One of my favorite philosophies that I use to guide my work is the practice of continuous improvement, or kaizen. The basis for this business school of thought is making concerted efforts to improve processes, efficiency and performance.
In the PR and marketing industry, we can witness kaizen being practiced more and more often. As we explore in the white paper Defining the Metrics that Will Demonstrate ROI, new tools have made it easier to measure the precise impact of our efforts and optimize content creation and promotion.
When optimizing your multichannel content program, consider the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” (PDCA) approach. Based on the scientific method, PDCA is commonly used to implement kaizen.
The following steps provide a framework for using Plan-Do-Check to identify marketing opportunities that can be solved by Act.
PLAN: The first step is establishing your marketing department’s goals, selecting a timeline and content, and developing a multichannel promotion blueprint that everyone can get behind. It’s important, during this stage, to gather your data sets and analytics. They will help you plan the best course for maximizing your marketing channels’ revenue. Is there anything you failed to address in the development process that you’d like to implement down the road? Make a note of it and move forward; you’ll have the opportunity to reflect later.
Learn more about Plan in How to Map Marketing Content for Multichannel Promotion.
DO: At this point, you’re ready to execute your content promotion. Determine which paid, earned, owned and social channels you’re going to use and the best ways to format your content across each channel. Again, it’s smart to note any content pieces or channels that aren’t a good fit in your current campaign. For instance, not every buyer persona can (or should) be targeted with every campaign. However, they can (and should) be promoted in the future.
Learn more about Do in 5 Tips for Quick, Easy, and Effective Content Distribution.
CHECK: Throughout the entire process, you should be studying your analytics. Not only will they provide you with the big picture successes of leads generated and revenue gained, but they will also offer insight into metrics that can help you improve, such as lead attribution by channel, page views vs prior year performance, subscription fallout rates, lead-to-conversion ratios and consistency in persona coverage. Don’t forget to include historical performance. Providing a baseline will give your team the complete picture of progress made.
Learn more about Check in Attribution Modeling’s Role in Your Marketing Mix.
ACT: Do your job well in the first three steps and you’ll be set up for success when it’s time to take action. After breaking down your data points, you should see some areas where you can roll up your sleeves and make improvements. Common optimization opportunities include:
Sequence reshuffling. You’ll likely find you need to reorder the publishing and promotion sequence of your content. There may be a great white paper, for example, that has traditionally been offered to audiences early in the funnel, but is being consumed by prospects who are very close to the point of purchase. Does it make sense to move this content down the funnel to buyers who find the most value in it? Resequencing content in a demand generation program is a large undertaking, but analyzing content’s potential in other parts of the program is vital if you want to increase conversions.
Bandwidth expansion. Once you’ve established an efficient process for your multichannel marketing, look into increasing the amount of content you’re promoting on a regular basis. While an increase can reap benefits, continuously test the waters and keep on eye on whether or not you’re over-saturating the market.
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