It’s fair to say that not all forms of online marketing are created equal. Some tactics, such as banner ads and social media marketing, have largely replaced traditional methods. But what about the rest? What is the purpose of a telephone directory ad? What are pop-up ads, and how can they be used to generate revenue? Which leads should you focus on when launching your eCommerce store? The answers to these questions, and more, can be found in Professor Michael Martin’s superb new book, Praxiswissen Online Marketing.
The meaning of the German word praxis, or practice, can be applied here. In his new book, Michael Martin, who is professor of marketing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, describes how to approach marketing as a process of experimentation and iteration. The goal of this process is to identify marketing tactics that work well in practice and then apply them to future marketing campaigns. More importantly, Professor Martin advocates testing new strategies and measuring the results of these experiments scientifically to avoid the common fallacy of falling into the trap of ‘trial and error’ thinking.
Why Marketing Should Be Based on Science
It’s one thing to know that marketing is important and that you need to do your best to understand its various nuances. It’s quite another to actually do it and have it all make sense, at least to you. Professor Martin’s approach to marketing is to provide you with the tools to do just that. He starts by laying out the six distinct types of marketing strategies, reviewing their history, and then walks you through an experiment to test which ones work best for your specific business. All of this is meant to put you on the right foot forward when it comes to doing marketing—and, more importantly, winning at marketing.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Online Marketing
This new book is not just for marketers, of course. To lend an air of academic impartiality, Professor Martin includes a Foreword by William A. Gamson, Ph.D., president of the Metadata Institute, LLC. Based on the success of his previous two books, Marketing Essentials and Marketing Analytics, both of which were critical hits in their fields, Professor Martin has again written a comprehensive guide to online marketing with an eye toward helping practitioners become more effective. For those seeking to become more than just digital marketers, this book is a must-read, as it will help them develop a more holistic view of marketing and how to apply it practically.
One of the defining characteristics of Professor Martin’s new book is its focus on actionable analytics, or insights that can be put into practice, as opposed to the more theoretical or speculative, at times even poetic, asides found in many academic works.
With this in mind, here are several key takeaways from the book.
Experiment With Different Ways To Reach The Best Audience.
One of the first key points Professor Martin makes is that marketers should not be afraid to try new things, even if they are not necessarily the ‘best practice’ approach. This is especially important for those new to the field seeking to establish a marketing foundation. To that end, marketers should conduct A/B tests to compare the efficiency of various approaches, whether through email, social media, or banner ads. Doing so will help establish a more effective communication strategy and allow you to experiment with different ways to attract customers and grow your business.
Use Big Data To Your Advantage.
If you’re looking to take your marketing game to the next level, you should look no further. With each passing day, businesses gather more data than ever before, giving marketers unprecedented access to customer behavior, preferences, and conversions. This is exactly the type of information that Professor Martin refers to as big data, and it’s vital that you put it to good use.
For example, you might want to look at the demographics of your existing customers to better understand their interests and determine whether or not you should focus on serving them with content that appeals to their demographic. Or, you could use the data to optimize your marketing campaigns by testing different approaches and measuring the results.
Use Multiple Channels To Grow A Business.
If your business is new and growing, you have probably recognized the importance of reaching the right audience and have begun to test and examine various digital marketing channels, or platforms, to ascertain which ones work best for your brand.
It’s widely accepted that social media is, at the very least, a tiered marketing channel, but this is a theory that Professor Martin questions.
“Should we believe that social media is merely a tiered marketing channel in which one must start with LinkedIn and then branch into YouTube and Facebook, or does it present a completely different type of marketing platform, with its own unique set of tactics and methodologies?”
He goes on to propose that, rather than viewing social media as a single, unified channel, marketers should consider it a quadruple-play, consisting of:
Each of these platforms, and many more, have their own characteristics, audiences, and approaches that you should study and utilize, if possible. This is one of the main points Professor Martin makes in his book: that marketers should not limit themselves to a single approach but should experiment with and analyze multiple channels to attain the best results.
Take Advantage Of Email.
Email marketing is, in many ways, the original digital marketing channel. It has been around since the early days of online marketing and was originally used to disseminate text-based content, like newsletters, from brands to customers. These days, with the rise of social media and the digital economy, many of these same tactics, like newsletters, have been adapted and repurposed to become digital marketing campaigns.
There are several tricks that you can use to effectively email marketing. To begin with, you can send out periodic emails, like tips and tricks on how to use social media or how to improve your SEO, to capture and retain customers. You can also conduct A/B tests on your email campaigns, comparing the results of different approaches to help you determine which one is the most effective. Additionally, you can combine email marketing with other digital marketing tactics, like display ads, to create hybrid campaigns that leverage the strengths of both methods. Finally, you can use automated email marketing campaigns to send out emails based on events, like the purchase of a product, or to announce the grand opening of a new store.
What About Mobile Marketing?
As the name suggests, mobile marketing is simply marketing done on mobile phones. But, as the technology and approaches evolve, so does the field.
Though often thought of as a channel for short-reach campaigns, like promoting discounts or seeking to increase brand awareness, mobile marketing can be just as effective for long-reach projects, like attracting new customers or gaining access to a coveted demographic. In fact, with location-targeted mobile marketing, it’s possible to reach (and convert) a virtually limitless audience, no matter where they are. This makes mobile marketing a versatile tool for any sized business.
Whether you’re a small business looking to gain ground in a competitive market or an established brand seeking to engage with new audiences, mobile marketing is a powerful means of connecting with consumers.
Though this book is a wonderful resource for marketers looking to better their craft, it is not intended to replace the experienced professional. For those seeking to learn more, or looking for tips and tricks not covered in the book, the following resources, compiled by the team at SEER Interactive, may be of assistance.