Running and gunning for a lean digital marketing agency, we focus alot on ROI for our clients and making sure we don’t get bloated or use tools that don’t have clear return. As we do this, and push the effectiveness of our digital marketing efforts as much as we can, I’ve come up with a list of cultural / marketing shifts that I think will help marketers who perhaps don’t have the opportunity to work on so many different client’s campaigns. Here are 10 big ideas for CMO’s to consider in 2016:
1. Learn about the role of influencers in particular cultures and niches of people, and discover how to connect with them to best leverage their influence in your industry.
2. Narrow in on the kinds of content your prime demographic would like to see and build the types of content that will delight them. What do they respond to? Experiment with video, infographics, statistics, quizzes, games, and other types of visual elements as well as the written word and guides. Find the right balance of informative and entertaining to hit the sweet spot. ‘Listen’ closely on social and search to see what’s really making an impact and watch conversions related to the collective response to see how to pivot next.
3. Truly understand the importance of solid hierarchy and usability on your company’s website. Make an effort to improve the navigation systems for users.
4. Master the art of the call-to-action and the “right hook” to capture people’s attention and clicks when they are ready to buy.
5. Leverage social proof through the use of strong interaction on social. Working social media into your everyday culture will help you understand it’s just another system of communication like phone calls or texting—you need to be present and proactive.
6. Realize that viral is not a strategy, but that components of becoming viral, such as elements that are entertaining, inspiring, attached to a cause, and surprising people with delight in a way that’s akin to pranking, can be worked into every marketing campaign.
7. Grasp the importance of having ever-expanding buckets of content, such as a directory of symptoms and treatments that is expanded on strategically, a blog with rich and descriptive categories, a directory of individuals, a catalogue of videos and guides, or content created around your products to bring people in from search engines.
8. Continue to qualify your ideas with key performance indicators (KPIs), and be open to evolving what those KPIs are as technology shifts. Yes, the bottom line is always important, but other avenues to get to a better bottom line sometimes come from paying attention to other—potentially new—key numbers.
9. Be a connoisseur of the creative spark. Recognize that brilliant ideas can come from everywhere. Be quick to encourage smart ideas and tend to them from the people you work with and for. Be open to inspiration from random avenues and trust your gut.
10. The best marketers test a lot of things, and they have a good feel for when something didn’t work out. This intuition enables them to add new tools to the arsenal or shed them diligently. Read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries for more context on iterating quickly in your business.
Bonus: If you’ve been doing traditional advertising and are used to budgets for television and billboards, realize that not everything has to be expensive. Just once, work with your team on a project that utilizes grassroots or cheaper online routes where you can track more metrics and see how things work out. Google “growth-hacking” and try not to get scared off by new tools—get your hands dirty and dig into some A/B testing with Optimizely, some radical new marketing tools like Inspectlet, or promote content on Outbrain.