Being an internet marketer is a very rewarding and exciting challenge most days, but sometimes the volume of information, and the complexity of marketing online can be like trying to take a sip from a fire hydrant. In the last 10 years we’ve gone from where you had a single “webmaster” for a website, now things are so diverse and complex in the field of internet marketing you have people and entire companies that specialize in doing just one of the main tasks a “webmaster” did in the past, and there’s even sub specialization of people and web service and software companies within that single task. For example just in the field of SEO you now have about a dozen or so branches of SEO of people and companies that offer niche services and software within that specialty. So instead of just Search Marketing we now have people and agencies that do only,
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per click Management
- Local Search
- Reputation Management
- Landing Page Optimization
- Video SEO
- Integrated SEO PPC
- Multilingual SEO
- Social Media Marketing
- Press Release Distribution
- Content Marketing/Content Creation
- Pay for Performance SEO
- Ecommerce SEO
- Link Building
- Mobile Marketing
- SEO web design
- SEO training
- SEO SaaS and software companies
- Click fraud monitoring
- Conversion Enhancement (CRO)
- Content Distribution
- Then for sources of information about marketing their are millions of website, news sites, blogs, books, training courses, certifications, even now college courses etc to help the marketer learn about internet marketing.
- and more
So it’s easy to see how the rapid growth and diversity within online marketing has caused 1000 x more information, tactics, reports, marketing data, sales channels, strategies, tools, services, books, courses etc to be a result and it can be really overwhelming for a marketing manager to deal with it all, keep informed of industry news, execute strategies, coordinate resources etc, it’s easy to get overloaded or distracted from what are the key area you need to be focusing on when you’re overloaded with data and info.
- Focus- It’s important to stay focus and avoid falling into the trap of feeling like you’re not keeping pace, or your missing something. I think the feeling of missing something or not knowing something important happened in the field of marketing can make you anxious, constantly checking your favorite marketing news and blog sites trying to read as much as possible trying to learn every possible method and strategy to hone your craft. Focus has bigger ramifications too, are you a marketing manager, or specialists, is your company focused or trying to be all things marketing, or do you have a synergistic mix of services that works well together, that you can sell and manage?
- Monitor- Yes it’s important to keep abreast in the rapidly changing field of internet marketing, but really 80% of the news is fluff, for example SEO hasn’t really changed much in the last 10 years, you build great content, you get great links and bingo you rank higher, well of course there’s a lot more to it, but really it’s more surprising how little SEO has changed over the years then how it has changed. I would recommend to get on the email list of an authoritative news site and just have them deliver you an email daily, weekly, or monthly with the highlights of what’s happening. And take your min-breaks through the work day and read some blogs and articles, but don’t let 1hr of reading turn into 4 hrs everyday because you’ve become anxious you’re missing something, you’re not, trust me, if it’s something big or important happening there will be not just one or two posts about it, but dozens maybe hundreds over time if it’s a really fundamental change. More information about the same topic rehashed a new way isn’t going to increase the return on your campaign if you’re not actually working on your campaign but reading about it haha
- Evaluate and test- If something new comes across the radar and you have the feeling it could be big then, do a couple marketing tests and measure the results, seek out some best practices case studies etc and try to replicate the results.
- Set expectations- Don’t tell yourself, “I need to know everything about marketing if I’m to be a good marketer”, it’s not realistic to expect to know everything about all of internet marketing, to even try and do so is foolish. Instead, chart a plan for your career or your company where you are clear about what areas of marketing you want to focus on and eventually expand from.
- Measure ROI of activities- Not measuring is a fatal mistake in marketing, if you can’t measure it you can’t evaluate it’s value, or improve it, this can make you feel insecure and frustrated and doubtful and feed into the paranoia of thinking you’re missing some tiny detail, wrong, measuring is a huge deal and is one of the reasons internet marketing can be so efficient compared to offline where it’s harder to measure in the same ways.
- Prioritize- Again, once you are monitoring marketing news efficiently via newsletters, and measuring and testing your various channels and activities it becomes a lot easier to have confidence in what your doing, focus on what matters and gives the best return. Just make sure when testing that you did the test 100% as best as possible to see it’s true potential, just because you tried SEO for a week and it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable method. Get outside help if you need it someone who’s an expert at that particular method or strategy before writing if off.
- Delegate- If you’re managing a team of marketers or vendors etc once your clear on what works, and aren’t feeling so anxious and aren’t wasting precious time reading excessive amounts of marketing white papers and blogs etc, then you need to start building a successful process, and if needed to delegate tasks out to other people to make it happen. Don’t try to do it all yourself, outsource if you need to, if you can, don’t do anything yourself that you can delegate.
- Organize- You want to be as organized as possible in every sense of the word, an efficient well organized campaign where key performance indicators KPI and conversions and sales are monitored and adjusted carefully is a campaign that will be a success most likely. Organize starting with your own mind, then work your way out, to the tools, services, people, methods, processes etc BUT one caveat with organization is that you can organize too much, to the point nothing gets done, or it actually reduces results. The way to avoid excessive organization that causes more work then it solves, is to look at the results, to measure the improvement. Be analytical about everything and leave nothing to chance, measure everything! Be complex enough to get things done efficiently and not more, having more complexity then is required bogs down campaigns and systems. It’s important to properly identify problem areas, pinch points in your campaigns deal with them head on fix them to get things flowing again.
- Workflow- Since marketing is an intangible activity that we can see or touch in most cases, it’s important we template our success and develop a campaign management workflow and process so we can repeat what works and avoid what doesn’t and not have to reinvent the wheel constantly. This will make consistent good results possible, training of new team members much easier, quality control, performance that can be expected. Enough can’t be said about doing things in a systematic way so you can reproduce successful campaign results.
It’s exciting for me to have seen in the last 10 years the internet continue to grow and become a more diverse economy, but for the mere mortal marketer it can be overwhelming at times to deal with all these things. One thing that is becoming apparent is the need for extremely well organized thinking within a marketer’s own mind, their department they work in, the tools they use, the vendors they work with etc. Management I think is going to continue to be a hidden crux for many marketers, they need to think about a lot more things now, and where to focus their efforts for the best return of their time and resources as well as how to manage the overall campaign. A successful marketer not only needs to be well organized, but have a process that leads to actionable steps that will improve, a workflow that makes the campaign run most efficiently can make a big difference in the campaign’s overall success.