A successful web marketing campaign comes down to three things:
- Knowledge of successful web marketing tactics and strategies
- The skill of the marketers implementing those strategies
- The amount of time available to put that the knowledge and skill to use.
Any one of these without the other is a recipe for a failed campaign. They are all needed, necessary and required–if you don’t mind the redundancy.
Web Marketing Knowledge
Obviously, every successful web marketing campaign starts with knowledge. One must know not only have knowledge of how search engines and social networks work, they must also have the knowledge of what types of things do and don’t work in the world of web marketing. And this includes, by no small measure, how people work.
It takes more than a knowledge of the platforms of which we are manipulating (for lack of a better word) to drive traffic, we must also have knowledge of what is the best enticement to bring that traffic to your site and how best to convince your visitors that your solutions are the best of the options available.
But we also have to have knowledge to read the data in order to improve on the solutions already determined and implemented. That’s a lot of knowledge and why I typically argue the need for a web marketing team over that of solo practitioners. Even if each member of a web marketing team is half as knowledgeable as the best consultant, a team of three has significantly greater knowledge than that consultant, which gives them a tactical advantage.
Web Marketing Skill
But that advantage is only as good as the skill at which it is implemented. It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s quite another to know how to do it. Every four months, we evaluate our team on three things: Knowledge, skill and results. These are all three very different things, and I want our team to understand that knowledge itself won’t get the results. It’s implementing that knowledge effectively that does.
The thing about knowledge is that it’s fairly consistent. Yes, one should always be learning, but in web marketing once you know what to do, you know it. There are things that change, but a remarkable number of things stay the same. If all one needed was knowledge then picking up my book, The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! would make you a world class marketer. But as I point out in the book, you don’t just need to know what to do, you need to know how to do it. And that “how” changes a lot.
Implementing web marketing takes more than following a set of guidelines. As so eloquently put by James Bond in Skyfall, its not pulling the trigger that makes you good at what you do, it’s knowing when not to pull the trigger that does. For the web marketer, it’s not just knowing what to do but knowing what to do when, knowing what to do first, and knowing what not to do here when it’s okay to do it over there. That isn’t knowledge you can get from a book but comes from the development of skills.
Web Marketing Time
Without a sufficient amount of time, the knowledge and skill behind your web marketing campaign is of diminished value. For the most part, when you pay a marketer or agency to oversee your web marketing campaign, you’re paying for their knowledge and skill. That skill translates into a rate which–if not an hourly rate–is based on how much time the marketer thinks they need to do the job you need.
If there is one truth I’ve found out in all my years of web marketing it’s that there is always more to do to improve a site’s ROI. But how much of that “more” that can be done is based entirely on the amount of time available. When we propose services to our clients, we base it on two things: 1) their budget and 2) how aggressive they want to be. And it’s not all that uncommon for those to things to be opposed to each other.
A low budget means a less aggressive campaign. A more significant budget means a more aggressive campaign. It can be tough to give the client the campaign they want without a proposal that charges more than they are able or willing to pay. The only other thing is to reduce the cost while reducing the amount of time that goes into the campaign–which reduces the level of effectiveness of that campaign.
Whether you’re implementing your web marketing campaign yourself or looking to hire a third party, you have to consider each of these three areas. The less knowledge and skill one has the “cheaper” web marketing will be. But in the end, it can cost you a lot more in lost time, mistakes and results. But hiring a big gun while not giving them the time they need to succeed can be just as detrimental.