John Durrant: Why getting it wrong can be a good thing in digital marketing

John Durrant
John Durrant

When you’ve invested a serious amount of time and money in your online marketing and you don’t get the results, it can be frustrating but we want to tell you why getting it wrong can be a good thing in digital marketing.

You’ve probably agonised over your digital marketing strategy, you’ve taken on lots of advice from the experts and you’ve put your money where your mouth is. But you don’t see a single penny of return from your investment. Horrible feeling isn’t it?

But before you decide that digital marketing isn’t for your business (because that really would be mental) you have to take a step back and consider two key points.

Firstly, have you actually got it wrong? Secondly, you can learn a lot from what went wrong.
Let’s address the first questions first, because that makes sense.

Did you ACTUALLY get your digital marketing wrong?

Let’s assume you have a really great digital marketing strategy in place. You spent lots of time researching your buyer personas, playing around with sales funnels, making sure your content was on point, building landing pages etc, etc but when it came to executing the strategy, it flopped.

Let’s ask ourselves, did your digital marketing efforts flop? It might sound like we’re repeating ourselves here, but the point is, did you have defined metrics or targets at the start?

So many companies get it wrong from the get-go because they don’t think about what their objectives are at the very start.

You might think that because your digital marketing campaign didn’t result in a peak in sales that it was a failure. That’s not necessarily so. In the case of content marketing especially, using conversions (ie sales) as a key marketing metric in the early days is a big no-no. Content marketing is a long game.

One of the biggest and most important metrics that companies must measure is engagement. Why? Because engagement in digital marketing shows that a potential customer has trust or interest in your brand and that is incredibly important in the buyer journey.

What if your key metric – your key target – from your marketing efforts is conversions? That’s fine too. When you set a campaign for conversions, ie you want a potential customer to become a paying customer, and that fails, what do you do?

You can learn a lot from what went wrong in your digital marketing
Well, it’s crap when you put all that time and effort into a conversion campaign that doesn’t work but guess what? All those things in that campaign that didn’t work, you’ve just learned a lot from them.

Here’s a little shock for you; all the biggest brands in the world run conversion-based digital marketing campaigns that bomb. What do they do with them? They use all that valuable data from the failure to influence future campaigns.

A/B testing – where you run a campaign with several different versions or iterations – gives you an instant snapshot of data to learn from.

This data can then influence how you approach future campaigns. The worst thing your company could do is ignore the failure. Remember, everything you do in digital marketing is measurable. Engagement, traffic, clicks, conversions, durations, audiences and more; all this lovely, juicy data is there for you to dissect and use for the next part of your digital marketing.

So, the next time your digital marketing campaign fails – and it will at some point – don’t get too disheartened because there’s lots to be learned from it!

John Durrant is the CEO of Juggling Swords, a digital marketing agency based in Edinburgh. Talk to them today about your digital marketing.