The pace at which things change in digital marketing is breakneck. At DPFOC, we maintain a list of areas that we need to research and it only seems to be getting longer by the day as more and more developments take place. in the last few months alone, we have had to get our heads around Twitter’s DIY advertising interface including promoted tweets and accounts, promoted pins on Pinterest, advertising on Instagram, the ongoing challenge of building editorial links, Google’s beyond frustrating policy of no longer providing organic traffic data, the new Google Partner Programme, dynamic product re-marketing into Facebook and there’s way more on our list besides! My job is to work with the division heads to decide where we should focus our research and then once done, assimilate it. Sometimes, we say “well that’s nice to know” but we don’t need to make any updates to policy. More often than not though, policy updates are required. This is why we need such an engaged team as their policies and procedures change almost every week as the landscape changes around us. This pace of change can be overwhelming because as soon as you feel on top of things, there are 10 new developments each of which require your immediate attention. So, for example, we felt under pressure to get a mail out to our clients fast to assure them that we were on top of the new Twitter advertising interface. But then I thought, if we feel overwhelmed, how must the non-professional marketer on the receipt of this email feel! He is being bombarded by us and others to try this, is he aware of that, sign up for a free etc etc. Even small businesses now are very much multi-channel advertisers with budget being spent on search both paid and organic, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email and more! How can DPFOC and the client know what channels should and should not form part of their marketing mix!
So to clear my head, I have come up with what I feel is a useful analogy and it is this. Successful online marketing is like a beautiful orchestra. An orchestra contains a multitude of different instruments and for the collective to sound good, each individual musician must be an expert. The violin player doesn’t need to know how to play the flute or vice versa but the relationship between the two is very much a symbiotic one as if either under-performs, he spoils the music for everyone. I think each of our division heads and their staff are analogous to the individual musicians. It is their job to be masters of their instrument. The PPC guys must get up in the morning thinking about quality scores, the content guys must be constantly coming up with more and more compelling content, the technical SEO guys must consider a site without diligent semantic markup as an insult to the Internet and so on. It is only through constant research, practice and refinement does mastery come and this is what we strive for everyday. However, perhaps the most important part of the orchestra is the conductor. It is his job to coalesce all of these disparate masters into a cohesive piece of beautiful music. If he gets it wrong, the individual masters are not working as a team and so the collective is far less than the sum of the parts. In large organisations, this is the marketing director. He sits at the top of the marketing department ensuring that it is working to its optimum, increasing spend where it is generating a return and eliminating waste. Good marketing directors ensure that the collective is better than the sum of the parts while bad ones do the opposite. However, most smaller companies don’t have a marketing director; they rely on companies like DPFOC to provide the master musicians but also the conductor. So, we recommend to all our clients not only to engage our master musicians (SEO, PPC, Social, etc) but also a conductor in the form of a strategist. The strategist is the number cruncher, the person who calls all the individual experts to account at the end of the month to see if they are increasing or reducing ROI. It is difficult to over-state the importance of this role and we provide this service for a really affordable rate even to the smallest companies. Do not let your orchestra run wild, put a conductor at the top! For more on what our strategists do, check out this page on our website.