Start with mindset changes from thinking digital initiatives as spending money on the brand, marketing, and media goals. What needed is the shift in approach - to associate any digital advertising initiatives as an opportunity to tackle specific business challenges.
The benefits with this approach are — it enables your team to get clarity around business expectations in measurable terms and helps them validate the outcomes against it. Framing this way, more often than not, the approach will force you to put customers at the center of digital initiatives.
There is a proven theory that "Situational factors" and not "Individual behavior." profoundly influence individual actions.
Whether you are running marketing for a sizable company or single person handling soup to nuts bootstrapped startups, today's overall Martech ecosystem encourages us to do these operations in a wrong way, what I would like to call as "In-between out."
What I mean by that, most of the campaign at best, starting with defining the objective as the expected business outcome. And these outcomes merely focused on driving traffic, website visitors, click-through, etc. and not reflecting any real business challenges such as improving customer experience, channel adoption, retention, etc.
And, at worst, we are merely creating campaigns, and put ad spends on autopilot mode and wants that rest of the things to happen as expected.
Now, you may ask what is wrong with metrics such as click-through rate, driving traffic? And why am I harping on business challenges?
It's because business challenges as objective make you consider totally of things and establish the conceptions to see the incoming raw data and put it in the broader context.
Missing the point
Most of us are approaching digital initiatives without any basic understanding of "art and science" behind any digital efforts. Look at how much emphasis placed on the role of predictions involved all through the cycle of campaign planning and assessing performances.
Ask yourself, how much time do you think what you are doing is predicting the pattern and identifying the relationships among the campaign response data?
Without this mindset and thinking towards the campaign, we are leaving much to the chances for any desired outcome - at the end of the day, your conversion and click-through rates, and other metrics may look like you have figured it out. But, your determinative view of the factor contributing to success, in most cases, proves to be coming out of false-positive understanding.
You may not get the repeated success while doing the same thing again next time around.
Ironically, in the time of advanced tools and technology, for the business of any size to see real success requires a remarkable amount of old-fashioned manual efforts.
You look at the data to know the success, but also the challenges and opportunities. And, it requires the grunt work of shifting the existing data to gain insight. If not available, curate it and stitch it together from current sources to identify business challenges and translate that to a measurable outcome.
Any business without this understanding or ignoring to short-circuit this vital process only leads to a bad investment in their digital marketing and advertising efforts.
It would be best if you believed that you have the data. And you only have to look at the right places.
In a nutshell, planning and executing digital advertisement is all about predicting your target audience response and be ready with an array of responses. And, while the data coming in every day, adjust your understanding and approach as more facts and signals become available along the way.