Recently I had the opportunity to talk to several customers in the field who voiced longstanding concerns about how to take the next big step in digital marketing. Many of these customers have extensive experience working with various best-of-breed solutions from different providers, but have become weary of juggling multiple marketing tasks on a variety of isolated platforms. Now they are looking for the next big thing in digital marketing, and are eager to find sound solutions for the most modern marketing challenges.
The problem is, they don’t know where to start.
It’s not that enterprises don’t understand the latest digital marketing technology, either, because in many cases they do; rather it’s the reluctance toward taking that initial, often intimidating first step toward something new and unknown that causes many organizations to hesitate when considering a new digital marketing strategy. Many of the marketing solutions available today seem incredible on paper, but still feel out of reach and purely visionary for companies that are uncertain about making changes to their current systems. In fact, separating fantasy from reality as it relates to digital experience management was one of the key challenges cited by company respondents in the Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing from Econsultancy, in association with Adobe.
When your company is faced with making huge decisions that will affect the way entire departments operate, it’s okay to be cautious. In fact, I would be worried if you weren’t, because any big changes to your current system should always be approached with exhaustive inquisition, steadfast research, and a thorough due-diligence process.
Luckily, positioning your company for digital marketing success doesn’t have to be an unfeasible fairy tale. There are grounded, tried-and-true methods for evaluating the future of your digital marketing strategy that will set your company up for a smooth transition from one digital marketing strategy to the next. So how can you get started?
- What’s important for your organization? Just because something works for an industry peer doesn’t mean it’s going to be the right fit for your brand. Understanding what’s important for your business to capture and what your company execs truly care about is a vital step toward deciding on the right marketing solution for your organization. Prepare to ask the tough questions that can take your company to the next level, such as: What are we doing with the data we have? Does it give us a comprehensive analysis of our marketing programs? Is the content we provide just boosting our egos, or are we actually helping our target audience?
Concentrate on what your business can achieve with what it has today before bolting on a Web content management system, an email automation system, and other marketing solutions. Once you’ve determined what truly matters to your company, then you can move on to focusing on other projects.
- Find yourself a trusted advisor. In today’s fast-paced world of digital marketing, finding a trusted ally to guide you through the trenches is a must for any successful digital marketer. According to Adobe’s Digital Distress survey, only 48 percent of digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing, leaving more than half uncertain of their skills. This statistic should tell us one thing: digital marketers who aren’t as proficient as half their peers need to connect and learn from those who are confident in their abilities.
If you’re considering making significant changes to your current digital marketing strategy, then you’ll need to rely on industry experts that already have a wealth of experience in system integration and implementation. Finding a trusted SI or consulting agency that clearly understands your business will help guide you through today’s technological maze to get your marketing department where it needs to be.
- Don’t try everything at once. If you’re planning on boiling the ocean by attempting to re-platform your entire digital marketing system, then you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Instead, consider taking on a challenge that will allow you to put a notch in the company belt before moving forward. Consolidating your analytics across various properties, such as mobile apps, websites, and point-of-sale, into a single platform would be a small yet transformational project for your department to tackle for a quick win, giving your team a sense of accomplishment while simultaneously inspiring them to get excited about the next endeavor.
Change can be a strange concept. Thoughts of change can lead to anxiety and uncertainty about the future, especially when it comes to the well being of your organization. But more often than not, change is good, bringing with it new technological advances, solutions, and strategies that can make everyday life just a little bit easier.
When you’re considering leaving behind current digital marketing solutions for a new system, ask yourself this crucial question: are you reluctant to change because the move doesn’t fit your company vision, or are you delaying change because it puts you outside your comfort zone? If your answer is the former, then you’ve already determined that a particular marketing solution doesn’t coincide with what’s important to your brand. If your answer is the latter, then it’s time to take the necessary steps outside of your comfort zone and into positioning your company for digital marketing success.