Charmed by the web i 1999 after many years as advertising Art Director in New York and Oslo. Now I´m all about about result driven web marketing, as a web marketer, teacher and coach. I run my own agency, webROI as.
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Lean Marketing has not caught on here in Norway yet. Some will blame our lack of real financial crisis in this country. Although that may be true, It’s a dangerous and very short-sighted excuse that can put us at a disadvantage in the future. We all need to strive for sustainable business models for a better tomorrow, regardless of financial situation right now. So how to convince people here it’s time to change when they don’t have the pressing incentive of no choice but go lean to survive? Where to start? In the spirit of lean the answer is obvious: Start simple and build.
Well, I checked out many Lean Marketing presentations and processes around the web and it struck me how complicated most of them are. Convoluted models of fremeworks with so many bricks you need the place before you can start I wouldn’t know where to begin. In short, It doesn’t look or feel lean nor agile, so why would anyone believe it is? No, If I’m going to market lean marketing, then lean is what everything needs to be. It has to be boiled down, simple. How better then, to make it lean than to challenge yourself to squeeze it into the strict 8-minute timed presentation format of 8 Minutes of Digital Marketing? That’s what i did, and what you see above is the result, more or less. It was challenging, enlightning and lots of fun, too. And I clocked in at 8 minutes blank – on the nose
So if the show is a bit skinny for your taste, the timing is the reason. If it’s cryptic, but makes you curious to know more, then get in touch – I’d love to discuss, explain and learn. This is all a work in progress – a first sprint, if you will.
Yesterday, while I was gathering inspiration and new digital marketing trend tidbits at the Ad:Tech New York conference, a great idea was presented that triggered another idea in my head, and I want to share it with you while it’s fresh. I think this can not only make us all better mobile marketers, but leaner marketers and communicators as well.
Tomorrow is mobile
One of the most inspiring sessions at todays ad:tech was Tomorrows Digital Landscape, an informal conversational interview between Dave Morgan of Simulmedia and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. The latter is not only the source of great digital insight over decades, but has an extraordinary skill for drawing the big picture in such clear lines and plain language that you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself. It was filmed and I highly recommend watching the full version. There were lots of tidbits throughout, but one particularly clear suggestion from Wilson caught my inspiration and triggered my imagination. One of the less surprising major trends throughout the conference is the importance of mobile, but Wilson has an interesting fresh approach to what to do: “Make a mobile app and make it the core of your web presence.” Instead of the usual gruelling stripping of the website to make it mobile friendly, this suggests starting with the simple and building on it for the web site. This boldly suggests that it’s better to scale up than down, and isn’t that so true for most situations in life really?
starting to smell like great lean
What if you combined this with lean principles? What if you started with a minimum viable truly mobile product (MVTMP?) based on a hypothesis of what it should do for your target group. The product doesn’t have to be an app – a responsive design mobile page may actually even better for our more scalable purpose. The important thing is to start as simple as possible. What can we give that our customers on the go needs? Although you start with mobile needs it’s highly unlikely that these needs are completely irrelevant to your web clients – you’ll ad more for them later.
Short and long term benefits
Based on that you test and explore as you build your site in small iterations. While the obvious bonus is the increasingly important mobile presence, there are many other benefits:
- Clear and concise communication
- Optimal user experience for every device
- User-centric from the onset
- new, controlled environment that’s testable piece by piece
- a sustainable, flexible solution that can grow and change as your business goals and the market requires
- and last but not least, a great way to get started with lean marketing
So how about making mobile digital presence you know you need your stepping stone to leaner marketing?
Looking forward to #adtechNY tomorrow! Will I see you there? http://ow.ly/f3C84 @adtech #digitalmarketing #SMM
Are there too many coaches in the kitchen? Definitely! When coaching became popular in business a few years back many consultants and advisors jumped on the trendy bandwagon, eager to call themselves coaches without checking the implications. The resulting mishmash not only devalues the field of coaching, it makes for messy work processes. There’s a right time for coaching, advice, teaching, process leadership, consulting and mentoring, just not all at once. Here’s why and how.
Defined: The main (and most often misunderstood) thing that separates coaching from the others titles is that the coach does not give any answers. A true coach uses tested techniques to lead the coachee to find their own answers. The questions should be open and guiding, no pushing or coaxing allowed.
Marketing use: Strategic. I use coaching in the initial phase of a project to discover, together with the client, the core of what they really need and want. It’s ideal for establishing values and goals. I get pure and valuable insight and understanding before I start advising, while the client gains clarity, ownership and ultimately a better integrated solution.
If you’re interested in learning more about coaching or finding a coach, check out The International Coach Federation . They hold the standard for the field and certify coaches as well as coaching educations accordingly, including CTI, where I have my training.
Defined: The Advisor does just that: she advises. The advise is usually based on her experience as it relates to a speciality, and her interpretation of what the client needs in that area. Of these three roles this one is the broadest, and can be used in a variety of roles – teaching, consulting, team or process leadership, etc. This is the area where you get to bring something new to the table and to show your special skills. Most of us are eager to get to this, so unfortunately many spend too little time really listening to the clients needs before they start solving the perceived assignment. Not infrequently they come up with clever, but not necessarily fitting or lasting solutions without the proper groundwork. An advisory role can easily be combined with hands-on implementation.
Marketing use: Since I am a marketing professional, this is the role I am most often called upon to have. Most people hire me to use my advertising experience to improve theirs. I often start workshops with teaching about the possibilities before the collaborative sessions start. Then I switch roles to process leader. I advise when I work as a consultant, and also when I follow by giving advice and making suggestions based on web analytics.
Defined: The mentor is called upon primarily for her experience. She is a guiding star, most likely with a success the mentee identifies with and would like to replicate. She shares of her success formula to help others, but is rarely directly involved in the work of the mentee. On the contrary – the distance is part of the value, so she can maintain and contribute with a bird’s eye view.
Marketing use: For clients who choose to handle marketing themselves, a mentor gives them a useful external perspective. After all, marketing is all about connecting with people on the outside. When you are on the inside it’s easy to loose sight because you are too close to the product. You can fall into the traps of talking to yourself in tribal formulations, product codes, or irrelevant marketing. That’s when it’s good to have a mentor with a different angle. My mentoring has usually been for workshop clients where I know their products as their goals, so I am able to efficiently dive into their situation and give my advice while keeping a keen eye on the broad strokes. As a mentor I work to make you better.
So you see, each role has its distinct merits and advantages. They also have their own “language” of communication. Many of us are required to wear more than one of these hats in our jobs, and it makes our lives interesting. But wear them all at once and you’re likely to become a confused, marketing schizophrenic.
How to spot a mixer
So if your coach comes to you and start telling you what to do, she’s not coaching, but advising. If she starts asking you leading questions, such as “Have you considered using social media marketing?” she’s not coaching, but might be mentoring. But if she asks you, upon your offering an interest in social media marketing “How do you see that fulfilling your marketing goals?” you might be looking at a coach. Follow along, and you’re probably about to find out that you have a lot more resources to draw upon than you thought you did.
Whichever you are or have, make sure working together inspires!
When I was starting my little agency and the name Webroi first came up, I met some skepticism. A lot of people aren’t marketing to make more money, was one of the arguments. This shocked me a bit, for to me ROI in marketing should be a no brainer. Here’s how.
What ROI should mean in marketing
ROI means return on investment. Positive ROI means getting back a value grater than what you put in. Negative ROI means the opposite – getting back less than you invested. So far so good. The misconception begins when you limit this value to money. Especially when you assume that by value in return it means a dollar amount in return. This may work for the financial industry, where this acronym apparently originated, but for marketing ROI or ROMI(Return of Marketing Investment) this definition short-changes the potential.
ROMI is more than money
Your marketing investment includes money, time (which we all know is money) and possibly some other assets (reputation etc). Your return, however, is interdependent on your goal for the marketing activity. If your goal is sales, then this can be measured in money. If, however, your goal is to raise awareness for a public cause, this can be completely different. It may be volunteers, petition signatures, followers, advocates or sponsors. It can even be press coverage or politicial awareness for lobbying, for all I know. The point is, if you get more of whatever your value is than you invested, then you have positive ROI. If not, It’s negative.
A ROI example
If you have $5 000 dollars to get you 100 new members by 2013 and your Google Analytics account pr 31.12.2012 shows 1000 new members that track to these advertising spendings, then thats a great ROI. Instead of each member costing you $50 dollars they cost you $5. Money saved may not be money earned in this case, but it’s an opportunity to get more for your money. Who doesn’t want that? Wether you’re spending tax payers money or that of your sponsors, investors or your own hard earned cash, I sure hope this is your goal.
The nature of the marketing beast
Now think about the nature of marketing in general: Hasn’t the whole point of marketing always been to get more back than you invested? Although it’s harder to measure in most traditional media than it is on the Internet, the goal has always been positive ROI. Why else bother?
3 simple steps to web marketing ROI:
- Set SMART goals. Smart stands for Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Without this you can’t measure to find out the ROI. Remember, It’s better to start with a goal you have to adjust than no goal at all – intelligent ”guestimation” is allowed until the numbers are in.
- Get ready to measure right from the start. Make sure your website is hooked up to an Analytics tool like Google Analytics (free) and that it is set up to measure on what your goals are. It’s no point in counting visitors when what you need to know is how many signed the membership form, for example. Even if you have others doing the work for you I strongly recommend to learn to understand your own data. The ad agency and your IT department are not looking for the same things as you are in the data.
- Optimize your optimizations. Do more of what works, less of what does not. If someone else is doing the marketing for you, make sure they do this. Ask questions based on the data in your analytics. Good web marketing for ROI isn’t just a campaign effort but a continuing process. That’s what gives the great opportunities for continual improvement, just getting better and better.
So, what gives you marketing ROI?