As an analogy, digital marketing activities are similar to our notions about going to the gym.

Most of us feel the need to go to the gym; other people tell us that going to gym is good for our health and we will lose weight, stay fit and overall achieve wellbeing. However, what tends to happen is that we sign up for a gym membership, jump on the treadmill, and just work out on our own. Very few people actually engage a personal trainer or even maintain a list of factors to measure their progress, apart from the usual weight loss indicator. After a couple of months, more than 50% of people stop going to the gym, or don’t not achieve the results that they are expecting, and hence give up.

The same applies with online marketing. Most businesses today invest in implementing services like SEO, paid advertising, and social media; however, they rarely invest in getting someone to create a proper strategy.

The initial strategy and consulting process is mostly done during the sales process by the Sales Consultant, who simply recommends a product or service offered by the agency.

Similarly, any reporting that is part of the service is generated by automated software or a standard template used across multiple agencies, and very few businesses invest in reporting to get a detailed analysis of their campaigns.

If a business really want to execute a proper digital strategy, they need to spread their investment across the following areas:

A digital marketing strategy session

A digital marketing strategy session with an agency will help you to identify all potential opportunities across various channels of marketing. According to Google, consumers tend to use multiple channels during their online journey. Therefore, it’s really important to identify and map your online acquisition process with the channels used by your core consumers.

Measure the ROI of your marketing on different metrics

Identify the key indicators for your business and request your agency provides a customised report to track the performance. Gone are the days where results are measured on search rankings, you should expect far more detail from your agency.

Plan a complete digital marketing strategy

Ensure that your marketing activities cover multiple channels. A perfect digital plan will include the following stages:

  • Reach (reach your target audience via SEO, social media, paid advertising)
  • Act and convert (conversion rate optimisation, marketing automation, content marketing)
  • Engage (customer experience, social CRM)

Audit

Just how every business needs to have an external audit to review their finances, you need to invest in an external audit by engaging a competing agency to review your current strategy and performance, and ensure that your agency is on the right track.

It is crucial that you align your digital strategy with your business goals and ensure that your digital agency understands how it impacts your bottom line.

If businesses don’t see the value of investing in the above process, then it is only a matter of time until they start pulling out of their online marketing activities. And personally speaking, it is time you stop spending money on digital marketing but instead, invest in it.

Gone are the days, where a single channel of marketing was enough to grow your business online. Consumers are become smarter, more well informed, and are looking at various signals from various online platforms to make an online decision.