Free advice for small businesses

Because the Digital Strategy team are not accessible to small businesses, we developed this simple checklist to help any marketer start thinking about the value of their communications and how they can identify the areas for improvement.

The centre of gravity may have migrated to digital channels, but that doesn't mean marketing managers are spending digital budgets wisely. In today's cash-strapped world, an audit of digital marketing effectiveness is the fast track for uncovering ways to save budgets that are not working, and where to maximise budgets that could work much harder. This short guide gives marketing managers some of the key steps in starting that process.

Many firms get less than 40% of the ROI they could from their digital marketing. Minor changes - such as clearer calls to action, simpler sign-ups for email and clearer messaging in banner advertising - can have a dramatic effect on the impact of web marketing. That's why auditing your digital marketing can quickly unlock where the problems are, and help brand managers move budgets to where they will work hardest

Here's a few steps any firm can take straight away...

1. Follow the customer's journey through one of your digital marketing campaigns

  • Look for effective handovers from search engine pages deep into your site
  • Consider the customer's experience of your landing page
  • Review the marketing goal of each web page and look for improvements

2. Relationship marketing and segmentation

  • Critically analyse your segmentation strategy and how decision-makers, influencers and other stakeholders are treated by your business
  • Examine how customers are converted and the connection to relationship marketing programmes

3. Measuring performance and your marketing KPIs

  • Check you're capturing marketing and audience activity data effectively
  • Consider which data are most meaningful for your business
  • Review or set the key performance indicators based on what matters most, for example: number of site visitors that match target profile, number of conversion rates for email sign-ups, dwell time etc – but find the right KPIs for your specific goals rather than simply using page impressions and email sign-ups

4. Explore the cost per impact

  • Develop a model for calculating the cost per impact for customers in your digital channels
  • Review the different types of impacts you have and weight them to reflect the value they give the business
  • Repeat the process with classic media, and traditional sales and marketing channels