How tech leaders can fully embrace digital marketing in 2020

Cost-effective, trackable, scalable: digital marketing is one of your best bets when it comes to growing a business. The average American spends 24 hours online every single week; that’s more than double the time they spent online twenty years ago. As internet use skyrockets, so do opportunities to reach the people who matter: your clientele.

As a tech leader, you need to push your company to seek out user engagement across the full online communications array: online search engines, social media, email and, of course, websites. Great digital marketing strategies track user engagement and use a data-driven approach to improve the success of uptake. For any CTO, the key metric is ROI. If there’s one thing tech leaders need to keep a close eye on, it’s conversion rate: the percentage of people that make purchases on the basis of marketing activity. UENI was founded in response to the growth of online search as one of the most important parts of the marketing ecology. While 86% of consumers search online for brands and products before making a purchase, surprisingly few businesses have a solid online presence. I’ve spent the past five years working with entrepreneurs from a range of backgrounds to help them embrace the power and possibilities of digital marketing. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Max out on MarTech

Maxing out your digital marketing stack is the first step towards a high-growth strategy. For leaders of tech companies big and small, Google’s suite of online tools (Analytics, Ads, Tag Manager) is essential for gaining an overview of web traffic, analysing keywords and tracking search marketing ROI. Social media advertising is also a crucial part of the digital marketing mix, with Facebook Ads offering powerful targeting capabilities. Finally, you’ll need an entry-level email marketing system and a basic content management system (CMS) such as WordPress.

Larger companies rely on bigger MarTech stacks centred on an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) database. They’ll need the increased capacity to track your past and present communications with customers across all channels, as this can help you measure engagement. At scale, another must is mass email marketing software that can target hundreds of thousands of addresses.

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For any business, it’s good to explore other software and applications which could help to maximize communications. Scheduling apps for social media can help you pick the optimal time for your marketing activity. The goal here is to consistently diversify MarTech without disturbing solid foundations.

Move with the times

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about digital marketing, it’s that it moves fast. Tech leaders have to find a way of keeping up with the rate of change or risk becoming irrelevant. Keeping

on top of current trends helps you assess what you’re doing well and what you could do better.

One good benchmark is what other competitors in a space are doing. You can use tools like SEMrush to find out which search terms they’re targeting. Don’t forget to listen to what the data tells you; if customers are reacting well to an advert, or you’re getting a lot of sales via Facebook Ads, use that information to shape future marketing campaigns.

As your business grows, follow digital marketing thought-leaders and attend industry conferences to position yourself at the cutting edge. It’s important to always keep an open mind towards new digital marketing methods. Being prepared to be proved wrong means you might just upset conventional wisdom.

Be laser-precise with your targeting

While digital marketing’s been a game-changer, its cornerstone is much the same as ever: finding and reaching your target audience with the utmost precision. This has never been easier than in the digital age. Advanced segmentation options for email and social media marketing allow you to be highly selective with who sees your messaging.

A solid SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy will allow you to tap into your ideal consumer segment by using keywords that work. Identifying the terms your ideal customers are using to search for similar services and feeding these back in your content will help you draw down well-qualified leads and push up your conversion rate.

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It takes time to develop accurate customer profiles and implement the digital targeting to reach and convert them. Be selective with who you target; the worst thing you can do is lose someone’s interest by bombarding them with emails and adverts for products they’re not interested in.

Embrace trial and error

Trial and error is a crucial part of digital marketing. Try out different messages, reach out to new audiences, trial different pricing incentives and experiment with different channels to find the right combination of variables. I’m a big fan of A/B testing, where you use the same basic marketing message with one different variable: e.g. same copy, same product, different promotion. You can learn a lot from how your customers react to small differences. Two similar marketing posts could end up producing very different conversion rates.

One of my favourite business axioms is be prepared to fail but fail fast. Tech leaders won’t succeed if we’re not willing to take the occasional risk. Equally, we need to be able to accept the consequences of these risks to get ourselves quickly back on track when things aren’t going well. This is as true of digital marketing as any other area of business.

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Set clear, achievable targets

As the tech leader of a business, you won’t necessarily be dealing with the ins and outs of day-to-day digital marketing, but it’s still important to maintain a strong overview of what’s going on in your business. Set clear and realistic digital marketing targets to help your team drive the growth you need.

Good leaders delegate to the best people for the job. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a micromanager; trust your team to get things right but always leave your office door open for important queries. Above all, know how to motivate your marketers; carrots are more effective than sticks.

Measure, measure, measure

UENI’s success has come from our focus on obtaining empirical digital data and driving this back into our online marketing activity. By keeping on top of the latest trends, investing in our MarTech mix, refining our targeting and setting realistic but ambitious goals, we’ve been able to achieve hyper-growth in a short space of time.

Written by Christine Telyan, co-founder of UENI

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