We sometimes don’t notice changes, at least not until our results completely crash. In the older digital marketing sub-sectors like building funnels and optimizing landing pages, there are still new changes daily. Essentially what was true twenty years ago is not true today. Even what worked two years ago may change suddenly. Recently I saw a company which was doing great business suddenly crash. Literally the conversions seemed to disappear. They are not clear if it’s competition (i.e. SEO), landing page conversion (i.e. competing landing pages), affiliates, advertising or even price comparison. Regardless of the reason, the sudden crash is followed by gradual decrease in orders. There are more details to this story, see the sections below:
When you see something “broken” because it was working for a long time, don’t let it just sit there and hope for the best. Chances are something that has changed and it will not change back. We tend to think about older internet operations as static, but this is not the case. For example, while email marketing has been steady for years, this has changed. Since social media has become more useful, people want to read shorter messages, long pages and email messages simply are not read. By focusing on shorter messages an even increasing the number of messages (frequency), email can keep up with the changes. This probably also goes for long text landing pages and also connections with social media. Buyer preferences follow general trends in almost everything. Regardless of what you are selling, social media has changed completely the message format and channels. This is certainly true for older product marketing (in a scale of 10 to 15 years). I have seen this recently with a B2C company and previously (last year) in a B2B company. The changes in mobile and social media formats is completely sweeping digital marketing. If you need to refresh or completely redesign your pages for better mobile effectiveness, that can be a big job. Whatever you have produced and you have control over, are the internal factors.
A critical observation: most product owners are not as critical of themselves as the outside world. That is the customers, the search engines, the competitors even the “other third parties” in their industry (affiliates, influencers, rating engines – in mobile shops) are dynamically changing your results all the time. Yet a perspective of: “I am fine, I will just optimize a little and everything will fall back inline” has killed more good companies than anything else. This is the critical internal factor category. You have control over these factors so spend time and effort making it a wining equation.
While what worked the last ten years may look static, the competition does not rest. Actually with older internet elements (techniques, assets, operations) there is work in optimization and updating all the time. The same applies for everything that has to do with eCommerce and content. Just as we have seen massive change with the mobile shift, eCommerce is also shifting some sectors from niche sites to the large platforms (Amazon, eBay, Ali Baba) and the other direction as well. This is also true with digital assets like eBooks, music and movies. Just recently we have seen complete change in video streaming services. With competition from Amazon, Disney and alike. One certainty is the technology and consumer behavior changes all the time. This means keeping a pulse on your business factors and moving quickly to assure continued profitable results.
Take these external changes into account. Test content, style, messages and even channels. Just as YouTube changed marketing ten years ago, and Twitter is changing sector after sector today, you need to keep up with consumer preferences. Mobile social media is still growing. In some B2B sectors like technology it is still growing fast, ignoring these changes is a strategic mistake.
With all the talk about business and technology the people and their abilities is not discussed enough. Technologists speak in technical terms. Business managers speak in marketing and management terms. Middle managers speak in corporate terms. Yet most people do not talk about the inability of writers to write so funnels convert. Technologists don’t speak in terms of tools for integration and effective analytic work. Executives do not speak in terms of motivation and integrity of a team made up of disparate specialties. Everyone does not speak of real results and how energized people become when the works returns great results. Or the effort put in to solve difficult problems. The harmony between different roles which sometimes needs to be managed carefully. These factors are as critical as the actual technical or business effort. Our race towards more business and technology development has somehow left the management of people’s emotions, motivation and energy behind. That said, there is much more to write, read and discuss in the following articles. If you have something to add, please contact me directly. on LinkedIn on Twitter