A prospect recently asked what type of agreement our digital marketing agency uses for web marketing projects. My response was not expected in this phone conversation. I explained to the prospect our agreement with them was less of a concern. The real agreement they should be asking about is the one they have with the Internet.

As you can imagine there was a pause in the conversation. What agreement with the Internet?

The individual I was speaking to is a baby boomer like me. As we’ve learned about my generation, the perspective of web marketing is not what it should be for the present day. Rather their understanding relates better to traditional advertising channels like print, radio, and TV. Meaning the term marketing and advertising are identical to this generation. Traditional media is only about advertising. Marketing activities the Internet medium has opened up is not familiar to this generation.

We do need to acknowledge, this generation has the authority and responsibility of marketing budgets. At the same time, we have a new marketing medium this generation does not understand well. Thus, they like to have short start and stop points in the form of campaigns. This generation has a difficult time understanding the concept of a campaign never ending.

The purpose of my statement to the prospect is their distant understanding of using the web beyond their website. From the conversation, it was clear they were a missing a few perspectives.

First, I needed to explain the difference between marketing and advertising. Advertising is one activity within the entire marketing process and program. Next, I needed to determine what this person’s commitment was to web marketing. Would they be willing to use the Internet as a marketing tool over the next few years?

I would be doing this person a disservice by allowing them to think digital marketing had an end point. The baby boomer generation needs to make a commitment to digital marketing over years. The idea of trying something for a short time is not going to work. Dabbling around digital marketing will only waste time, money and get everyone frustrated.

Let’s take a look at the major categories of marketing activities together.

The Changing Digital Marketplace

First of all keep in mind the digital marketplace changes. As Michael Dell indicated in his CNBC interview, “Tech is the change-or-die business”. This alone requires a business to keep at it. Giving up is not an option if you want to maintain your competitive edge. Resistance is futile! Adopt, adapt and accept this dynamic and fluid environment.

[sej_inlinetweet]As digital technologies change so does how the marketplace uses these digital technologies.[/sej_inlinetweet] Your target market moves around the web and changes their direction based on the newest fad. Many of these fads come to the marketplace and actually stick around too. For example YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat to name a few fads that came and continue to operate.

Your Website’s Health and Performance

Using tools like Google Search Console (once known as Google Webmaster Tools), you can learn how well your website is performing. Google will give you information about security issues, broken links, technical issues and your website’s content. You can use this information to ensure you have a well-performing website.

Managing your website’s health and performance is a never-ending process. Don’t think of this as a task you check off and decide it is complete. This is a process you have to review once a month and make adjustments to your website based on the knowledge provided.

Your Website’s Marketability and Communications

In a separate situation with a different prospect, a company questioned why their website does not rank on Google. It took less than a minute to determine Google’s Panda Algorithm was one of the bigger issues causing them the problem. This company had a simple 12-page website and has been that way for years. Google’s Panda Algorithm looks for thin websites and avoids them.

A business needs to build out the density of their website with regularity. This is not a process performed only for search engines like Google. Think of this as a weekly process of activities. You might write one blog article per week. This blog article communicates to social communities. Over the long run, you are building out your website and communicating to the world. The goal will be to receive earned web site traffic to your website. This is more valuable than hundreds of wrong visitors.

What Marketing Activities are You Performing Outside of Your Website?

You have a website, a healthy performing website, and you are building out your website with new content pages. This is a good starting point of your web presence. If you’re going to wait for people to come, you might be waiting a long time. Just optimizing your website as a one-time task with technology no longer works either.

There is one critical difference between digital marketing activities and advertising tasks. Digital marketing has a shelf life of years, advertising doesn’t!

If you put a video on YouTube, it will be there years from now. If you post a LinkedIn Post, it will be there years from now too. Both examples help to generate traffic for you after you have posted this content on the web and work for you.

If you spend money on Google Adwords advertising, the moment the money stops so does the website traffic. There is no residual value to the money you spend with Google Adwords. This is true of any advertising on the Internet.

Focus your attention on marketing activities with residual value. Inbound marketing is the concept encompassing these activities. This includes content marketing, social media marketing, and newsletter marketing. After that, if you want to run an advertising campaign to promote something specific, go for it. Use advertising as a support marketing activity, not your lead marketing activity.

Everything is Measurable

All the digital marketing activities you perform are measured. These measurements include website metrics, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, social media performance, advertising and more.

Digital marketing is not about looking at one data source, rather many data sources. You can then analyze the results and interpret what you have just analyzed. You will want to look at areas needing improvement. It is always fun to look at what is working. Spend some time deciphering what is not working.

Are You Ready for Your Commitment?

In summary, resistance is futile! The digital marketplace has been around for 25 years and it is not going anywhere. If anything your target market is entrenching themselves further into the digital life.

Find a comfortable budget you are committing to for your digital marketing each month. Don’t deviate from this commitment, as this is your sales and revenue-generating tool now and into the future.

Disclosure: Melih Oztalay and SmartFinds Marketing do not have any affiliation with recommended products or services mentioned in this article.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Olu Eletu/Unsplash.com. Image derivative by SmartFinds Marketing. Used with permission.
In-post Photo: Jason Rosewell/Unsplash.com. Image derivative by SmartFinds Marketing. Used with permission.