Marketing January 16, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 521 Reads share

Digital Marketing & Strategy: Cost Or Investment?

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Digital Marketing is still relatively new, only emerging in the current disruptive “digital age”.  

Digital Marketing and Selective Consumption

The report makes for very interesting reading for C-Suites Executives, Marketers and Business Owners alike. There is a shift taking place in consumer behaviour and digital channels facilitate this behavioural change. Selective Consumption is a term favoured by HubSpot and this is the basis for their in bound marketing philosophy, the problem highlighted by the Marketing Score Report is that the majority of businesses view digital marketing as an escalation in costs and are unwilling to invest in digital marketing.

Selective Consumption is facilitated by the emerging digital platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as people who are online have the power to select what they want to watch or read. This means that the old broadcasting model of advertising is dead and that brands now have to create more value than they gather. Digital Natives can select and consume content only if they deem it interesting or adding value to them or the subject they are researching. As my colleague Niall Devitt says, people do not go online on Facebook or Twitter to buy, they go there to converse and interact with family or friends and they are totally in control, hence selective consumption.

Marketing Score Report  

In his report Roetzer worked with 10 sections that were rated by the participants across 132 factors. These are how the ten finished in importance

  1. Business Cores…………………………………………63%
  2. Marketing Cores………………………………………..56%
  3. Audiences……………………………………………….50%
  4. Marketing Team Strength……………………………..47%
  5. Marketing Technology Utilisation…………………….44%
  6. Marketing Performance………………………………..41%
  7. Social Media Marketing………………………………..39%
  8. Lead Sources…………………………………………..32%
  9. Public Relations…………………………………………29%
  10. Content Marketing…………………………………….25%

The factors were rated from 0 to 10; 0 to 5 were rated as an escalator, 6 to 7 a neutral, 8 to 10 an asset. An asset is a strength that can accelerate marketing success, escalators are weaknesses that require additional resources (costs) to build up and improve. Neutral is self explanatory.

In the first of the 10 sections “business cores” there were 15 factors and they scored in the following way

  1. Vision……………………………………………………..7.8
  2. Product/service quality…………………………………7.7
  3. Customer Service……………………………………….7.4
  4. Competitive advantage…………………………………7.1
  5. Innovation………………………………………………..6.8
  6. Corporate Culture………………………………………6.5
  7. Financial Stability……………………………………….6.5
  8. Tolerance for Risk………………………………………6.3
  9. Internal communications……………………………….6.2
  10. Pricing Strategy………………………………………..6.1
  11. External Communications…………………………….5.7
  12. Sales Staff………………………………………..;……5.6
  13. Marketing Team……………………………………….5.3
  14. Community Involvement………………………………4.8
  15. Market Share…………………………………………..4.3

As you can see the lowest two score here are escalators but number 13, the marketing team is neutral but only just, everything else is seen as either neutral or an asset.

Escalator Section Scores

Consistently throughout the other nine sections, marketing, digital marketing, content marketing, social media are consistently listed as escalators. 

  • Section 2, Marketing Cores businesses are confident of growth but include sales process, brand positioning, customer database, brand awareness, buyer persona profiles and lead database all as escalators.
  • Section 3, Audiences lists competitors, job candidates, media, blogging and analysts as escalators.
  • Section 4, Marketing Team lists, graphic design, SEO, copy writing/publishing, email marketing, social media, data analysis, lead nurturing/management, event planning, coding/programming, paid search management, public relations, video production/editing and mobile strategy as escalators.
  • Section 5, Marketing Technology Utilisation lists all factors as escalators, including CMS, Project Management, SEO, CRM, Social Media Management, Email Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Marketing Automation/Lead Nurturing, Internal social network and call tracking.
  • Section 6, Marketing Performance only revenue growth and profitability rank as neutral, everything else get an escalator rating including, employee retention rates, customer retention rates, referrals, social media engagements, website traffic, social media reach, customer lifetime value, lead to sale conversion rates, subscribers (blog, email, etc), lead volume, inbound links, cost of customer acquisition, content download,
  • Section 7, Social Media Marketing again the entire list of factors rank as escalators including, monitor industry trends/news, share original content, raise industry profile, monitor brand mentions, build customer relationships, connect employees, colleagues and peers, engage influencers, develop personal brands, generate leads, connect with and nurture leads, generate job candidates.

Key Findings

In total there are 132 factors of which only 2% are assets, 82% are in fact escalators, I have not listed the final three sections as you are getting the picture by now. Of the businesses and organisations surveyed 38% had recorded growth of 20% in the previous 12 months. Interestingly the companies that had the highest growth achieved that by leveraging the sections that had some of the heaviest escalator indicators, Marketing Technology, Marketing Performance and Lead Sources.

Businesses founded after 1990 and are more social media savvy, have higher marketing technology utilisation scores and are better at creating and distributing content. The highest growth sections among the post 1990 start-ups are Marketing Technology, Social Media and Content Marketing.

Of the businesses surveyed 44% were in early growth mode and 31% in decline, again the key sections of growth for the early growth businesses are Marketing Technology, Social Media and Marketing Performance. The stats show 100% more return than the declining businesses in the 3 sections.

Lead generation featured very highly with 86% of the participants and again the high performers who rated lead generation as an asset achieved this by using digital marketing,

  • premium content
  • blogging
  • digital ads
  • organic search
  • email marketing
  • social media and website.

Blogging rated an asset by high performers again showed an increased marketing performance metrics in

  • website traffic
  • inbound links
  • lead volume
  • lead-to-sale conversion rates
  • lead quality scores
  • cost of customer acquisition

Conclusion

The Marketing Score Report is an incredible read and should be an eye opener for all who read it. The puzzling thing for me when dealing with customers/prospects is they have not heard of Peter Drucker and his brilliant saying, “Because its purpose is to create a customer, your business has two purposes and two purposes only: Marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation make you money, generate sales, produce profit. Everything else is an expense…”

The large majority of the 300+ participants in this report have not heard of Drucker either as they term marketing as an escalator of cost. Marketing – digital or traditional – should be seen as an asset, an investment. The top 10% of high performers do view digital marketing as an investment.

Selective Consumption drives inbound marketing leads.  Digital marketing when executed correctly creates value for the digital native, the high performing organisations that participated in this survey get that, the ones that view digital marketing as a escalator, don’t, just sayin…….

Thanks to PR 20/20 and Paul Roetzer for The 2014 Marketing Score Report which I have quoted liberally here in this post.

Images: ”Marketing concept: magnifying optical glass with words Digital Marketing on digital background, 3d render / Shutterstock.com

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John Twohig

John Twohig

Co-Founder at the Ahain Group. The first blogger to name the MDEC Model. A social business enthusiast and looking to learn something new every day. Which is not difficult to find online. Keen golfer and Munster Rugby supporter.

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