digital marketing performance 2014

The Key to Digital Marketing Performance

A few weeks ago we attended the last ever Entrepreneurs Convention in Birmingham. As well as meeting with dozens of fabulous small business owners (among them a funeral planner and a nudist hotelier, there’s quite a range!) we had the opportunity to hear from a true living legend. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple delivered a fantastic speech. The speech was packed with great anecdotes and advice but the Woz mantra which stuck out most for us was this:

“I learned not to worry so much about the outcome, but to concentrate on the step I was on and to try and do it as perfectly as I could when I was doing it”

This mantra is key when you’re considering digital marketing performance. You need to focus intensely on every step and not become obsessed by the factors which are beyond your control. Yes, you will have to react to outside pressure as algorithms change, customers move around and digital marketing thinking evolves, but you will perform much better if you do not obsess about the factors which are outside your control. As Ben Hunt-Davis says in Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?

“The trouble about outcome goals is that they might be outside our control. For example the water and weather conditions had an impact on how fast the crew could row”

Measuring digital marketing performance

His solution to this is another layer of goals which he describes as ‘the control layer’. This involves translating vague statements which could be outside your control (engage more with Twitter followers) into goals which lie completely within your control (have five conversations with Twitter followers every day) known as the control layer. It’s so important that it’s one of the core principles of the Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? programme.  There are two key advantages to this. Firstly you and you alone will be responsible for your success or failure, there are no excuses and secondly you will know immediately whether you have succeeded or failed.
This can often involve difficult decisions. Do you have the skills you need to achieve what you need to? Is it the best use of your time or is it better to hire someone else with those skills? Are there steps you need to take before you can accomplish the goal? It may be necessary for you to learn new skills, find the resources you need and, if this is the case, it’s better to learn these before starting a new project than ploughing on regardless and making mistakes.
This way of thinking is vital when you’re setting your digital marketing performance goals. Vague goals won’t help you at all as you’ll have too many excuses for not meeting them and, just as importantly, you won’t be able to celebrate them when you achieve them. Understanding what you want to achieve is key to good digital marketing performance.
Understanding your goals and how you will achieve them is as important to good digital marketing performance as any bunch of metrics ever could. Make sure your goals are achievable and can be influenced only by you and you’ll be well on your way to digital marketing success.