How to Find Your Way in the Digital Wild West

10 Things to Keep in Mind When Navigating Digital Marketing. Posted on Tuesday, March 10 in Breaking Through the Clutter.

Digital Marketing is still coming into its own in a lot of ways.


And sometimes it’s just a hot mess out there.

I like to call it the Digital Wild West.

So, what should you do?

No matter how the resulting campaign takes shape, regardless of budget size, despite any past experience or lack thereof...

...here are 10 things to help you navigate the ever-shifting terrain of the Digital Wild West.

1. Goals.

Your digital marketing objectives should be intrinsically tied to your end business goals. If you’re looking to grow your business and directly impact short-term revenue, you probably want to think about a leads strategy. If you want to establish your business and increase awareness long-term, a brand building strategy may be the ticket. The end goal directly impacts the direction your digital marketing strategy will take.

2. Insights.

What do you know about your current customer profile? Not just number of customers, but also factors like purchase size, purchase frequency, media habits, etc.? Any shifting trends, like all of a sudden you’ve had a big increase in sales for a previously slow-moving product?

3. Data.

Leverage any and all data available with an open mind, and a willingness to filter for focus. Some data may not be relevant. Some information may be a bit of a smokescreen, only causally related to a trend. Don’t discount data you’ve not given a lot of time to in the past – it might tell you something new today.

4. Strategy.

Make sure you are thinking clearly about the marketing plan and approach, so the strategy truly supports your business objectives, and is able to benefit from insights and data.

5. Efficiency.

Spend your money wisely by going after efficient reach. Luckily digital marketing has a lot to offer in this regard.

6. Reporting.

Don’t just skim over report data by habit. Take a moment and look at it with fresh eyes and no preconceived ideas of what results will be (or should be).

7. Optimization.

Don’t be afraid of changing things if the campaign is not effectively moving you towards your objective. Shifting audience targets, media mix and/or creative even a little can often provide a huge lift.

8. Continuous Improvement.

You optimized your campaign. Don’t stop there. Digital Marketing success requires that you are in it for the long haul. To get the most out of your digital marketing efforts, you want to have a continuous improvement mindset. How can I build on the successes of the last campaign? What did I learn through optimization? Are there new insights or data sets available?

9. Connecting Online to Offline.

Make sure you tie it all together with your offline marketing efforts. Take a look at your traditional marketing and advertising, and how you can apply what you learned from digital. Don’t forget about your person-to-person opportunities (in-store, events, meetings, etc.)

10. Reassess Business Objectives.

Even if an initial marketing strategy is effective you should always reassess what is happening with your business. Are your goals the same now as they were a year ago? You might have started with a brand awareness objective and realize later that you need to shift to a traffic/leads growth strategy.

Jenny Dickman is an Associate Brand Manager at Gannett. Contact Jennifer.dickman@gannett.com for more information. Cathy Colliver is a Brand Manager at Courier-Journal Media. 

Contact Us