Wouldn’t it be nice to know:
- Who is reading your marketing emails?
- Who is going to your website?
- If your marketing message is working?
- And if it’s working for the right people?
In the past, you were left to wonder about all these things. All the ways you might find out were either anecdotal or after-the-fact: delivering insights long after the horses had run out of the barn.
These days, you can definitively know what’s working with your marketing efforts in real-time. And you can make changes in real-time.
That’s the benefit of digital marketing.
Print and display advertising and broadcast — those ads in newspapers, those billboards along the highway, those commercials on TV — still play an essential role. But they don’t give you immediate insights into what’s working (and what’s not), and they don’t empower you to make speed-of-light changes.
It’s digital marketing, and digital alone, that helps you know your audience and their response to your marketing messages.
YES, you must still be creative. Most of us come across between 6,000 and 10,000 marketing messages every day! So, creatively, your message must be a sunbeam that pierces the cloud of other messages. But it must also be backed up by sophisticated digital serving and tracking that helps answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of your audience behavior.
Many existing tools do that, but three that stand out to us include Google Analytics, SharpSpring, and Raven Tools.
Google Analytics helps identify trends and patterns in how visitors engage with a website. It enables data collection, analysis, monitoring, visualization, integration, and other applications. Google Analytics makes it possible to track return on investment for your online marketing, helping you see where visitors came from (and, therefore, where it’s best to park your message), which links your audience clicked, what form was submitted, and more.
SharpSpring calls itself a “revenue growth marketing platform” — and we’re sold on that description. It helps our clients (and us!) generate leads, improve conversions to sales, and drive higher returns on marketing investment. It also acts as a powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), which has been a true lifesaver here. Every December, we would print out (print out!) an endless Excel spreadsheet of contacts dumped out from every platform we used. SharpSpring helped us put an end to that: Now we maintain all our lists there, and sort however we like.
For our clients needing Search Engine Optimization (and isn’t that everyone?), we use Raven Tools. Raven Tools offers key SEO components that search marketers (like us) can use to analyze keywords, track rankings, and (for clients who aren’t on SharpSpring — yet) integrate campaign analytics.
Are there more platforms and tools out there? Sure, about as many as there are stars in the galaxy. And we use many more. But these are some of the ones we swing into action with just about every day. The point is not to focus on the tool but on what you want to know so you can manifest your desired destiny.
Knowledge, as they say, is power.