What does digital marketing success look like?
The easy answer is: You set a goal and once you reach it, you’re successful!
Pat yourself on the back and crack a cold one.
But nailing down even a loose definition of ‘digital marketing success’ is a lot more complicated than that. There are nuances to this job that keep marketers living in the grey, chasing goals that often feel like moving targets. While their clients — real world business owners — operate in a world of black and white. They’re the ones paying for a service and they deserve clarity on the performance of their investments, which isn’t always easy for some marketers.
I get it. Digital marketing is a science, and every campaign you launch is like a little experiment. If your subjects, materials, or environments are even the least bit off, it’s nearly impossible to predict an exact result or outcome.
The winding path to success doesn’t always follow the route you expect. It’s important to be adaptable and patient. Which is why we like to tell our clients it takes time to build a predictable, scalable marketing program.
Does Your Marketing Produce Revenue?
Regardless of how your digital marketing program evolves over time, the easiest way to gauge its success starts with a simple question: Are you making money?
The success of any digital marketing boils down to its ability to generate revenue and a return on investment, or ROI, for the business.
Are You (or Your Marketing Team) Reporting on Revenue Today?
Traffic, leads, and sales are objectives that promote revenue growth, which is why we push each of our clients to identify and nail-down long-term revenue goals. With those figures in hand, we can naturally reverse engineer our monthly marketing goals for sales, leads, and web traffic — in that order.
Despite the fact that everyone wants to see their business be successful, a Facebook follow or a website click is w-o-r-t-h-l-e-s-s unless you’re able to generate revenue from it, either immediately or in the future.
These low-value marketing engagements — the ones without a clear path to financial return — are what we like to call “vanity metrics”.
Meatier metrics like traffic, leads, and sales still matter. They always will. But, in a lot of ways, they’re read-outs for the health of your marketing program. Treat them as checkpoints along a marketing funnel, which should naturally attract strangers on the internet and turn them into loyal, paying customers — revenue generating customers.
For those of you looking to expand and grow your business, you’re going to need a predictable stream of revenue to start reinvesting back INTO the business. Your digital marketing program should fuel that growth. So, if neither you nor your marketing team (if you have one) is attempting to tie marketing back to some type of dollars and cents figure, you’re not prioritizing the health of your business.