A Holistic Marketing Approach Backed by Analytics
Two days ago we discussed a broad definition of marketing analytics; today it will be useful to break down the broad definition in order to look closer at a holistic, systematized analytical marketing approach. By breaking it down into its parts, it will be easier to see how it applies to real world situations so that it can be implemented and used.
Three activities encompass today’s marketing: Listening, Community Building, and Content Creation & Promotion. Wrap all of those up with analytics for optimization, and you have a substantial and functional marketing analytics approach.
We understand by listening. But it must be active listening. It takes concentration and effort to be a good listener and really understand and take in what people tell you; the same is true of marketing listening strategies.
There are many tools and methods available for listening. Social media monitoring allows you to keep up on what people are saying about your brand and industry. Web analytics allow you to understand how people interact with your site. Online surveys (4-Q is one of the better ones) allow you to poll your customers directly. Alerts from sources such as Google Alerts and Backtype allow you to keep tabs on new content that is put up on the web according to keywords.
An important aspect to remember about business and marketing is that they are about human relationships. No matter how many tools, analytics, and online channels that are available to us, these must always be used with the larger perspective that they exist to facilitate real human relationships.
Building a community means networking. It means finding areas of need and helping out where you can. It means responding, engaging, and interacting with other people. It means growing and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships. It means building trust. Taking the time to build a strong community not only has benefits for you, but it also helps everyone as a whole.
Again, there are numerous tools and methods for building a community. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow for high levels of interaction. Forums, blogs, and wiki’s allow you to participate with groups of people online. Business sites such as LinkedIn allow you to collaborate with other professionals. Sites such as meetup.com allow you to find people in your area to meet with in person. Being a genuine and helpful person allows you to build meaningful, real relationships.
Content Creation and Promotion
Your content, in many cases, determines who you are online. It is the substance of your web presence. If you have little content, people probably won’t find you. If you don’t have valuable content, people won’t want to come back once they do find you.
Content includes web pages, blog posts, videos, podcasts, photos, webinars, whitepapers, online polls and questionnaires, tweets, comments, etc. Produce content that is valuable, interesting, or funny to your market, and produce enough of it, and they will find you. Keep producing it, and they will keep coming back for more.
There are numerous ways to prime your content and spread it so that it can be found. These include article and directory submissions, social sharing sites, social media sites, best practices for search engine optimization, advertising, and so forth. Keeping in mind good design and promotional practices is also important in this arena.
This is where the analytics enter the picture. The remarkable thing about all of the above marketing components is that they can be tracked, measured, and improved using analytical methods. By adding the analytics component, you can be sure you are allocating your time and money where it counts. The data analytics gives you the insight you need to fine-tune your marketing program.
The above was meant as an outline to a simple yet robust marketing plan. Throughout the coming days and weeks, the three aspects of marketing will be covered in depth, along with actionable methods of implementing and optimizing them.