How’s Your Digital Profile?

When’s the last time you Googled yourself? While it may seem vain, it’s also smart, because that’s exactly what other people do before or after they meet you for the first time. If managed well, your digital profile therefore can play an important role in defining your personal brand, promoting corporate agendas, and helping you stand out in a crowded field.

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Six Reasons Why a Digital Marketing Audit Might Be a Good Idea

It’s the second week of January and excitement about the new year seems to have waned. And for good reason, at least for marketing and sales executives, because that means it's time to figure out how to meet aggressive new targets.

As you charge into 2015, here are few reasons to consider working a digital marketing audit into your plans.

1. Your CEO Is Going To Start Asking Questions About Digital Marketing

In November, blue-chip consultancy McKinsey & Company published Five Ways To Get More From Digital Advertising. In it, the author wrote: “In our experience, companies may be leaving as much as 20% to 30% of potential [digital advertising] returns on the table.” This is noteworthy for CMOs for two reasons:

a) While undeniably smart and powerful, McKinsey isn’t known for marketing innovation. So if the firm is talking about digital marketing inefficiencies publicly, the cat is out of the bag. And as a category leader, that means other consulting firms are going to quickly follow suit.

b) When other leading management consulting firms begin promoting the topic, too, the message will eventually make its way to most CEOs. Or worse: members of the board. And this is a daunting thought for any CMO at a Global 5000 company – the stomping ground of management consultancies.

With digital activities accounting for about 25% of overall marketing budgets these days, the possibility of a 20%-30% boost – equal to about $5 million for a $500 million business - is going to get the CEO’s attention.

2. You Don’t Want To Be Playing Catch-Up on This Issue

The last thing you need is someone like me getting called in by the board or CEO to do a digital audit.

While you might find the idea of an audit to be distasteful or an unnecessary distraction – after all, no one ever enjoys an ‘audit’ – it’s preferable to the alternative. When I’m engaged by non-marketing entities (CEO, President, CFO, Procurement) to do an audit, the initiative becomes increasingly complex before it even begins. Getting out ahead of this issue is the only real option for marketing executives.

3. Objectivity Is In Short Supply

It isn’t easy to find a resource that can assess a digital marketing operation in its entirety, with a credible level of objectivity.

  • The big ad agencies have expertise in all of the established digital marketing categories, but they’re not in the consulting business, and only really cater to the Global 1000 with huge budgets.
  • Smaller digital companies number in the thousands, but sell targeted point solutions – think marketing automation tools or programmatic media buying solutions -- with sophisticated and compelling pitches, because they are typically well-funded by venture capital and need to grow fast.
  • Even the most capable senior marketing staff member probably only has expertise in 4 or 5 digital categories, while the entire digital ecosystem consists of about 30 components.

4. If You’re Not Confused, You’re Not Paying Attention

Google makes 500–600 changes in its search algorithm each year, most of which go unannounced. The marketing technology landscape continues to mushroom, and now has 1,876 vendors in 43 categories. Microsoft’s Bing has been slowly but steadily increasing its presence and now accounts for about 30% of all U.S. search engine activity. And internet advertising in the U.S. grew 17% during Q3 2014, registering the “highest quarter on record,” according to the IAB.

On the talent side of the equation, Wired recently reported that 90% of corporations lack digital skills, and Korn-Ferry research found that senior digital professionals will be in the highest demand in the C-suite this year.

5. (Practically) Every Other Group Is Already Doing It

A digital marketing audit might seem like an odd concept at first pass, but the reality is that audits are commonplace in many areas of a corporation.

The most obvious audit is of course of the financial variety, but this is legally required for most large organizations. However, a quick look at Wikipedia shows the many flavors of audits: performance, quality, IT, risk, energy, compensation, etc. The concept is far from new or innovative, though for some reason it isn't pervasive yet in marketing.

6. Your CFO Will Love You For It

The CMO Survey conducted each year by The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University tells us that all marketing expenditures (online + offline) will account for between 7.7% and 17.0% of corporate operating budgets in 2015. And that digital marketing spending will grow at about 10%, while offline advertising will remain flat or shrink.

This makes the digital marketing line item – already sizable at ~25% of the overall marketing budget, and growing quickly – a natural target for CFOs, who loathesizable and growing budget line items. So it shouldn’t take much effort to convince him or her to authorize funds for an audit, and it might even help you curry favor in the process.

Auditing Digital Marketing: Promotion (Part II)

Earlier this month, we began this Auditing Digital Marketing article series by addressing the "infrastructure and applications" area of a digital audit. This week, we'll look at what we call the "promotion" component -- which is comprised of any online tactic that's used to drive website traffic and digital engagement: search, display, social, content, mobile, etc..

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Multichannel Content Marketing Is Your Next Challenge: Here’s How to Overcome It

IF YOU’RE A SENIOR MARKETER, YOU’RE PROBABLY TIRED OF HEARING about anything related to content strategy—multichannel, omnichannel, or otherwise. Chances are good that you may have even been asked about this by a C-level manager—it’s become pervasive. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help ensure your marketing organization is getting the job done.

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Auditing Digital Marketing Performance: Infrastructure & Applications (Part I)

Digital marketing operations are complex, sprawling ecosystems that have grown in Frankenstein-like ways in recent years, as companies have scrambled to keep up with new online advertising opportunities and marketing tactics. One way to make sure the operation doesn't get out-of-control, and is performing optimally, is through an annual audit.

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East Coast Catalyst Named a Digital Strategy 'Market Leader' by Clutch

This week, following interviews with several of our clients, East Coast Catalyst was named a 'market leader' in the Digital Strategy Agency category by Clutch. Click here for the analysis.

As part of the review, selected client interviews are also made available, including one for a 'digital audit for an educational company', and another for a 'rebrand for a software company'. Both interviews can be found on the East Coast Catalyst profile page at Clutch.co.

About Clutch

Clutch is a Washington, DC-based research firm that identifies top services firms that deliver results for their clients. The Clutch methodology is an innovative research process melding the best of traditional B2B research and newer consumer review services. Clutch utilizes a proprietary framework, the Leaders Matrix, which maps firms' focus areas and their ability to deliver on client expectations. To date, Clutch has researched and reviewed 500+ companies spanning 50+ markets. For more information, visit Clutch.co.

VentureBeat Webinar: Enterprise software and the CMO, CTO, CIO — who does what, who gets the cash, & who’s in charge?

In the new enterprise tech stack, who does what, who makes which decisions; and how do the CTO, CIO, and CMO work together to implement corporate strategy?

Join Tim Bourgeois of East Coast Catalyst, Mike Volpe of Hubspot, Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec.com, and John Koetsier of VentureBeat for this webinar by registering here.

Digital Strategy Best Practices: Common Roadblocks & Workarounds

Successful digital strategies are increasingly serving as the common denominator between marketplace winners and losers. The following are common roadblocks to digital strategy advancement we’ve encountered over the years, and ideas for finding ways to work around them.
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"New Kid on K Street: The Internet Association"

“Already among the most powerful and influential companies in the world, several Internet giants have decided to band together to press their agendas in Washington. The big unknown is whether consumers will benefit or should be very afraid. “It’s absolutely not about protecting consumers’ rights,” said Tim Bourgeois, a partner at East Coast Catalyst.”

Read More at ECommerce Times

Source: ECommerce Times

 

B2B Digital Marketing: Planning Tips & Techniques

Digital marketing is appealing to B2B companies — especially the small- and medium-sized (SMB)sector — because of its accessibility, targeting ability, track-ability, and flexibility. When done properly, a B2B website can be an organization’s most effective salesperson — an asset that works 24/7/365, around the globe — and digital marketing can attract valuable prospects into a sales pipeline. But the digital channel is a crowded and noisy place, and B2B marketers’ biggest challenge is standing out in the crowd. This article will help to focus planning efforts and resources.
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It's All in a Name: Digital Optimization, Innovation, Transformation & Disruption

What is the difference between broad digital strategy initiatives referred to as ‘optimization’, ‘innovation’, ‘transformation’, and ‘disruption’? More importantly, is there any reason to care?
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Digital Transformation Best Practices

In a recent commentary about the state of digital transformation among ‘old guard’ corporations, Dion Hinchcliffe of Dachis Group came out swinging with this insightful and challenging question: “Why is it that so many traditional companies with an enormous wealth of assets largely fail to transform them for the digital era?”
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5 'Digital Strategy' Questions Every CEO Should Be Asking

‘What is the company’s digital strategy?’ is a common question at board meetings these days, and one that - until recently - often caught CEOs offguard. A chief executive can quickly assess his organization’s digital state-of-readiness by posing the following five questions to top lieutenants.
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The Comprehensive Website Audit Checklist

Digital strategy assessments and website audits can be complex, time-consuming, invasive and politically-charged undertakings. But they are also absolutely necessary, given the sizable and growing web-related line item on most companies’ operating statements. This user-friendly, one-page website audit checklist can help guide and streamline the process.
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5 Questions to Guide Web Strategy Sessions

Web strategy and digital-related activities are steadily increasing in visibility, importance, and complexity at most organizations. While the digital industry is indeed moving fast and tactics and strategies are becoming more complicated and high-profile, core guiding principles can be tricky to identify. The following five questions were crafted for executive leadership to use to direct web strategy planning sessions.
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Digital Strategy, Moneyball & 5 Questions

During this year’s annual planning exercises, answers to the following five questions — offered up vis-a-vis examples from Michael Lewis’s Moneyball — should provide practical insights into the state of your organization’s digital readiness and web-enablement, and help to facilitate the digital strategy planning process.
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The Case For Establishing a 'Digital Strategy' C-Level Office

With spending on digital-related initiatives and activities accounting for 10% or more of ALL expenses at many companies — and forecast to increase at double-digit rates for the foreseeable future across most industry segments — it’s time for CEOs and boards to give serious consideration to establishing a “Chief Digital Officer” (“CDO”) office or equivalent. The stakes are too high, and the issues too complicated, to leave this domain left managed by an informal, undefined assemblage of mid-level and junior managers across an enterprise.
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