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3 Questions Executives Should Ask Before Investing in Digital Marketing

 Digital Marketing Questions Executives Should Ask Before Investing In It, Revenue River

Digital marketing has become an increasingly important ingredient within a successful marketing campaign for many businesses today. Whether you’re looking to maintain brand awareness or generate new leads for sales, marketing online has proven to help drive results.

While many marketing executives have quickly adopted digital marketing tactics such as inbound marketing, paid search campaigns and social media, others have been slower to pick them up. For executives just now considering investing more (or any) into digital marketing campaigns though, it needs to be understood that successful campaigns aren’t just “turned on” and that there are multiple factors both inside and outside of their walls that can effect whether or not their investment will generate the results they are looking for.

Below is a list of hard hitting questions that all executives, whether marketing or above, should ask themselves and their surrounding team to ensure that when they answer them, they will know whether or not they’re ready to make the investment into digital marketing that will ultimately lead to success.

Are my marketing and sales departments on the same page and ready to work together?

Marketing’s whole purpose within an organization is to establish a consistent set of messaging and actions that will generate and drive sales activity. With that in mind, if an organization’s sales and marketing departments aren’t willing and able to work together then any investment into marketing will return far below its potential.

If you’re active at all within the digital marketing industry, you’ll know that marketing and sales alignment is a massive issue currently being talked about and for good reason. According to HubSpot’s 2016 State of Inbound report, 82% of organizations with an SLA between their marketing and sales departments had what they believed to be an “effective marketing strategy” while organizations with misalignment between the two departments only found their marketing strategy to be effective 20% of the time.

If you don’t believe that your marketing and sales departments are ready to work together then your investment into digital marketing will fail due to a lack of alignment between lead handoff, attribution tracking and technology integrations.

Am I patient enough to maintain an “investment” mindset of building marketing for long-term gains (vs. a “transactional” mindset of immediate results)?

Digital marketing activity, more so than other business elements, should always be considered an investment and not an expense. These different areas within marketing online from digital branding to content creation, if done correctly, can do more than just drive results in the present but can help to grow the business exponentially in the future if given the right amount of time to flourish.

With a number of different digital marketing strategies requiring differing amounts of time before ROI is seen, it can be easy for impatient leaders to question whether or not their new marketing strategy is going to work. Maintaining an investment mindset can be even tougher for executives out there implementing organic digital strategies like inbound marketing when there are other platforms out there like PPC and social advertising promise instant success at a higher price.

If you can’t maintain an investment mindset throughout a campaign that may start slower than others, you may be more likely to pull the plug too early on a strategy that would ultimately help your organization and could potentially end up in a “pay to play” marketing model requiring larger amounts of your budget for dwindling returns.

Do I fully understand the marketing principles that will be put into place AND/OR do I trust the expertise of the people implementing them?

As the saying goes, “we fear what we do not understand.” As an executive, it is your duty to understand the various elements of the organization under your control. If you do not understand how something works or don’t trust the person in charge of it then how can you know if it or they are driving the desired results?

Digital marketing provides a key challenge for a number of executives unfamiliar with the landscape due to the fact that it differs greatly from its predecessors in traditional marketing and that best practices and successful tactics seemingly change overnight. With such a seemingly overwhelming beast like digital marketing then, it can be easy for executives to avoid digging into things and instead just “pay someone else to deal with it” but this can lead to trust issues, especially when coupled with a lack of ROI within short time frames (as listed above).

If you are unwilling to educate yourself on at least the fundamental principles of whatever digital marketing strategy you’re planning to utilize and/or also unable to put your full trust in the expertise of the team you’ve hired to implement it then you will most likely micromanage your campaign into failure, often steering your activities in the complete opposite direction needed.

Digital marketing is an investment and as such, many organizations and their executives spend the necessary time vetting tactics and providers thoroughly before finally moving forward. This is great, and many times this vetting process helps these organizations find the right solution and provider for them but it shouldn’t be forgotten that before a campaign is started, the same amount of critical review and introspection should be done by the executive team on themselves and their organization to make sure that they’re in the right position and mindset necessary for their new marketing strategy to help them succeed fully.