Efficiency and Pragmatism in Digital Marketing

A wise person probably once said “there is no direct connection between the business outcomes of your digital marketing activities and the time you spend on them”. I’m not actually sure if anyone’s actually said that sentence verbatim before but I believe it to be true.

It’s a Microeconomic Issue

I think it’s useful too look at digital marketing through the lens of microeconomics. It’s inarguable that time is a scarce resouce in the digital marketing space, and acknowledging it as such is a great way to begin analysing the efficiency of your current marketing activities and deciding how to optimise the time you have available.

Y’all already know I’m leaning into the law of diminishing returns. The best way to optimise the return on your time investment is to look at the breakpoints where your investing time in different activities will provide greater returns.

The hard part is dealing with the complexity of reality. It’s difficult to project the outcomes of your work when you live at the mercy of newsfeed and ad delivery algorithms. In light of the incentive for social media platforms to over-report data to incentivize further use of their platforms (looking at you Facebook), I think the most pragmatic approach - especially when working within the scope of small businesses and advertising budgets - is to be curatorial with the content you publish.

The Brand is a Museum

When you treat the online facade of your brand as a museum collection to be curated, you can present a professional image with a very clear message that you fully control. I don’t want to ascribe this approach as a one-stop-solution for all brands, but I think it’s worthwhile to keep in mind when managing an online presence in 2020.

I don’t believe in chasing numbers to put in spreadsheets. I’m always sceptical of the accuracy of data provided by social media platforms, and I believe there is a general misunderstanding in the digital marketing space of how best to use social media data to improve business outcomes.

My belief in the curatorial approach comes from my study and work science and statistics coupled with my long-term experience working in digital marketing. In my experience, I’ve seen the production and management of curated content translate to far more positive business outcomes than a spit fire approach that may result in slightly better social media stats, but does lead to the same business outcomes - and it leaves the digital facade of the brand far messier.

It’s impossible to test on a meaningful scale, but I believe proper management of a brand’s digital facade can have huge positive impacts on business outcomes, public perception, and long-term customer/client retention.

They Told Me Content is King

Unlike a museum curator, a digital brand manager actually has a hand in what they hang on the walls. Producing and publishing consistent, relevant, high quality content is a formula for success in digital brand management.

The “content is king” chant is an oversimplification, and the ubiquity of the saying bothers me. It’s led to common practices for so many agencies and teams to focus on producing and publishing content without care for any the fine details that let content shine and do great work for your brand.

I believe having experience that spans both digital brand management and content production provides a broader context to both principles, and ultimately allows people working on either task to facilitate better business outcomes for a brand.

Final Thoughts in a Take-Home Bag

There’s countless factors that contribute to effective digital marketing and brand management. Having experience with every part of the digital marketing process provides important context that leads to better business outcomes, and approaching the puzzle of digital marketing from many different perspectives is always worthwhile.