Digital marketing

Why Digital Marketing is Essential to Your Startup’s Growth Strategy

Digital marketing is essential for building brand awareness, generating traffic, converting sales and creating loyal customers—which explains why marketing budgets continue to increase. It’s the best way to achieve growth in a data-driven, digital business world.

Since marketing’s influence over revenue is increasing, it only makes sense that everyone in an organization should have some level of digital marketing know-how. It’s why research firms like Gartner are saying that today’s great CMOs will be tomorrow’s CEOs.

All the members of your team, from finance to sales, need to be “marketing fluent,” meaning they should have a baseline understanding of different channels and strategies and how they impact the brand, the customer and your startup overall.

Digital marketing impacts the bottom line

Like it or not, optimizing your digital marketing could have a huge impact on your bottom line, even if it is already very impressive. After all, marketing is instrumental in nurturing leads and driving them to sales. If planned and executed effectively, a digital marketing campaign can generate more revenue while reducing the average cost of acquiring a customer. That’s why it’s crucial for all departments to pay attention to how this part of the operation is performing.

There are a wide variety of marketing metrics to track, based upon your specific activities and objectives. Some of the key performance metrics (KPIs) you should track include:

  • Traffic metrics: These include total visits, traffic sources, number of unique visitors, interactions per visit, bounce rate, cost per visitor versus revenue per visitor, etc.
  • Conversion metrics: These include total conversions, conversion funnel rates, click-thru rates, cost per conversion, lead to close ratio, etc.
  • Revenue metrics: These include value per visit, cost per acquisition, overall return on investment, etc.

Obviously, it’s important for digital marketing departments to track metrics like these. It’s necessary to have an accurate view in order to make adjustments and improve performance. But how does this apply to folks outside the digital marketing department?

Related: 5 Traditional Marketing Risks That Have Gone Digital

Let’s consider the finance team at your startup. If they don’t know the value of these metrics and comprehend the digital marketing strategies used to drive growth, they’ll lack perspective when analyzing the impact of your campaign on your startup’s bottom line.

So, finance teams have to be educated on how KPIs are impacted by social media marketing, digital advertising, SEO and other important marketing tactics. In addition, they have to understand some analytics beyond KPIs so that they can see what’s effective. Having such knowledge will enable them to appropriately measure the impact of digital marketing campaigns and help them evaluate budgets for future campaigns.

David Cain, a B2B and B2C software marketing expert, sums up why marketing and finance are intertwined in the digital world with three straightforward reasons:

  1. Finance funds marketing
  2. Finance has to keep marketing on budget
  3. Finance thinks like the analytical side of marketing

As Cain notes, “It’s incredibly important for finance to understand the strategic nature of the work your marketing team does.” Then, when the CEO asks if the marketing budget is correct, finance can explain why or why not more accurately. This brings much more transparency to the entire organization and ensures adequate funds are given to marketing departments (which increases conversions and profit).

Digital marketing is a pillar of every healthy organization

This is not just the digital age; it’s also the era of the customer. Every business should focus on delivering an easy, enjoyable experience across all channels.

According to an Accenture survey, 81 percent of customers state it’s frustrating dealing with a company that makes it difficult to do business with them.

Simply put, digital marketing is absolutely not a silo, but rather a critical function that is deeply interconnected with the company ecosystem. Customers should never feel like they are being passed from one department to another. Sales, marketing and customer service must work together so that the experience is fluid and consistent. Clearly, these three functions within any company should be closely linked in today’s world.

Perhaps that’s why Hubspot has come up with the term “smarketing,” the alignment between your sales and marketing teams established through frequent communication and collaboration. It’s also why Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, has been preaching that inbound methodology applies to sales, too.

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Since sales, like marketing, has become increasingly automated, it’s essential for salespeople to understand how digital marketing tactics work within a sales funnel. This means seeing how marketers use things like:

  • Turn strangers into visitors using blog content
  • Turn visitors into leads using landing pages
  • Close leads using emails and CRM
  • Surveys customers to better delight and understand them

Collaboration between sales and marketing is the best way to ensure the customer journey, from awareness to purchase, doesn’t have any pain points and data is utilized properly. Of course, this requires knowledgeable customer support on hand to be ready to handle any problem quickly and effectively. This means that they must know the process, too.

For many organizations, integrating departments may require restructuring, which necessitates commitment from leadership, who must also grasp the importance of digital marketing. This restructuring should be centered around aligning the strategies of sales and marketing.

As Jason Wesbecher, CMO of Mattersight, states, “Marketing and sales have the same goal: increase revenue.” For the sake of a better customer experience, Wesbecher says companies should do things like, “use dashboards to create transparency between marketing and sales,” which would allow teams to “quickly visualize the lead pipeline and identify where and when challenges arise.”

Digital marketing competency makes the team more competitive

In the end, every worker must first realize how digital marketing is vital to the startup’s growth. The more digitally fluent your workforce is, the better the company can perform. This must be communicated effectively by executives and marketing leaders in the organization.

Ultimately, learning crucial digital marketing skills and developing a culture of ongoing training will instill the proper motivation in every employee and transform a company from the inside out. The company will be, as a result, more vital and competitive.

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