INBOX INSIGHTS, September 20, 2023: Revisiting Marketing Tactics and Strategies

INBOX INSIGHTS: Revisiting Marketing Tactics and Strategies (9/20):: View in browser

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Re-Evaluate Your Opinions

For most of my life I thought I didn’t like baked apples. Apple pie? No, thank you. Apple crisp? Pass. Apple tarts? I’m all set.

Until today.

Every fall we get apples as part of our farm share. And every year we try to do something with the apples, but fail spectacularly. This year, we also got blueberries. I thought to myself, “self – I wonder if I can make something with apples and blueberries?”

No, I didn’t use ChatGPT to figure it out. I did it the old fashioned way with an internet search. By the way, how crazy is it that this is now the old fashioned way to do something? Anywho. Apparently, I was late to the apple and blueberry game. This is not a new combination. I found a simple crisp recipe for apples and blueberries and decided to give it a whirl.

You know what? It’s delicious. What I’ve been missing from all the other apple desserts is the tartness that berries bring. My apple baking world is now wide open!

I could have gone the rest of my life assuming I didn’t like any kind of dessert that contained apples. And I would have been missing out. At some point, you need to re-evaluate your opinions and see if they still hold.

This is also true of your marketing strategy. Ah, see? We got there.

This is the time of year for apple picking and annual planning.

Despite our best efforts, we tend to rush our planning and it becomes redundant. We might add in a few new tools or initiatives for some flare, but it otherwise remains the same. Why? Because we don’t check ourselves. We don’t re-evaluate our opinions.

For the past few years, my opinion has been that paid ads is the wrong strategy for Trust Insights. Because of this opinion, we don’t run ads. And for the past few years, I haven’t re-evaluated whether or not we should be running ads. It’s been out of sight and out of mind. Paid ads don’t show up on our reports (because we don’t run them) so they are a strategy that has been easy for me to forget about.

As we start our own annual planning, I want to evaluate not only what we are currently doing, but what we aren’t. There is a big wide world of digital marketing tactics, ripe for the picking.

Podcast Marketing Map Image

This is a map of all the different digital marketing tactics that are possible. I know it’s impossible to read – that’s how many options there are. This is not comprehensive, there are still more tactics not listed. The point isn’t to read this map. The point is to show you how many digital marketing tactics there are besides your two or three favorite things.

As you go into you annual planning, I would encourage you to challenge your old opinions. Set up a proof of concept with a digital marketing tactic you thought wasn’t right for you. Revisit tactics you’ve tried before and try them again.

The digital world is constantly changing. Where people hang out and how they get their information continues to change along with it. You digital marketing strategy doesn’t need to get overhauled. It’s worth re-evaluating to see if you find a new use for an old tactic you disregarded previously.

How do you like them apples?

It’s ok, I’m from Boston. I get to say that. And yet it still hurts because it is grammatically incorrect.

Are you re-evaluating your digital marketing opinions?

Reply to this email to tell me about your journey, or come join the conversation in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers.

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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In this episode of In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, Katie and Chris discuss the impact of generative AI on businesses, especially hourly businesses like agencies. They explore the problems with time tracking and utilization rates, and how it breeds inefficiency. Katie shares her experience being forced to innovate on command. Chris talks about the importance of prompting generative AI with creative ideas. They discuss how to better align employee and employer incentives through value-based compensation. Ultimately, they conclude that the key is to leverage generative AI to automate repetitive tasks so people can focus on innovation.

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Data Diaries: Interesting Data We Found

In the cold open, Katie recommended taking a new look at old marketing tactics and strategies, revisiting things that you haven’t looked at in a while. This is an excellent idea and one to do on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly. But how do you decide what to revisit, what to take another look at? As she pointed out, there are so many choices, so many options to consider.

Here’s a straightforward answer: take a look at what’s working without any effort on your part. If you have access to your digital analytics, start looking at the unturned stones. There are three ways to do this, in increasing order of difficulty.

Raw Traffic

In the web analytics software of your choice, look at the source/medium (or equivalent) combinations that are currently sending you traffic. Are there channels that are sending you traffic that you’re not marketing on?

Here’s an example, from our Google Analytics 4 Explore:

TI GA4 Basic Traffic

What I see that’s interesting is the amount of traffic we’re getting from Bing. We don’t do much with Bing. We have Bing Webmaster Tools, but it’s not like we spend a lot of time optimizing for Bing – and yet it’s the #6 traffic source on our site. Maybe it’s time to take another look at Bing for us.

Converting Traffic

Next, take a look at converting traffic. There are two ways of doing this. If your web analytics is set up well, you should have conversions as a metric available for analysis. You can use just a simple chart, or you can use a built-in attribution model.

TI Data Driven Attribution

When we look at the converting sources (this is why thorough tracking governance is essential!), we see that Bing itself has vanished – it sends traffic, but that traffic doesn’t necessarily convert. However, LinkedIn is now the #5 source of conversions. Again, do we do a ton of stuff with LinkedIn? Yes, more than Bing for sure, but there might be an opportunity to revisit our strategy there.

Full Attribution Modeling

While the built-in conversion reports in Google Analytics 4 are a good start, they’re not quite as comprehensive or as detailed as we would like. If we are hunting for new opportunities, let’s dig deeper. Using our own attribution modeling software, let’s see what our data looks like:

TI GA4 MTA Model

LinkedIn again makes the cut, so we should pay attention to that. However, there are a few other sources on here that we haven’t been seeing in other places, like, and a few smaller referring sites. These sites may not be sending us large amounts of traffic or conversions, but what they are sending is high quality, high converting traffic.

This is where we find the hidden opportunities. What’s working without us trying? What could we potentially do more of, or build relationships that don’t currently exist?

Marketers spend a lot of time trying to build new audiences, increase reach, and drive traffic, often at very high costs. When you see places that are already sending you traffic – and converting traffic at that – you’ll probably have an easier time doing outreach and relationship building because someone already knows who you are. Use all of these techniques to identify those hidden opportunities lurking beneath the surface of your existing marketing programs.

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