OK. I’m going to tell you something that you may find surprising: Digital Marketing is Complicated. [Insert sarcastic look here]
Whether you are in charge of marketing a specific product or brand or your entire organization, digital marketing has become so much more than building and managing a website.
When I started building websites in 1994, there was no such thing natural search optimization, paid search, mobile web, or social media (we just called them “forums”). Most digital marketing was purely an extension of traditional media; and “integrated marketing” meant making sure your website had the same look and feel as your print ad.
The rapid growth and evolution of digital marketing has caused tactical segmentation that is starting to cause more headaches for a marketer than it probably should.
I was speaking with a digital brand manager for a large CPG firm. For her annual programs, she has needed to manage eleven tactic vendors – not including her Interactive Agency of Record or Public Relations Agency. If you want a job that is nothing but answering e-mail and voicemail and processing vendor invoices, then that’s the job for you.
One of the biggest problems with disparate vendors is you can end up having to fight to make sure that your message is consistent and clear, all the while fending off the vendors who want more money to execute their “most important” tactic.
One way I help clients understand the complexities is through the Capabilities Map (or affectionately, the “Flower Bed”).
Each dot or “pistil” represents a digital marketing tactic that requires some level of management. The lines or “petals” coming out of each dot are either strategies or types of sub-tactics that requirement some level of consideration. Some petals require simple yes/no decisions (e.g. are you going to have a blog or not?) while others may require different strategies altogether (e.g. inbound and outbound e-mails often need different technology and governance).
At the center of Capabilities Map are Engagement Entry Points or EPPs. EPPs are the control points for capturing Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Websites and Mobile have emerged as the leading digital EPPs. However, avenues such as the multiple Interactive Television models are showing promise. EPPs can also be offline such as driving customers to a Brick and Mortar store or live event.
Customer Data won’t be address here – that’s another article.