Reflecting on 2017: 10 lessons to make you a better marketer

The digital race is fast and if you stop for just a moment too long, you can risk getting left behind. As we continue to look for the new, emerging trends that 2018 presents us, it’s easy to forget the lessons we learnt over the last year. So, before January becomes a distant memory, we should dedicate time to reflect on what did or didn’t work over the past 12 months.

We all want to be at the top of our game, but the thirst for knowledge can often leave us missing the simple lessons that have been right under our noses this entire time.

From copywriters to the head of sales, we’ve asked each part of our marketing team for their tips on how to have a marketing cleanse, plan more effectively, break bad habits and utilise your own time better in 2018.

Look beyond ‘Cost Per Acquisition’ in your paid strategy

Paid search can be a business’ most powerful marketing tool, responsible for driving the majority of traffic to site. While keeping a low Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is always one of the main objectives, letting your agency know your profit margin or a product’s lifetime value can help form a more effective strategy.

Simon Facey, Head of Paid Search

Don’t sweat the small stuff - focus on the bigger picture

The world of Digital PR is fast paced and it is easy to overthink quick opportunities for coverage and end up missing out. The fear of saying the wrong thing and attracting negative attention is mainly unfounded, so just throw something together and let’s see if it works!

There is a place for a carefully planned and strategic approach, underpinned by business aims, but digital PR often isn’t it.

Kimberley Homer, Digital PR Strategist

Get involved in the conversation

Many brands only use social media to shout about themselves and don’t listen to the chatter. Listening to what people have to say about your brand provides the most valuable insights into customer mindsets and creates customer loyalty. It’s also the best place to spot emerging trends in your industry, seeing as they are often made popular first on social media.

Stephanie Tabah, Social Media Executive

Allocate your resources

It’s very easy to get stuck trying to tackle everything, all at once, and many fail because no one has the time or is held accountable. If you have limited marketing resources, focus your efforts on one thing and when that's successfully delivering results you can recruit, train or pass over responsibility before moving on to the next thing.

Leah Tillyer, Account Director

Don’t give up on featured snippets.

It may feel like the magical top spot on search results is taken by massive companies with global reach. While the big dogs have taken up some prime real estate on search engines, there’s still plenty of opportunities to be had.

Earning a featured snippet is still done by following some simple steps:

  1. Identify a question that your business is closely tied to
  2. Create content that offers a clear, direct solution to the question
  3. Rinse and repeat

Just write the content naturally and you’ll hit all the necessary keywords without forcing them in every line. You probably won’t earn yourself a snippet right away, but the more answers you provide to search terms that bring visitors to your site, the more authority you’ll build.

Jonathon Aalders, Copywriter

Track everything

Too many businesses either forget, overlook or don’t bother tracking. From the simplest thing like how a user engages with the site, to email campaigns that aren’t correctly identified. There is nothing more frustrating than going in to Google Analytics, seeing a spike in traffic and then having to manually investigate the source. This is compounded the following year when you find yourself struggling to remember where the traffic came from.

Paul Goonoo, Head of Operations

Ask why?

Challenge your team, colleagues and even your boss on why you are doing what you’re doing. What is the purpose of the campaign? What will it achieve? Why are we doing this?
If you can’t answer any of those questions then you should probably head back to the drawing board. You can only measure your results if you have a solid understanding and clear objectives in the first place.

Brian Whigham, Managing Director

Get to know your brand as well as you know your business

To greatly oversimplify things, if your business is what you do, your brand is who you are. This might start with a name and logo, but it shouldn’t end there.

Having a clear, consistent brand across your marketing and beyond helps you to connect with people on more than a functional level. Taking some time to look into how and why your business does what it does is the first step. Putting together some assets to capture this is a crucial second. The output doesn’t have to be a comprehensive set of rules or guidelines, but having something—whatever that is—for you to anchor your brand on is better than nothing.

Daniel Gripton, Head of Content

Get out there!

Go to Networking events and meetups, keep your ear to the ground, meet clients face to face and always make sure you’re listening and learning. Marketing isn’t just about having a plan and although we all love a snazzy spreadsheet, you need to adapt to what’s going on in your industry.

Value your own time.

Marketing is a challenging industry, you wear many different hats and no two days are the same, the best thing you can do is manage your time as effectively as possible.

There’s new technology popping up all over the place to help you work more efficiently, you need to find what works for you. Three good ones to get you started are Wakelet, Passle & Trello (an oldie but a goodie!)

Sarah Toms, Head of Sales

 

Now you’ve heard it from the professionals, it’s time to realign your focus and spend more time doing the things that really make an impact and less time trying to do a little bit of everything. Set your goals (if you haven’t already) and make 2018 a year of digital transformation.

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