As the digital landscape gets more complex, it’s important that marketers take a more scientific approach to their digital marketing strategies by independently considering two variables: the message they are conveying and the method with which they put it into market.
As digital marketers, we’re often tempted to operate with a “set it and forget it” mindset. In other words, we set up a campaign in Adwords or Facebook, generate the creative, set whatever parameters the system suggests, and send it out into cyberspace. Over time, we may start getting more traffic to our website. Or maybe we won’t. Maybe our sales funnel starts filling with leads. Or it doesn’t. Perhaps we even see sales increase. Or not.
Whatever the indicators of success for the particular digital marketing campaign, and no matter if we’re seeing them or not, we have no idea why what’s happening is happening. The “set it and forget it” approach provides no way of learning what it is about our campaigns that is working or not working, and it fails to deliver insight into which individual variables to evaluate and adjust.
Treat Marketing Like a Science
With access to more data and technology than ever before, it is prudent upon us to take a more scientific approach when it comes to our digital marketing strategy. In that regard, a digital marketing campaign can be thought of as an experiment. During an experiment, a good scientist evaluates the variables of the experiment independently of one another. By doing this, he/she can pinpoint the factors at play and determine what does and does not contribute to the results.
In digital marketing, the variables at play can all be grouped within the framework of either “message” or “method.”
The Digital Marketing Message
The digital marketing message includes all the elements involved with actually creating the ad or communication going into market. When evaluating the message, it’s important to consider the following:
- How should my ads, landing pages and other creative assets be structured/designed?
- What formats are available, and which ones should I use?
- Should I create video content? Static? Animated?
- Carousel ads or single image?
- Who is my audience?
- What kind of messaging would appeal to them?
- Should my ad/landing page copy be cut and dry or quippy?
- Long form or short?
- How do I want a user to consume my message?
- Do I need landing pages to follow up my ads?
- Do I want to include a deal, coupon or call-to-action?
- If so, where in the journey should I include it?
The Digital Marketing Method
The digital marketing method can be thought of as the vehicle or manner in which the message is put into market. When evaluating the message, it’s important to consider the following:
- On which platform(s) should I deliver my message, Google Adwords? Paid social? Programmatic?
- Can I use data to better inform my targeting?
- Can I inform location? Demographics?
- How much do I want to spend on my campaign to optimize results?
- On which websites/publications do I want my message to appear?
- Do I need to create a media plan for my campaign?
- How about a deployment schedule?
- Is there an overall strategy that might optimize deployment?
Just like in a science experiment, all of these variables should be analyzed independently of one another in order to evaluate their effectiveness and make the proper adjustments. Doing so acts as a formula for campaign optimization, allowing marketers to test different strategies in combination with others and make adjustments if/when necessary. For example, maybe your ad creative is on-point (message), but your method of deploying it is limiting (method). In order to determine this, you would need to evaluate your deployment systems, targeting parameters and overall strategy separately from the ad creative itself.
With the message and method mindset, we, as digital marketers, can turn ourselves into scientists. Rather than taking an agnostic approach to our campaigns, we can take active, methodical steps and consider why it is that what we’re doing is working or not. This framework of campaign analysis allows us to make small tweaks that could make a big difference in campaign effectiveness.