I recently had the opportunity to present “Why You Will Fail At Digital Marketing” to a group of 80+ business-people from the Indianapolis area at part of the Reach Leadership Series. The intent of the presentation was to highlight the organizational and human factors that can contribute or detract from digital marketing initiatives, long before tactics, tips and tricks come into play (For the complete slide deck, audio and transcript of the event, click here).
To summarize, there are innumerable ways to succeed in digital marketing. The reason for focusing on failures lies in the consistency with which organizations fail due to the same reasons, and it rarely has anything to do with Search, Social or Content. The areas organizations most consistently fail in are Culture, Competency and Coordination (alliteration was accidental). Cultural failures occur when beliefs are not shared, value are not aligned, and artifacts don’t provide social proof. Competence failures occur when people aren’t capable of assessing skill in themselves or others. Coordination fails when goals, channels and efforts and treated as separate initiatives, and not threads of the same tapestry.
The goal of the presentation was to offer some information or insight that helped the attendees view see or understand why digital marketing efforts in their organization might be ineffective or inefficient, as well as ways to identify potential pitfalls in future efforts. While making deliberate, informed decisions isn’t exciting or productive, it provides the equivalent of a map and compass while rowing across the ocean. It doesn’t make work any easier, but it gets you where you intend to go.