Factors Driving Modern Marketing

By Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios

Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios

A team that Understands Modern Marketing is Essential

In the 1500’s how important was it for armies to understand gunpowder?
In the 1800’s how important was it for business to understand steam power?
In the 1960’s how important was it for politicians to understand television?

“Marketing is still about empathy. It’s still about understanding your audience and aligning messages with their desires and needs”

Very important. Critical. In each case, the answer is life-and-death importance. Teams that understand and embrace modern marketing are relevant. Companies that do not are irrelevant. They are exiled in the old world. Trapped on an island that is sinking into the sea.

Companies that “get it” have moved to a new world, where massive amounts of demand are flowing through search results, email inboxes and social streams. Fortunes are being made, but only by the businesses that understand how to channel, amplify and satisfy this demand. 

Three Points to Keep in Mind when Developing  a  Marketing Program

Some things never change. Marketing is still about empathy. It’s still about understanding your audience and aligning messages with their desires and needs. But on that foundation of empathetic messages, we build on new (or at least updated) tactics. Here are three of the big ones

1. Content Promotion

You can drive huge amounts of traffic without an advertising budget, but only if you understand the three channels of content marketing: search, social and email.

We all create content. But the difference in traffic is how well we promote through these three channels. Every marketing program must have promotion at the core. 

Is your audience researching a certain topic? 

Then create an article that answers their question. Be the best answer on the Internet. And align that article with the phrase they’re searching for. If your site isn’t competitive enough, if it lacks the authority to rank for the phrase, choose a more specific, less popular, but less competitive phrase. It’s called keyphrase research.

Does your audience listen to a certain person?

Then connect with that person to collaborate. Get their voice onto your website. Create something together that you will both be proud to share. It’s called influencer marketing.

It’s not the best articles that win. It’s the best promoted articles. Great marketers never create content without having a plan to drive traffic to it.

2. Psychology & Conversions

All the traffic in the world won’t help you unless the site turns visitors into leads or customers. The percentage who converts is the conversion rate. And maximizing the conversion rate is exactly half the battle of digital marketing. 

Is there any friction between the website and the visitor?

The language is unclear. Questions are unanswered. There are too many fields on the form. The pages load slowly. It’s difficult to use on mobile. Each of these will chip away at the conversion rate, reducing the average value of each hard earned visitor.

Are psychological triggers in place?

Trust is built through evidence. Urgency is created through calls to action. Attention is captured through color. Marketing claims are supported with numbers. Visitors see that others have acted. They’re compelled to conform.

No matter how good your cheese is, you won’t catch a thing unless you’ve built a better mousetrap.

3. Data & Analytics

The modern marketer is a scientist. We test. We try ideas, measure results and iterate. There’s data to support or reject every hypothesis. To measure the outcome of every marketing action. To track the behavior of our visitors. We make decisions based on data.

Every action is an experiment. 

The modern marketer lives with the data, we have access to it at all times. Analytics isn’t outsources or managed by a specialist. Every member of the marketing team has access. And we know our own benchmarks.
• Typical open rates from email campaigns
• Which social network converts at what rates
• Which pages get the most traffic
• What the most popular path is through the websiteOur goal? Our single minded purpose? Beat yesterday. Specifically, we’re determined to increase traffic and improve the conversion rate. Because this is the formula we live and die by: 

Traffic x Conversion Rate = Success

Eventually, we develop an instinct. This topic would work well as an infographic. That magazine might be interested in this pitch. This headline would work well on that social network. That keyword is something we can rank for. We trust our instincts but we verify with data.

This is the modern marketer

The modern marketer is the army from the 1500s, armed with cannons. They’re the business in the 1800s, powered by steam engines. They’re the 1960’s politician, ready for primetime. And what we can do to the competition is a little frightening. And very powerful.