The third and final step in OM’s digital marketing process is marketing optimization. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend you read the first blog in this series on digital marketing foundation, and the second blog on demand generation marketing.
Marketing optimization is the process of making adjustments to your marketing strategy with the goal of maximizing the effectiveness of your spend (time AND money) to achieve your company’s target goals, whether that is a certain number of qualified leads, revenue, or another meaningful goal.
No two companies will have the same marketing strategy, nor will they optimize their strategies in the same way. Your optimization will vary greatly depending on your company’s offering, your marketing goals, the channels you are targeting, and much more.
How to Optimize Your Marketing Strategy
1. Monitor Analytics Tools Closely
The first step in optimizing your marketing is to closely monitor your analytics. If you set up these tools properly in the foundation step, this should be a cinch. There are numerous tools you can use to monitor your marketing efforts, most of which are pre-built into the digital ad networks you may be using. Google Analytics is a common tool used to monitor everything from website traffic to conversion rate dropoff, and is a must-have.
Another tool that we like to use at OM is Cyfe. Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard that can compile key metrics from several platforms, like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Hubspot, and more. It’s very handy for getting a quick overview of your performance across all platforms. It has its limits, but it’s still a great tool that allows you to review your performance at a glance.
When monitoring our analytics tools, we keep several key performance indicators (KPIs) in mind, including:
- Conversion rate: The number of times we’ve received a conversion compared to the number of site visits. A higher percentage typically means that your site is better built to drive conversions.
- Cost per conversion: This is often a key measurement to determine how well paid ads are performing. A high cost per conversion indicates that ads are not performing well and should be adjusted.
- Click-through rate: Click-through rate, or CTR, can be a great indicator of how well your ads are resonating with your target audience. When CTR is high, it’s likely that your messaging and targeting is well aligned with your landing page. If it’s low, there may be an issue with messaging, targeting, or a number of other factors.
- Traffic: How many people are visiting the site? What days and times are they active? Traffic is typically less important than our conversion metrics, but is still good to keep an eye on. We also like to monitor traffic sources, so we can see where users come from, and which sources tend to drive conversions.
- Bounce rate: How often are users clicking onto the site only to immediately exit? A high bounce rate can indicate that there is something wrong with the site or with the messaging that is initially leading users to the site. Like site traffic, this metric is typically less important but can give you important insight into possible issues with your site.
There are many more marketing KPIs, but these are some of the ones we monitor most closely. It’s important not to focus too much on any one metric, as they often do not show the entire picture on their own. Many of these metrics also only provide a surface-level understanding of what’s really going on.
This is why we highly recommend a sales-marketing feedback loop to ensure that the conversions you’re getting are of good quality. Even though conversions and conversion rate may be high, if the conversions are of low quality, something is wrong, and unfortunately the quantitative data did not show that.
2. Adjust Marketing Strategy
If it seems like something is going wrong, optimization is your chance to turn things around. The start of any marketing campaign has a good chance to start off slow; it is the beginning of your marketing strategy, after all. Challenges, roadblocks, speedbumps, etc. are all a part of the process and are an opportunity for you to learn from your failures and improve upon them.
Occasionally your marketing efforts will work fantastically right out of the gate, but that’s no reason to rest on your laurels. Optimization is a constant process of measuring and adjusting over and over to continually improve your marketing results.
It’s important to optimize all the pieces of your marketing funnel, including your landing pages, paid channels, organic channels, and post-conversion touchpoints, such as email nurtures. If your data shows gaps at any stage in the funnel, make adjustments to try to fix the issues you find.
3. Test, Test, Test!
Testing is a key strategy in all areas of digital marketing. You can (and should!) test every part of your marketing funnel to try to discover better performing options. As discussed above, consider testing any and all pieces of your marketing funnel. It’s important to continuously test against what’s performing well (not just the poor performers), because chances are there’s something out there that will perform even better!
As always, some tests may fail but it’s important to learn from these failures and use them to inform future tests and strategies.
Regardless of how you’ve set up your marketing funnels, it’s not enough to set it and forget it. Optimization is important! Make sure you or someone in your organization, who is knowledgeable and experienced in digital marketing, is monitoring and optimizing your marketing efforts.
Don’t have a marketing expert on your team? OM Performance Marketers are experts at marketing strategies that work alongside experienced web designers and developers to help businesses modernize their marketing efforts for the digital world. Schedule a Discovery Meeting to see how OM can skyrocket your company’s demand gen!