4 Things You Wouldn’t Do Offline, So Don’t Dare Do Them Online

Ben Bradley
Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

The digital marketing world is complex and ever changing. It’s so complex that in a recent Adobe Digital Study, 79% of marketers say marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than it has in the previous 50 years. With such a complex digital marketing environment I wanted to help marketers level-set through by providing 4 digital best practices with some very real analogies coming from our offline world:

Online Best Practice #1: You wouldn’t go into battle without air cover

You shouldn’t develop a demand generation plan without a branding strategy layered in.  Branding is the core of any marketing effort. It can be considered the air cover to the demand generation battle. Branding is what users know of you and the perception of your company values, culture, ethic, etc.

Brand value and perception increases the likelihood to consider and purchase. I have seen branding efforts increase product recommendation intent by as much as 33% or more. Couple your branding efforts with your demand generation tactics and you have a war machine ready to conquer.

Online Best Practice #2: You wouldn’t buy a Toyota and expect a Rolls Royce

online best practice 1: rolls royce qualityA Rolls Royce takes 6 months to build, a Toyota takes 13 hours. If you want to get the quality of craftsmanship that a Rolls Royce has, you need to put in time. Today’s digital B2B Technology marketing is about multiple touch points at every stage of the buy cycle.  A strategy of Influence, branding, demand generation, nurturing, scoring, enabling sales with intelligence, this is the how you get the Rolls Royce of digital.  This takes time, dedication, testing and optimization.

Don’t expect to get Rolls Royce amenities from a Toyota like effort; don’t expect Toyota like value from a Rolls Royce. We might not all have Rolls Royce level marketing budgets, but we do need to have realistic expectations and KPIs to base our success on.

Online Best Practice #3: You wouldn’t build a home without blueprints

Builders use blueprints as the step by step directions to construct a building that is strong and passes inspections. Marketers need to have blueprints for outlining the tactics they will use to execute against their strategy.

Many marketers fall into a rhythm of executing on tactics without questioning where the tactics fall against the strategy. It’s the “we have always done it this way” mindset. Move from this mindset to understand better what strategy is driving each tactic, so you can avoid repeating potential marketing failures.

For example – if you are running demand generation programs, what is the strategy that supports those? Are you looking to develop the channel, build reputability, enter a new market, launch a product, etc. Understanding these can help you better test new tactics.

Map your tactics back to the strategy, to create a blueprint for marketing success.

Online Best Practice #4: You wouldn’t close the corner store 3 out of 7 days a week

There is a reason most successful retail storefronts are open 7 days a week. Buyer’s expectations have changed. Gone are the days of being closed on Sundays and gone are the days of giving your marketing and sales efforts a summer vacation. The same buyer expectation of always being open applies to the online world. Don’t conduct online efforts with a “campaign” mindset. Treat your digital effort like a Walgreens and be available 24/7, 365. As digital marketers we need to maintain an “always on” strategy.

I would love to hear from you if you have other analogies or advice to share. Feel free to leave a comment or or you can connect with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+.

B2B Marketing best practices, marketing measurement, marketing strategy, marketing tactics, questionable marketing tactics, Testing

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