Your digital marketing mix: why you should focus on the bigger picture

All articles | Strategy
Published Dec 14, 2015 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Sometimes, elements of your digital marketing mix don’t turn out the way you planned. And you may think that's trashing your overall campaign.

Whether it's the number of downloads for a new eBook that don't reflect your intense efforts or a video project you had to postpone, life happens.

But there's no need to be despondent. These blips won’t consign your overall marketing efforts to the abyss. Focus instead on the bigger picture.

What do your overall marketing results look like? An upward curve or a downwards spiral? Are the results from that eBook or video project part of a wider trend or an anomaly? 

When you focus on the bigger picture you'll see the true impact of your marketing efforts.

The pixel concept

On the popular Wait But Why website is an article written by Tim Urban titled: "Life is a Picture, But You Live in a Pixel." In it, he posits that the reason many people experience unhappiness is because they view their life as a broad picture – but, day-to-day, they live in only a single pixel of this image - i.e.: today; the present moment. On its own, the pixel lacks the vibrant colours and details of the whole picture. And so, they’re unhappy because their view of life doesn’t match up to their everyday reality.

Urban writes: "So while thousands of Jack’s Todays will, to an outsider from far away, begin to look like a complete picture, Jack spends each moment of his actual reality in one unremarkable Today pixel or another. Jack’s error is brushing off his mundane Wednesday and focusing entirely on the big picture, when in fact the mundane Wednesday is the experience of his actual life."

But what does this have to do with marketing? Well, think about each element of your digital marketing mix as a pixel. While one eBook campaign or another might seem unexceptional, the broader picture may look more impressive. I'm just flipping Urban’s idea on its head. In life, in general, the pixel is more important than the picture; in marketing, it’s the other way around.

How to look at the bigger picture

Let’s revisit that eBook. Say just one person downloaded it in the month after it was first published. It’s a disheartening statistic. So step back.

Ask yourself: did you target the right audience? Was your offer compelling? Did you promote your content? If your previous eBook campaigns have done well, did you do something different this time? Or maybe the issue is that you didn't do anything different at all and so weren't able to pique your audience's interest. 

By drilling down into your results this way you can identify the source of the problem and find ways to resolve it.

Liz Hersh, the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, writes: "Running one campaign isn’t going to give you the insight you need to build a successful, long-term marketing strategy. It will take time, and you’ll probably have a few flops along the way."

It’s good practice to be continuously tracking the results of all your marketing efforts. That way, you have a much better idea of what's really going on across your the digital marketing mix. So, if you haven't already, it's worth investing in a marketing automation solution

Some metrics to consider include:

  • Visits - how many people come to you site on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
  • Contacts - how many new leads have you acquired?
  • Customers - how many new customers have you gained?
  • Blog views - how many people are reading your posts?
  • Landing page views - how many people are coming to your landing pages?

If you see problematic statistics across the board, it's time to take action. Whether you're focusing on the wrong buyer personas or aren't creating valuable content, something is wrong. So invest some time into making the right change.

But, if things are looking fairly healthy overall and it's just one campaign (or perhaps a couple of campaigns over time) that has thrown you off learn from it - and move on. Today's pixel is grey but the picture it helps to make up is bright. 

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Published by Jeremy Knight December 14, 2015
Jeremy Knight