Mind The Knowledge Gap

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In my general dalliances with business owners I often find that the senior management team can be somewhat detached from the digital marketing aspects of the business.

Sometimes there are very good reasons for this, and they generally revolve around a lack of time (understandable) or a deep-seated trust in the people that manage it for them (admirable).

Now and again it is simply because they don’t understand it, or know a little bit about it, but it seems to work so no need to dive in and learn more (again, understandable).

I believe we are now at a point in time though where the knowledge gap needs to be bridged by senior managers and it’s time to start lifting the bonnet and poking around a bit more.

Digital is not a bunch of new stuff anymore. Facebook is 13 years old this month…let that sink in for a moment if you didn’t realise that. Email marketing has been a serious communication tool for over 16 years and websites have been something brands and businesses have en-masse for 18 years now.

It is feasible for some business owners that you now employ someone who was born after you launched your very first website!

Not knowing enough about how this ‘stuff’ works is just not cool any more.

Maybe this is the year to increase your knowledge and start asking more questions of your team and suppliers?

A good starting point is to establish a monthly digital marketing report if you don’t have one already. To make yourself a little more unpopular than you might already be you should also ask for a retrospective report to be created for every month in 2016. Well, you need a benchmark to measure 2017 against, don’t you?

Here are a few areas that a useful monthly report should cover:

  • Website visits & unique visitors (how many visits happened and how many individuals visited)
  • Average length of time of website visits (how long do people stay on your site)
  • Average number of pages viewed (how many pages do people look at on your site)
  • Bounce rate (the % of people who land on your website, look at that one page and leave)
  • Top 5 or 10 most popular pages (which pages get the most visitors)
  • Ecommerce Data (if you sell online – how much revenue came through the website)
  • Social Media Audience (how many followers, number of ‘likes’, comments, messages per platform)
  • Email Marketing (if you send them, how many people opened them & clicked a link)

If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, then most of this is available very quickly and can be reported on by date ranges that you choose. If you don’t have Google Analytics, then make that your web person’s first job. Pretty much every email marketing platform gives analytics and reports per email campaign sent. There might be a little bit of manual work to do with social media reporting and it might be difficult to get historical data, but going forward it needs to be measured.

The data is usually all there somewhere within a business but I am surprised how infrequently it gets looked at by senior folk. Data leads to conversations and questions and your marketing will be better and more productive when it gets analysed and discussed.

If you are part of the ‘team’ and not a business owner, but you know you have all this data at your fingertips then now is a good time to step up and start creating these reports. If you know you need more of your time to be ring-fenced for digital marketing activity, then use data to prove your case.

For example, if an email newsletter usually brings in over £1,000 of sales but you never get given the time to write and send them as regularly as you should then present that case…sales and money usually talk.

If you are a senior manager and you don’t know an awful lot about digital marketing and IT, then trust me your team knows that already. You will have proved that to them many times in the past without even realising it when you have made comments in meetings.
Be honest and tell them you have a thirst for knowledge and start climbing up the learning curve one topic at a time. Some new ideas and initiatives might get unlocked and your business could be richer and healthier for it.

If you have any questions about Digital Marketing and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…