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Is Your Digital Marketing Helping You Thrive, or Just Survive?

Is Your Digital Marketing Helping You Thrive, or Just Survive?

We do what we can when we can, occasionally with limited options or in restrictive scenarios; but then there are times when we can be our own worst enemy. For businesses, this can look like anything from making a Google My Business and calling it a day, to hiring a range of people to handle all of the components of your marketing.

If success is all about qualified leads, doesn’t it make sense to strive for quality digital marketing efforts? It’s not enough to create social media accounts or hire someone to run PPC campaigns if there’s no overarching strategy involved. Those steps are examples of digital marketing tactics.. but where’s the strategy? 
 
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Without a plan or goal in mind, tactics can read like empty gestures when it comes to your marketing. 

As a digital marketing agency, we consider ourselves strategically tactical, which is a fancy way of saying we employ the right steps according to the right plan. Everything we do, from the tools we use to the individual processes we rely on, is informed by a unifying and transparent strategy. 


Strategy vs. Tactics in Marketing

In marketing, strategy refers to the process of defining your long-term goals and answers the what. Your strategy should provide a general idea of what you want to achieve. It should also include details on available resources and their allocation. 

Your marketing strategy serves as your roadmap and rules of engagement. Knowing what you want to achieve and how top-level resources should be allocated is crucial to developing a sustainable plan. It also really helps to decide what you can’t or shouldn’t do.

If strategy identifies your objectives, then tactics are the steps or actions you need to take in order to reach those goals. Tactics are concrete, short-term efforts that detail: 
  • What resources you’ll need
  • What tools you’ll need
  • Best practices & necessary actions to take
Remember: Your marketing strategy comes first, followed by the tactics you’ll require to meet the objectives outlined in your plan.

Companies who outsource their digital marketing or who lack the in-house talent can easily settle for just getting by. Following hard times, it’s understandable that many have had to be content with simply surviving; but wouldn’t it be great to feel like your digital marketing is helping your business thrive? 

Of course it would! That’s why we’ve laid out the 3 most common pitfalls we see companies stumble into that keep them from achieving real growth through their digital marketing. 

Digital Marketing Pitfalls That Keep You From Thriving

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If you’ve been working on your digital marketing strategy but experience any of the following, it might be time to rethink how you’ve defined “strategy,” and what yours entails.
  • Not seeing expected (or any) results from your efforts
  • High turnover of marketing resources and personnel 
  • You notice a decline in leads, customer retention, etc.

Ready to brave the pit and reach the other side? 
 

Pitfall #1 - Too Many Cooks 

It might seem like a good idea at the time to hire as many people as you think you need—after all, the more the merrier...it takes a village, etc. There is definitely a sort of method to the madness. 
 
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But much like an ever-expanding cast of characters, too many moving parts (especially without a guiding, unifying strategy) congests the process and can make things confusing to say the least. Whether you go through marketing directors one after the other, or your marketing team is constantly losing and gaining people, your marketing will suffer. 

When people stop working for you, they take all of their knowledge with them; and that leaves you to do your best at filling in the gaps and bringing new people up to speed. 
 

The Fix

Stop overthinking it, for starters. Second, don’t overcomplicate your marketing with too many specialists. Some elements are a simple matter to outsource or assign to an expert well-versed in the tactics you want to use, like paid search or blog writing. It’s when you push those specialists into other directions—or when you have no strategy to guide them with—that you risk having too many cooks in the kitchen.


Pitfall #2 - You’re Hiring Dabblers, Not Experts

Don’t get us wrong: some people wear many hats, and they do it well. If you’re going through more digital marketing professionals than you are pop culture references in a blog post, then you might be overdoing it and spreading yourself thin (indirectly through the people you hire). 
 
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You know the phrase, “Jill of all trades, but master of none?” 

That definitely applies here. 

Although someone may be an expert with PPC, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re able to handle other aspects of your digital marketing like social media content calendars or creating whitepapers. Relying on a single person to handle everything when it’s not exactly in their repertoire, well, you kind of get what you pay for. 


The Fix

To find the right fit, you have to know how they will contribute to your digital marketing strategy. If you don’t have a marketing plan then you should address that before hiring someone, because if you’re not sure of the plan, no one you hire will be either! 

On the other hand, you could consult a digital marketing agency (shameless plug #SorryNotSorry) to help you with your digital marketing strategy, and use that to better inform your hiring decisions once you have a clear understanding of your path and objectives.

When you know where you’re going, the steps you need to take become more obvious. You also get to see where you’ve got room to deviate from the path. 
 

Pitfall #3 - Your Marketers Work in Silos

Even the best laid plans can fall apart if your marketing team is disjointed and effectively playing Whisper Down the Lane. A lack of communication between different teams or aspects of your marketing department leaves room for tactical errors and a loss of productivity. 
 

The Fix

Collaboration between all components is key to avoiding over-compartmentalization. Remember the flywheel marketing funnel, and how each part of the company knows how the other impacts the customer experience, and are accounted for within the overall strategy? 

The opposite happens in silos. 

When no one is really talking to each other about the work, they’re not sharing the necessary resources (ie., knowledge) to see that each of the ongoing initiatives or tactics is being carried out according to plan. 

Your marketing efforts should be an ongoing conversation and constantly evolving strategy: even when you have a map, sometimes you have to take detours. 
 
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Pitfall #4 All Aspiration and No Strategy

We said there would be only 3 common pitfalls, so consider this a bonus!

There’s a vast difference between aspiring to increase your following on social media, and developing a strategic plan to make that goal a reality. When in doubt, read through your strategy and answer these questions: 
  • Does your strategy define what your company will do to meet the outlined objectives? 
  • Does your strategy define what it won’t do? 
  • Does the strategy consist of clear and concise choices to be made?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above, then your strategy might not be as strategic as you think; and if it reads more like a wish list than a plan, it’s not going to help you thrive. Flounder, perhaps, but not thrive. 

The Fix

It’s perfectly fine to have grand aspirations for your success—it’s part of what defines the entrepreneurial spirit. However, vision can only accomplish so much without concrete plans and steps to guide or reinforce your goals.
 
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Want your digital marketing to turn heads and make your business thrive? Want the peace of mind knowing your plan is strategic, focused, and inclusive of the tactics you’ll need to see your strategy through to completion? Get in touch with the rag-tag team of experts at Citro and let us be your cheat code to digital marketing success!