After peering into the inner workings of digital marketing operations across various industries over the years, it’s clear to me that one dastardly dilemma is plaguing the workflows and hindering the success of fine upstanding enterprise digital marketing professionals who show up and give their all each and every day across America. The scourge of which I speak, ladies and gentlemen, is the silo-fication of digital marketing platforms and the gatekeepers who either wittingly or unwittingly (oftentimes unwittingly—bless their heart) hinder the success of marketers who want nothing more than to engage, convert, and accurately quantify their results in an analytical fashion worthy of their efforts. It’s a travesty of immeasurable proportions, and here are some ideas on how to turn this thing around.
Analytics for the People
Access to analytics and other data does not require layers of intermediaries who are relegated to passing along cold and lifeless CSV files to earnest digital marketing professionals hoping to tell the tale of promising campaigns converting customers in droves and delighting them all the while as evidenced by favorable bounce rates and ample time spent on site.
Analytics platforms are wondrous cornucopias of discovery and should not be hidden away only to be accessed by a few miserly minions of bureaucracy. Any member of your marketing team should be able to peer into reports and configure them at will to satisfy their curiosity. It’s here where we gain insights we didn’t know we were looking for. It’s here where we can get as close to the minds of our customers as possible without actually speaking to them. Businesses with large marketing teams need to design frameworks by which their people can gain direct access to relevant data when they need it so they can use those insights to deliver their best work.
Set Your Websites Free
Digital marketers everywhere are working with landing pages they had no input in designing and they know they aren’t converting. Their hearts sink ever so slightly every time they have to look at cold and hollow web pages where curiosity goes to die. One of the advantages to marketing online is the flexibility to make sweeping changes to marketing assets on the fly, and yet many marketers in large organizations can’t place tags or tracking pixels on websites so they can do something as fundamental as show ROI on their ad spend. Oftentimes the simplest changes to a website can take months, even years, to enact.
It’s time to rethink organizational structures that tie your team’s hands behind their backs. Consider developing a system that gives teams more control over their respective platforms and access to expertise to help them maintain dynamic and proactive web presences.
Social Media Is Local Media
While national campaigns are an important part of the marketing mix, they can’t be the only component in your social media marketing mix if your customers do business with you in multiple metropolitan areas across the country. Los Angeles isn’t New York, and Oakland isn’t Baltimore. Your local teams with their feet on the ground know the landscape better than anyone. If you’re maintaining regional social media profiles, you need the regional flavor to build authentic relationships with your local audiences. I’m reminded of an astute observation by the one and only Young Jeezy, who once uttered the truest of all truths when he stated, “real recognize real.”
National teams with regional satellite profiles should consider sharing the feeds with local marketing teams and having clear processes and guidelines for which to do so.
One Silo To Rule Them All
And of course, many of the issues described here are because decisions are often made in faraway places by people who have few insights into the local company culture or the culture of the local target audiences they’re trying to reach. While there is good reason for large organizations to maintain overarching marketing consistency, oftentimes they would do well to leverage the hardworking folks who know their respective audience segments better than anyone. While a top-down enterprise digital marketing approach might appear simpler to operate from the top, it often forces those further down the chain to leave a lot of value on the table.
Large organizations need to consider setting broad frameworks from which to operate in while offloading many more decisions and tasks to local teams to build efficiency and resiliency within the organization. Entrepreneurs working on short runways and razor-thin margins know that you either delegate or you die when building a company. Somewhere on the path to the corporate Promised Land that ethos gets lost and bureaucracy sets in. And if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself striving for mediocrity, which I’m fairly certain wasn’t the vision.
Reworking existing frameworks doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul. It can be iterative. But it requires a vision, a plan, and a willingness to be open to input from the team members who help make the whole thing happen.
Rigid frameworks for enterprise digital marketing are likely second, third, and fourth place frameworks for digital marketing. Marketing teams that seek to come out on top will do so by being creative, collaborative, communicative, and flexible; quick to admit mistakes, abandon assumptions, and iterate together. Give your team the knowledge, tools, and, most importantly, the freedom to do just that and marvel at the results.
If you’re interested in having outside input into helping you sort this out, here’s a list of ways we can help.