The hard fact is that most businesses will never achieve anything of note online, so you may as well establish that for your business soon rather than later. It’ll save you a tonne of money and make your life a hell of a lot less stressful.
So to that end, I’ve come up with 4 ways you can accelerate your digital demise:
- Try and be really good on 5 different channels – while your buyer journey will touch a variety of channels every successful content strategy is ultimately defined by just one of those channels, so if you want to screw things up nice and quickly, thee’s no faster way than by stretching you financial and creative resources across a bunch of different platforms. It will all but guarantee none of them achieve anything.
- The second is to neglect your owned assets – So if things go awry at step 1 and you find yourself accidentally achieving some nice social engagement, don’t fret, you can still sabotage the whole thing. All you need to do is keep all the engagement entirely on that social platform, year after year. Sooner or later you can be sure the channel will shift towards greater monetisation, killing your organic reach, or perhaps they’ll change the rules around targeting o maybe they’ll just decide you’ve contravened the rules and that you’re no longer welcome. Whatever happens, given enough time, you can be sure your investment will slowly erode and vanish.
- The next one is more specific to B2B brands that define leads by MQL and SQL – that’s marketing qualified and sales qualified. MQLs usually represent data we’ve captured from our audience in return for a nice piece of content. The key here is to make sure you define success entirely around these MQLs. So rather than seeing them for what they are, which is one very small touchpoint along the customer journey, we view them as the beginning, middle and end. I mean how could sales possibly screw things up – they’ve got the email address and telephone number of someone who has downloaded content that vaguely relates to the thing we’re selling. It’s a gimme, night? I mean, let’s ignore the fact that the typical conversion rate from MQL to SQL is really bloody low but the point is we’ve passed accountability over to sales so we can relax. Phew.
- Finally, if all the above fails and we’ve found that we have somehow managed to create a world class content strategy that simultaneously leverages the channel closest to our audience whilst building our own asset, and all while taking shared ownership of revenue with sales, rather than just fobbing them off with a bunch of MQLs, I have one final idea for how you can stop this from scaling into something truly valuable – don’t bother with the numbers (in a whisper). Look, marketing is a creative thing – you can’t be expected to attribute financial metrics to this stuff any more than you can quantify a piece of art. Well, you obviously can but it’s really important the senior leadership team never realises that. And if anyone challenges you just say it’s because we sell bespoke services – that’s a good one – or that customers vary too much in their longevity. Or that there are too many touchpoints to track the journey. Don’t worry, people will have stopped listening by then anyway.
And you see without this data, we can’t possibly say how much each channel is contributing, which means we can’t possibly build a business case for scaling it. Brilliant.
All this hopefully means people will stop viewing marketing as a function that should be in the commercial and strategic driving seat, and instead let us get back to our quiet little office down the corridor where we used to while away the hours designing pop up banners for our annual exhibition and helping the sales guys make they slide decks look slightly less shit. *Big sigh, looking into the distance* Simpler times.