10 reasons digital marketing still has a long way to go

I was just reviewing my notes this year from client meetings and despite the emphasis on digital marketing even some of the best known brands have a long way to go before they can truly become great digital marketers.  Here are some of the challenges that I have seen during this year..

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1ne: Perception that digital marketing is less expensive than off-line marketing – If you’re going to build a great online digital experience you need to invest dollars into critical components like research and usability studies.  Cut corners or budget limitations can really lead to a lousy online brand experience and effect critical ROI measures.

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2wo: Organizational politics and structures can limit innovation in digital marketing – A lot of my time was spent selling digital strategies to key organizational influencers.  I actually love the challenge of doing this but I also found that a lot of people were not digital marketing savvy and that I had to start with Web 1.0 and bring them into today’s marketing environment online.

3hree: “Experts” have sold some brands on social media, hook, line and sinker – When a client tells me they need a social media strategy my first question is “why?”.  They really believe that social media is an essential part of their digital marketing but as the recent news from Facebook shows organic social media’s reach is waining.  You need to have a social media presence but investment needs to be tempered with realistic expectations.

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4our: Really good digital marketing talent is lacking – You don’t need a web producer, you need someone who has a great consumer marketing background coupled with a keen understanding of how consumers use the web.

5ive: Too many brands are spending too much money on paid search – Organic search has become more important but still brands spend a lot of money on paid search without measuring things like cost per sale, cost per time on site, cost per action.

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6ix: Too much data; too little actionable insights – Anyone can prepare a deck of your web analytic numbers but finding people who can take these numbers and turn them into actionable insights and then test and measure these insights is lacking.

7even: Marketers budgets are being scrutinized like never before – If you work at an agency or are a consultant you know that you have had to make that call about unpaid or late invoices.  It’s not a good way to do business.

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8ight: Want to better understand brand teams and the challenges they face ? Talk to middle managers.  They know why something works and why it won’t work.

9ine: TV still rules to many marketers for personal career reasons.

1oen: Not spending time/money to optimize digital marketing.