Five ways marketers need to go about planning and executing their campaigns.
My family and I love Maine and when we go we try to stay in an out-of-the-way part of the state on the water. One thing we always bring with us is our little 8-foot Walker Bay rowboat, mainly so I can explore the coastline and take the kids out for mini sea excursions.
Historically I've been the one doing the rowing due to the fact that I've been doing it all my life and it's become practically second nature to me. Having picked it up at a very young age, I'm long past the point of having to think about what I'm doing. I just jump in, grab the oars, and go.
This year, however, my wife Claire decided that she wanted to learn how to row. I gave her a few tips, but the fact is that just like riding a bike, rowing is one of those things that you just have to get out and do.
But as I watched her head off to sea - haltingly dipping one oar into the water, then the other, often wildly swinging off course and then correcting with a quick dip in the opposite direction until she started to get the rhythm down - it occurred to me how much her initial halting pulls at the oars reminded me of how many small and mid-sized organizations approach online marketing. Try one thing. See what happens. Try something else. Check your progress toward your goal. Try to keep moving forward.
But as the days passed and the ripples of her wavering wake through the cover got straighter and more sure and she moved from short excursions to hours-long trips into the deeper waters, the linkage between rowing and online marketing became stronger and clearer to me. It's a perfect metaphor, and one that, when examined, can teach us all a lot about how we need to go about planning and executing our campaigns.
Rough waters image on home page via Shutterstock.
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Sean Carton has recently been appointed to develop the Center for Digital Communication, Commerce, and Culture at the University of Baltimore and is chief creative officer at idfive in Baltimore. He was formerly the dean of Philadelphia University's School of Design + Media and chief experience officer at Carton Donofrio Partners, Inc.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
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An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
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