Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since I joined the Hillsgreen team, and I’ve learned so much. And to be honest, a lot of what I’ve learned, I wish I’d known years ago when I was running my own design and branding agency, for example, around implementing robust systems and processes. Combining these Standard Operating Proceedures with the team’s attitude and approach to their work, makes Hillsgreen a very professional business.
Of course, you can have all the systems and procedures you want in place, you also need talent, which is briming over at Hillsgreen.
Marketing has become such a broad subject. Back in the 1990s The Marketing Mix was the 4 Ps: product, place, price and promotion. Now it’s the 7 Ps plus a D and a B: the extra 3 Ps being people, processes and physical evidence, the D being Digital and the B being Brand (I just made the D and B up, but it seems right to me). And each P, D and B has become highly specialised.
I imagine most industries have moved in that direction. With our farming links here at Hillsgreen, we are very aware of how the agricultural industry has had to adapt and reach new levels of technical expertise, eg. Balancing animal welfare with profitable milk production, efficient crop production using appropriate pesticides, fertilisers and machinery.
Taking Digital from the marketing mix as an example, the skills are highly technical and specialised. This was brought home to me this morning at our monthly team meeting (Covid safe via Zoom) when the experts in the various digital skills joined in. I imagine there are marketing people out there trying to cover all these bases themselves, but when I heard these highly specialised people talk in depth, it dawned on me the knowledge and value they deliver, and the common denominator is their ability to collect, analyse and interpret data!
The measuring and analysing of data mean adjustments and refinements can be made to improve performance; it’s all about continuous improvement. Back in the 1990s, marketing was a lot fluffier and relied on guessing what you thought was working. The old adage, “50% of marketing works; we just don’t know which 50%”, is simply not true anymore. These specialists know pretty much 100% what’s working.
This morning’s meeting covered:
Pay Per Click. Bidding on key words to drive traffic to your website or landing page. Of, course it’s not as simple as that, it’s not just about being at the top of the page, it’s also which key words lead to better conversions, and paying the least possible for the best results.
Remarketing. Keeping track of visitors to your webpage who “drop-off” with your advert appearing again as they visit social media sites, or other websites. Another form is list marketing: your link being re-emphasised on Google after someone has visited your web page.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). A dark art 😉 From what I can gather, over the years there’s been many empty promises made about SEO. It is a very powerful form of digital marketing, although requiring in depth analysis and patience, as it’s not a quick fix.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). This amazed me when I was shown it. CRO is tracing and capturing the behaviour of visitors to your webpages. Learning these behaviours means you can truly understand your customers and the ways they prefer to purchase, meaning you can make changes to suit. Combined with analysis of economics, this can really drive digital business growth.
Email marketing is still a powerful means of marketing communication. As with all data handling you need to abide by GDPR regulations, but don’t let that scare you off; correctly managed your email marketing can deliver great results.
Social media, done right, provides a great way to engage your audience. But the playing field has changed; just because you create a post doesn’t mean for a minute your friends and followers will see it; Facebook, and now LinkedIn, are very much looking at monetising their platforms. And even in my first few weeks at Hillsgreen, when starting conversations with new contacts, I often hear “Facebook advertising doesn’t work”; the reality is “they haven’t made Facebook advertising work for themselves!” We certainly have plenty of evidence of good return on investment in Facebook advertising.
That’s a whistle-stop tour of some of the marketing strategies the Hillsgreen team deliver. Whether you want to talk Digital, or other elements of the Marketing Mix, including Pay By Results PR, check out our website www.hillsgreen.co.uk or drop me an email email@example.com to chat things through.