BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DISCONNECT:

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1 BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DISCONNECT: HOW OUTSOURCING DIGITAL MARKETING CREATES A UNIFIED MARKETING STRATEGY In today s fragmented digital landscape, marketing executives must bridge the gap between instant, multi-channel communication and traditional marketing. Thanks to diversified channel preferences and instant communication, customers are rapidly changing their behaviors and brand expectations. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, lead generation and social media are must-do marketing tactics for big corporations and small businesses alike. Two out of every three businesses spend more than one-quarter of their budget on digital marketing and this figure is expected to grow significantly over the next five years (Accenture). U.S. year-on-year Q1 PPC expenditures rose 24% from 2012 to 2013 (Kenshoo Global Search Advertising Trends). Social media marketing expenditures are predicted to more than double in the next five years (Forbes/CMO Survey). In contrast, traditional advertising expenditures are plummeting decreasing by 7.9% over the last three years. Traditional advertising expenditures are expected to fall another 2.7% this year (Forbes/CMO Survey). THERE S A GOOD REASON WHY TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING EXPENDITURES ARE FALLING AND DIGITAL MARKETING IS ON THE RISE. According to Optify s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, when done correctly, digital marketing works: u Organic search (SEO) is the #1 driver of traffic to B2B Sites (41%) followed closely by direct (branded) search (40%) u Branded search generates the highest engagement levels for website visits; 3.81 pageviews per visit u generates the highest conversion rates (2.89%) for B2B websites; that s nearly double the average monthly conversion rate (1.6%) Despite the dramatic growth in SEO, PPC, marketing and social marketing, a recent Accenture survey found that the majority of marketing executives are not confident that they understand how to effectively integrate these different strategies. As distribution channels multiply, marketing executives are struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing digital landscape. Nearly 2 out of 3 marketing executives say they are unprepared to navigate the digital marketplace. The result: more companies are spending big dollars on disparate digital marketing strategies without a unified plan for SEO, PPC, web design, marketing and social media. Forrester estimates that interactive marketing expenditures will top $55 billion next year (Forrester). But without an effective strategy in place, marketing executives are essentially throwing money at the problem and hoping something works. It s time for a new approach.

2 UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL DISCONNECT: MORE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS EQUAL MORE CHAOS From PPC and SEO to lead generation and web design, no single person can be an expert on all things digital. The fragmentation of the digital marketing landscape requires greater expertise across more distribution channels leading to more chaos and less confidence: 4 out of 10 marketers say they do not have the right people, tools and resources to meet their marketing objectives (Accenture). 2 out of 3 marketers know that social media is important, but less than half feel confident with their strategy (Accenture). 7 out of 10 marketers expect marketing to fundamentally change in the next five years (Accenture). Today s customer has higher expectations for brands and a smaller wallet share for businesses. For online success, marketers must deliver seamless, relevant customer experiences across all digital touch points doing this all day, every day. The biggest barrier to digital marketing success is ineffective business practices. Attempting to be everything to everyone without adequate knowledge and resources will not succeed. As channels multiply, marketing executives struggle to maximize ROI. From paid search to marketing, the majority of companies continue to handle these critical marketing practices in-house, despite lacking the resources to do so effectively. The result: disjointed attempts that waste advertising dollars and company time, fail to connect with customers, and ultimately undermine a business s brand. SOLVING THE DIGITAL DISCONNECT: HOW PARTNERING WITH A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY CHANGES EVERYTHING Cross-platform and cross-structural digital orientation is critical to achieving success for virtually every marketing strategy. However, even as marketing executives acknowledge the need for effective digital marketing strategies, they fail to implement effective strategies due to talent and resource gaps. Marketing executives recognize that their performance is anything but cutting edge. But with no clear internal or external strategic leader, marketing executives default to ineffective processes. Digital marketing agencies can help.

3 Outsourcing digital marketing is a true game changer. From creating a coherent multi-channel strategy to managing day-to-day minutia, tapping the expertise of digital marketing agencies creates new opportunities for marketing executives. KEY BENEFITS FOR OUTSOURCING DIGITAL MARKETING INCLUDE: u Don t sweat the small stuff. From writing weekly blogs to tracking branded keywords, digital media management can quickly become a time-consuming black hole. Delegating the small stuff to someone else lets marketing executives focus on big picture brand management and holistic strategy alignment. This maximizes the marketing team s natural talents and expertise, and minimizes wasted time, dollars and resources. v Close the expertise gap. Marketing executives are increasingly discovering that their skillsets and expertise do not match the current digital marketplace, creating a disconnect between marketing needs and capabilities. Outsourcing digital marketing makes it possible for marketing exeutives to position themselves as internal experts while a digital agency makes sure that they are up to speed on the latest digital marketing trends. w Stop guessing what works. Digital agencies not only measure ROI, but also use these metrics to identify new opportunities for online success. Digital agency analytics track content interactivity and visitor flow, bringing a greater depth of understanding to what digital platforms generate the most web traffic, how this traffic interacts with a business s website, and the impact of paid versus organic marketing on conversion rates. x Stay ahead of the trends. From the latest Google algorithm update to SoMoLo (social-local-mobile marketing), digital agencies are on the cutting edge of social media trends. Partnering with a digital agency provides businesses with access to an entire team of experts in SEO, PPC and social media strategy. They monitor digital trends so marketing executives don t have to. y Be consistent. Solopreneurs, small businesses and executives at major corporations have limited time to devote to time consuming activities like writing company blog posts. However, consistency is key digital marketing, especially when it comes to establishing a company as an industry thought leader. A multitude of channels, tools and campaigns can easily overwhelm marketing departments, leading to sporadic online engagement. A digital agency will track content marketing across different platforms, ensuring consistent engagement between consumers and businesses. More than half of all companies are transforming their organizational structure to meet their marketing objectives building new skills internally and forming strategic alignments with the right external partners. This change in marketing strategy correlates with an increase in sales and performance satisfaction: u Businesses that have begun transforming their operational model also have the highest sales growth. u Marketing executives are generally more satisfied when external partners manage digital marketing.

4 BE LEAN: DIGITAL MARKETING OUTSOURCING IS KEY FOR B2B AND B2C SUCCESS Why is digital marketing outsourcing such a game changer for businesses? The traditional business model holds businesses back from innovation, argues Eric Reis in The Lean Startup. Experimentation can be hard for teams within companies; the same is true for traditional marketing execs within large businesses. Additionally, from a time and resource perspective, marketing execs simply do not have the bandwidth to test each part of a digital marketing strategy like an agency does. Nine out of 10 new businesses fail. According to the Lean Startup, the companies that fail are scaling prematurely, building on invalid assumptions, lacking a true understand of their customers and marketplace, and are uanble change their business model at scale. They run out of time and money before discovering a business model that works. The same is true for failed digital marketing strategies. Businesses that fail to outsource their digital marketing continue to repeat the same mistakes, ultimately running out of time and money. These businesses lack the expertise and resources to get it right. Most significantly, they are unable to learn or pivot from these mistakes in order to reduce waste and increase efficiency before running out of time and money. Outsourcing helps marketing departments be leaner and more effective bridging the digital disconnect with critical skills and expertise. There s no need to hire a brand new team of people or retrain existing employees. Partnering with a digital agency solves these problems by maximizing current resources. Digital marketing the lean startup way focuses on customer discovery and validation through effective outreach strategies. External agencies are not only able to innovate, they are also able to pivot a company away from marketing mistakes before it s too late. MAXIMIZING DIGITAL AGENCY PARTNERSHIP: HOW TO POSITION BUSINESSES FOR SUCCESS Simply hiring an external agency to manage digital strategy is not a complete solution and won t save a company from marketing failure. IN ORDER FOR THIS PARTNERSHIP TO BE EFFECTIVE, MARKETING EXECUTIVES, THE DIGITAL AGENCY AND ALL STAKEHOLDERS MUST BE ON THE SAME PAGE. FOR MARKETING EXECS, THIS INCLUDES: u Knowing your responsibilities as a client. A company s voice must come from within. While a digital agency can broadcast this voice, the voice itself must be shaped by the marketing executive. Before any digital marketing begins, gather the information and resources necessary for the partner agency to fully understand your brand. For example, if a company will be using a ghostwriter, create a file with all current marketing material, blog posts and social media posts to provide the writer with examples of the desired tone. These resources help marketing executives delegate their outreach efforts while maintaining brand authenticity.

5 v Being honest about your needs. Perform a personal audit and give the digital agency as much information as possible. For example, if your business is currently very active with AdWords campaigns but is failing to see an increase in conversion rates, be clear about your concerns regarding PPC and ROI. The same goes for SEO, marketing and social media. Tell the agency what your business has tried in the past, what has worked (or hasn t), and what your concerns are for future performance. w Managing expectations. SEO, PPC, social media and even a website redesign are all marketing strategies that require initial investments for success. Big changes won t happen overnight. Marketing executives must not only manage their own expectations, but also their team s expectations. The entire marketing department and company leadership must be on board with outsourcing digital strategy and recognize that part of being fully invested in this approach is understanding that results will not be instantaneous. x Establishing benchmarks and brand monitoring. Huge results may not happen overnight, but establishing performance benchmarks is still important for measuring ROI. Be engaged and review campaign material; provide regular feedback about your brand s voice and marketing direction. As part of your ROI reports, be sure your digital agency is also monitoring your business s brand, including keywords and name usage. For example, tracking your brand on Twitter allows a digital agency to immediately provide customer service feedback when a user tweets a complaint or compliment about your brand. DIGITAL MARKETING OUTSOURCING TAKING THE NEXT STEPS Traditional marketing is dead. Today s consumers are in control. Increased customer expectations and diversified channel preferences have fundamentally changed the landscape of traditional marketing. Marketers must improve efficiency, agility and responsiveness to retain current customers and acquire new leads. Effective digital marketing strategies are critical to breaking through information overload and connecting with consumers. The stakes have never been higher. Facing increasing complexity, marketing executives must transform their operating model and strategically partner with agencies to drive digital marketing campaigns. External agency partnerships are the best way to overcome talent and resource gaps facing marketing executives. WAKEFLY CAN HELP YOU TAKE THE NEXT STEPS TO BETTER YOUR BUSINESS. GET IN TOUCH AND WE LL GET YOU STARTED. CALL OR VISIT WAKEFLY.COM.

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