We begin each marketing engagement by asking a lot of questions about your organization. These questions may sometimes seem unrelated to the immediate task at hand, but we always assure clients that there is, indeed, a method to our madness. But what are we doing? What is the method we’re employing?
Well, we tend to take a consultative approach to marketing, which means that there is strategy “baked in” to each and every campaign we ever develop and manage. The approach underlying everything we do is drawn from some of the concepts of six sigma, which deploys the DMAIC methodology for improving processes. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. But how does that relate to building a new website or handling your marketing mix?
While the steps we use to develop marketing and advertising strategies don’t track entirely with the DMAIC model (and also don’t make an easy-to-remember acronym), it is that model that has served as a guideline for our systematic methodology for seeking continuous improvement.
Perfection is unattainable. And that means every campaign, design, application, etc. can always be improved
Simply put, this phase revolves around defining specific objectives. What do you want to accomplish? What are the problems or challenges that you currently face and need to overcome? What opportunities exist that haven’t yet been exploited? This can go beyond just talking about marketing campaigns, however – it often involves a number of probing questions that help us to better understand your organization so that we truly understand your mission and can help to develop a strategy that takes an enterprise view of the organization.
After determining what you want to accomplish, we’ll start planning with you to actually meet those objectives. This involves implementing or tweaking analytics, determining a marketing mix, developing individual plans for things like organic and paid search marketing, social media, etc., and generally developing the “roadmap” for a successful campaign or collection of campaigns.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Knowing what you want to achieve and making a plan to achieve it are crucial first steps, but without proper execution, everything falls flat. Execution entails proper keyword research, messaging, design, lead capture, and a host of other activities that are monitored on a regular basis. Of course, the details of plan execution will depend on the marketing mix, your particular needs, and a host of other things.
We live in an age of nearly limitless data, all of which can help us make decisions, improve campaigns, reduce costs, and increase revenues. If you’re not measuring, you’re not trying hard enough. So, of course, we make sure to measure everything we do via analytics, including customized dashboards and reporting to meet our clients’ needs.
During this phase, we take a look at all that data we’ve been collecting in the “measure” stage and find out how things are working, where expectations are being met, where surprises (both positive and negative) are cropping up, and generally get a picture of our efforts to date. This analysis is the driver of the improvement stage that we move onto next.
Perfection is unattainable. And that means every campaign, design, application, etc. can always be improved, even if it’s just to keep up with changes in user behavior, changes in design standards, or some obscure improvement suggested by the analytics (the “measure” part). A big part of improving within the context of a marketing campaign is to drive down costs while increasing awareness, leads, or whatever particular action(s) you wish to elicit.
Marketing and advertising campaigns and approaches are a process, not a project. That means they’re never “finished” and, hopefully, that means they’re never finished getting better. “Always better” is essentially our credo when it comes to this “iteration” portion of the our methodology and, more generally, for all of the engagements we take on.