Maybe you’ve heard the Chinese Proverb…
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”
While the meaning can be applied to nature, and the tangible impact of planting trees, I think it applies to life in general. Most importantly, it applies to business and the adoption of new technology. We all can’t be early adopters, chomping at the bit for every new Apple and Android product roll out. Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to digital marketing can be challenging and all consuming.
Starting digital marketing campaigns can be a lot like planting a tree. The time and effort to tend a tree to full maturity can be sizable. But without trees, there is no shade, we have no wood for fires, and we don’t have any fruit to eat. Maybe you think that’s a stretch, but I ask you this, ‘what did you get from your last marketing effort?’
Unless you are working with a professional, or have one on staff, you probably don’t have the answer to that question. If you used print marketing or other traditional forms, you may not be able to conclude specifically whether your efforts were successful. The only metric to determine success or failure may be prior year sales numbers for that period. Connecting the dots from prior sales numbers as the only metric is tenuous at best.
Starting digital marketing campaigns is similar to tree planting, there are significant benefits beyond growth.
Customer engagement – the shade of our efforts, can’t touch it or capture it, but more of it is a good thing. Increased customer engagement is specific and measurable in Google Analytics. Through increases in the amount of new visitors, time on page, and pages per visit, you are able to measure increased engagement. More engagement leads to more phone calls, contact form submissions, and sales.
Customer advocacy – If you spark a passion and interest for your product/service in your clients, they can now spread their message far and wide using social channels. Much like a forest fire. Good reviews spread quickly and can be tracked. Social comments can also be tracked as well as the size of your constituency.
Increased Revenue – Bearing Fruit, once your trees are mature, you can benefit from them for years. Leveraging your website, social channels, and search ranking profile can lead to more people aware of your business. More clients and more revenue are the fruits of your digital labor.
Perhaps the best reason not mentioned is aesthetics, our fruited planes are sure nice, but a background of majestic forests is unmatched in its natural beauty, this achievement unlocks:
Data for future decision making – Let’s say your campaign is wildly successful. Unlocking the reasons for that success can make future marketing spending much more impactful. If your campaign is unsuccessful, you can avoid making the same mistake next time. Data is key to efficient stewarding of budgetary resources.
It is understandable that with so many options for marketing your business that you try multiple things. The most important thing to remember is Measure, Analyze, and Adjust for any effort in your business. While the best time to get involved in digital marketing was probably shortly after the launch of facebook in 2004, the second best time is now. Facebook has over 1.5 Billion daily user, daily internet usage is even higher.
The sooner you plant your tree, the sooner you’ll bear fruit.