversions/sales? What results could you be getting if you simply doubled down on those?
Sometimes it's the simplest things that work. So if you're heading out or just back from holiday, why not take a break from being cutting edge this month. Look for the simplest, most basic ways, you can dramatically boost your digital marketing. If you make some small changes now, you could be cruising for the rest of the year.