One of the main daily concerns of every marketing professional is the results of the actions they carry out. We make an investment in advertising, we launch a contest, we publish content on the blog,… from that moment we begin to ask ourselves questions.
When analyzing results, the main concern of most companies is the sales obtained and how to achieve better results.
Regardless of the objective, whatever we measure, our main goals when conducting an analysis are: to understand the results and to find ways to improve them.
We need to find the origin of the errors and the successes, to solve some and enhance the others, that is, to understand everything about online marketing, what it is and how it works.
The reasons why a strategy is not obtaining the expected results can be very varied. If we think of the most common reasons, we can talk about: errors in planning the action, the channel used (traffic origin), usability problems on the web (traffic destination), basic problems of our offer (product, price , etc.), actions of the competition,…
The strategy in a digital marketing campaign as a diagnostic tool for results
If we take these origins of problems to the methodology of defining a strategy, we will be able to find a systematized way to identify and solve the problems of our campaigns.
The analysis approach from the strategy is valid for any situation, but we must define two moments and ways to apply it:
- Punctual: for analysis of periods of time greater than six months, we can carry out an analysis going through all the phases of the marketing strategy.
- Periodic (weekly or monthly): we have to find a faster methodology, so we will focus our analysis on the information provided by the defined dashboards and reports.
The phases of a strategy in an online marketing campaign are:
- Situation analysis: company, market and audience.
- Definition of the audience profile.
- Definition of objectives
- tactical plan.
- Measurement and optimization.
We are going to use these phases as an index of the article, but remember that we are making a diagnosis of the results of a strategy, not a definition as such. So our passage through each of the phases will be more by asking the right questions and/or looking at the necessary data, than in the definition itself.
1. Analysis of the situation: what mistakes could we have made in our initial diagnosis?
The problem with the methodology of defining a marketing strategy is that each phase builds on the previous one. So the sooner we have made the mistake, the worse, and if it is the first stage, we are talking about the worst scenario.
At this stage we analyze:
- Market: state of our competition and our situation with respect to it.
- Company: the situation of our resources: people, budgets, results obtained, etc. and we define the business model to be clear about the value contribution of marketing.
- Audience: we collect all the information available about our main audience profiles, in order to define them in the next phase of the strategy.
Main errors in the situation analysis:
- Market: a poor definition of our competition or of the market gap that we can occupy, would lead us to be ignoring factors that will make our audience decide on other options or worse, that we have made mistakes in the definition of our offer, which that would make our product or service not relevant to the audience we are targeting. In both cases we will be getting conversions, but in much fewer numbers and of lower quality. In the first case, those who know the competition go with it and in the second our product is not attractive to our audience.
- Company: at this point the mistakes made come from deviations in the measurement of our strengths, in the contribution of marketing value to the business model or in the definition of the offer (price, product, promotion or point of sale), which we mentioned in the previous heading. These deviations are caused by management errors or by errors of appreciation that occur when analyzing the situation from the front row.
- Audience: at this point the origin of the errors is similar to those of the analysis of the competition, since they would come from a poor definition of the profiles to be analyzed and the data sources used to define them in the next stage.
2. Defining the audience profile: if we don’t know who we should sell to, how are we going to get good results?
- Insight: what happens if we haven’t found the hidden and sometimes unspeakable motivation that leads them to buy? Well, we are appealing to secondary motivations that have less effect on their propensity to buy. In other words, we are not hitting the right key, we are not giving you the arguments you need to hear or at least intuit. And therefore our campaigns are going to work worse.
- Buyer persona: what happens if we have misdefined the profile of the person/s to whom we are addressing? Said in a more direct way, what happens if we are selling to the wrong person or to the correct one but in channels or with arguments that do not interest them? In this case the errors are more evident. We are talking in places where no one listens to us (or at least has no interest) or to the wrong people. I don’t need to tell you what would happen when we do this kind of thing, right?
- Value proposition: we can say, although it is not 100% correct at a theoretical level, that the value proposition is the materialization of the insight. It is the union of the conscious and unconscious needs made (product or service).Faced with these customer needs, we define our value “map” and finally our proposal. To do this, in addition to our internal capabilities, we will take into account those of the competition to focus our proposal so that it is relevant.
If we fail at this point, the rest of the errors do not matter. Our offer simply does not fit what our audience is looking for. The chances of this affecting the results are… ALL!
3. Definition of objectives: what happens if we have misjudged our forces? What happens if we have misdefined the metrics that tell us if we are reaching them?
The objectives are what determine the direction and scope of our strategy. They are the ones that define what success is for our organization (something basic to measure our efforts). Therefore, they are the measuring stick of our campaigns.
So a bad definition will cause errors both when it comes to measuring success (whether we are reaching them or not), and when defining the strategies that meet them. Not only focusing on sales (macro conversion) and also working on strategies for the other stages of the purchase funnel.
4. Definition of positioning: what happens if we use the same positioning as our competition? What if we position ourselves in something that we are not good at?
We have carried out the situation analysis, defined the audience profiles and objectives, to arrive at the definition of the positioning with the necessary information to do it correctly.
We must choose, as far as possible, the intersection between what we do best and what our audience wants.
How would it affect the results of our campaigns if we positioned ourselves in the rest of the intersections? What would happen if we position ourselves in a market with a high level of competition where we are new? What if by competing we position ourselves on something that we are not really good at? (unkept promises).
For a moment think about what would happen in each case. Would it affect the results of our campaigns? As consequences of the points discussed we could talk about:
- Same positioning in a highly competitive market: not only sell less, but favor sales of the leading brands in the sector.
- Broken promises: and if we add that it does not reflect our strong point, we are throwing stones at ourselves. Well, we would sell less and also cause returns and negative opinions.
- Neutral positioning (center of the map): we are at a point of indifference where many markets meet. We have part of the well-defined offer and another in a nebula. In this case we are not finding the arguments to convince our audience.
5. Definition of the online marketing campaign strategy: what happens if we do not choose the right channels? What if we choose a channel for an objective that it is not capable of fulfilling? What happens if the strategy is poorly defined and marketing does not add value to the business?
It is time to combine everything defined and translate it into the plan that will lead us to achieve our goals.
For this to happen, in addition to having the right approach, the selection of channels made must be the most appropriate to meet the objectives. In other words, we must use each channel for what it does best, and this must coincide with our objective.
Therefore, if this does not happen, we will be asking a channel or the results that it is not capable of achieving or results that do not add value to our objectives. I don’t know which of the two options is worse.
It is relatively common for companies, especially SMEs, to confuse marketing strategy with Facebook. And intend to use this social network for all your digital marketing campaign goals.
The problems can be varied, but to focus on the main ones:
- Poorly defined strategy: we have defined a strategy that in itself may be correct, but that does not add value to the business.
- In other words, we may be getting good results, but these are not what the company needs. Let’s take a simple example, if the role of digital marketing is to reinforce loyalty and our strategy is focused on achieving reach (new users), we may be doing it well, but we are not providing the value that the business needs from marketing.
- Bad channel selection: in this case we assume that the strategy is correct, but we have chosen an online channel that is not suitable to achieve the objectives set. In this case, the problem is that the chosen channel is not capable of achieving the desired results because it is not designed for it. For example, if a company needs to get sales in the short term and tries to get it through Facebook. In this case, the most appropriate channel would be adwords or display.
6. Tactical plan: what problems can we find in the face of a poor execution of the strategy?
At this point is where the analysis of the results of the campaigns is usually focused, on the elements that have a direct relationship with the results. But they usually ignore a large part of the points that we have been reviewing so far.
Do you understand the two dimensions of analysis that I was referring to? In the periodic analysis we focus on the tactical, on the things that we can activate directly, in the punctual analysis/diagnosis we make a complete review of all the points including the latter.
At this point the origin of the errors can be grouped into two (if we consider the previous points reviewed):
- Traffic sources: sometimes we are so focused on conversions and optimizing what happens on our website that we forget that the problem may be in the quality of the traffic (from the point of view of their level of interest in our offer) that We received. In this sense, a “poor” quality of traffic will not cause us to have a high bounce rate, low visit time, etc. and of course low conversion. Obviously there are a large number of errors that can be made in these traffic sources when executing the campaigns, but we are going to ignore them because we are focused on analyzing the origin of the errors that cause us to have bad results on our website.
- Web: on our website, the errors that can affect the results of our campaigns can be grouped into problems with usability (content structure, navigation, processes, calls to action, loading speed, etc.) and in the content itself. sayings (texts, images, etc.). These errors can be purely structural (bad definition) or due to a bad approach.
7. Measurement and optimization: what happens if my dashboards do not accurately reflect the marketing activity of the company? What if I have wrongly selected the metrics that help me perform a correct analysis? What if the data is unreliable?
It depends a lot on the ability to analyze and a correct technical execution, but the main source of errors in this case comes from a poor definition of objectives and the metrics that best describe its evolution.
Nothing worse than reaching this point with your homework done and making mistakes as basic as the poor definition of metrics (directly associated with the data sources) or a poor visual representation that makes it difficult for us to interpret the results and therefore make it difficult for us to make decisions. decisions.
The objective of this phase is to make the best possible decisions based on the data we have. If for whatever reason the data we see is not correct or we do not understand it well, our interpretation and therefore decisions will be wrong. Therefore, in addition to having bad results in the campaigns, we are not being able to solve them.