Marketing Frustrations Heard 'round the World'

You've just stepped into the weekly meeting, which is happening right now...

"Our Facebook ads are not performing well."

"I’m ready to fire our social media manager. Social media is just not effective."

"Why should we invest in content marketing?"

"AdWords is a complete waste."

"We need more traffic!"

Does this sound familiar? Whether discussed in a team meeting, scribbled on a white board, or sent via an email, these are some of the struggles facing boot strapped companies.

Peeling back a Layer

Too many marketing campaigns are treated as a subjective zero-sum game. The campaign was either a smashing success or a catastrophic failure. Either it was good or horrible. And then it changes next week or next month, depending on whom you speak with. Blame can easily be thrown around (and we know how toxic that can be).

I've been in more than a few of these types of meetings myself, wanting to bang my head against the wall. I've had such lingering questions and frustrations.

Why is there such a disconnect across the organization with evaluating performance?

How can we better explain this to someone who doesn't use this tool at all, but still has a stake in a marketing campaign's success?

Why are we wasting resources?

If we reflect back on the beginning of the campaign or even longer, amidst all of the shoulder shrugs & confusion, I’ve experienced numerous marketing campaigns that amount to a shotgun approach of...

  • "We don’t really know exactly what we’re doing."
  • "We're bound to hit some point...maybe."
  • "We don't have any clue if this is progress or a complete setback."

I've experienced the “Don’t even ask, what the hell we should do next!” confused looks that often accompany the shotgun approach.

I'm so sick of it! I’ve been searching forever, for a better process to clarify marketing strategy.

Then, I came across the Digital Marketing and Measurement Model from Avinash Kaushik.

Structured Thinking

"The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It's quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure." - Avinash Kaushik

Of course, marketing campaigns will not always perform great. Nor are all processes perfect, but I think applying the Digital Marketing and Measurement Model (DMMM) can be incredibly beneficial for an E-commerce business. Specifically, I believe it can help...

  • Make everyone more accountable
  • Spur execution
  • Provide more clarity to diverse team members & stakeholders (from creative, to marketing to social media...)
  • Provide more clarity when the team changes
  • Provide a more objective way to tackle goals & to measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts
  • Improve internal benchmarking
  • Improve learning
  • Maximize available resources
  • Improve ROI from marketing campaigns

= a Stronger Team & a Stronger Business

A Positive Feedback Loop for a Business:

Business Feedback Loop

3 Main Areas

The DMMM addresses the 3 main core areas for any successful marketing campaign:

1. Acquisition

2. Behavior

3. Outcomes

One understands the connections across an organization, not only with the marketing department, but other key team members.

Advertising campaigns need to reach the right audience. Product engineers need to worry about interaction. The social media team is always concerned with engagement. Customer service and operations have plenty of outcomes to contend with. And, the leadership in an organization can zoom-in & out accordingly with these, as needed.

I've adapted these concepts slightly. I think of them in terms of these 5 important areas.

1. Customers

  • Their Psychology (jobs, pains, gains, aspirations, fears, doubts, & hesitations), Language, & Behavior

2. Product(s)/Service(s)

  • The Value products/services/brand provide & the problems they solve for customers?
  • Connecting the technical aspects of one's products/services/brand with the needs of one's customers.
  • Product, Sales, & Customer Lifecycle
  • Key Metrics (e.g. Gross Margins, AOV, Revenue, etc.)

3. Reach & Acquisition

  • Owned, Earned, & Paid Channels & Mediums for reaching an audience & acquiring customers.
  • Acquisition certainly can happen with just a single interaction. However, it depends on the business, the types of customers, & a number of other factors. For numerous businesses, that's not always the case.
  • Considerations: Constraints, time, control, resources, budget, potential impact, etc.
  • How is one reaching an audience & Why?

4. Interactions & Engagement (Behavior)

  • Communication, interactions, & relationships inside/outside of one's business & website (on-site & off-site).
  • Behavior of visitors/leads/customers & your organization's behavior.
  • Meeting them where they're at in the customer lifecycle. (e.g. "Right message, right audience, right time")
  • Alignment, Relevance, Consistency, How, & Why

5. Outcomes (including Conversions & Retention)

  • Purchase & Non-Purchase outcomes for visitors/leads/customers & a business.
  • The 2 biggest intended outcomes are Purchases/Conversions & Retention.
  • Intent, Macro & Micro outcomes, & Why
Key Aspects

1. Why - Why are you in business?

2. Business Objectives -  What’s the purpose of the marketing/creative campaign?

  • Utilize DUMB objectives: Doable. Understandable. Manageable. Beneficial.

3. Goal(s) - What do you hope to accomplish for each business objective?

  • What execution is required?
  • Goals should clarify for your team what needs to be accomplished
  • Need to account for both Macro + Micro Conversions/Successes

4. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) - A way to measure & evaluate the effectiveness of your objectives

  • How are you doing/faring with your objectives? (e.g. quarterly, yearly, against one's competition, etc.)

5. Targets - Which numerical values indicate good/poor performance?

6. Segments - Relevant types of people, attributes, behavior, & outcomes they're seeking

  • Compare & contrast
  • Account for outliers
The Marketing Strategy Board

The Marketing Strategy Board

I'm a big fan of "business canvases" such as the Business Model Canvas, the Value Proposition Canvas, & the Lean Canvas. (I'm less of a fan of 67 page jargon filled business documents with size 8 font).

I was also informed that a business has not arrived until they have a fancy sounding acronym. So here's an acronym - CPRAIEO™ (It just rolls off one's tongue, doesn't it)?

Yeah, I'm scratching my head as well. For the sake of non sequitur & much to the chagrin of the branding expert that keeps trying to friend me, I decided on The Marketing Strategy Board instead.

It's the DMMM with a few tweaks & converted into a canvas form (with the sarcasm omitted).


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Brian Soell

Founder / Chief Marketing Officer of SiteUpturn

Brian is the founder & CMO of SiteUpturn. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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