GUEST ARTICLE: Pro-tips for CMOs - optimise your digital marketing game in 2023

GUEST ARTICLE: Pro-tips for CMOs - optimise your digital marketing game in 2023

Marketing professionals need their eyes glued to the key performance indicators.


Mumbai: This year, we witnessed brands investing significantly more in digital marketing, setting the tone for the coming year, when the competition is expected to further increase. With decreasing attention spans, the digital marketing industry is ever-busy producing the next big thing in marketing and the advent of new and improved marketing techniques calls for brands to scurry for the scarce consumer attention, amping up the CPCs (cost-per-click) in the process. So how does one ensure that the campaigns are performing better than this year and delivering a better ROI? Here are six tips to optimise and improve the performance of digital marketing campaigns in 2023.

Research: To discover new patterns in brand trends, marketing professionals need their eyes glued to the key performance indicators (KPIs). As we advance into the digital-first lives, quantifying the sales figures, brand search, and other major external factors patterns will be increasingly crucial.

For this research, basic analytics tools such as Google Analytics (GA4), Search Console, Google keyword planner, SEM Rush, Google trends, or social media pages suffice. Insights from these tools need to be compared, analysed and tallied with the customer relationship management data to validate if the digital search and brand trends are following the same trajectory as the sales of your brand.

Additionally, the self-evaluation of the brands should also include other KPIs such as engagement rate, unique visitors on the website, average session duration, conversion rates, and sales-related numbers.

Audit: Though the word evokes anxiety and negative sentiment in most marketers, audits are appreciated by honest professionals. Audits are crucial to determine the effectiveness of marketing strategies and campaigns. Going into 2023, marketers should, with a fine-tooth comb, go through the performance of the brand’s website, social media presence, digital and traditional media presence, as well as branding and performance marketing campaigns that are running on different platforms such as Google ads, Meta ads, etc. Aggressive audits are not only for determining the lacunae in the strategy but also for improving and setting realistic goals for the brand.

Audience connect: For most of the brands, the better part of their direct and indirect target audiences are the tech-savvy gen-z who, having grown up with the internet and its huge knowledge base at their fingertips, are a  highly aware and reactive generation.

In the coming year, it will be crucial for marketers to understand what this audience wants to listen to and fine-tune their symphony, accordingly. Needless to say, the principal aim of marketing is connecting with the audience at all levels, right from understanding their needs concerning the products and services to generating the very need to engage with the brand. Once you can put your finger on what makes your brand the need of the audience, the next year’s marketing plan is half done.

Right communication: Once you know who your audience is and where your brand needs to improve, focus on the right form of communication. With their shrinking attention span, you perhaps have just one ad copy, creative or video to captivate the audience.

Gaining consumers' attention continues to be a challenge, especially with a lot of clutter already on the web. The sharper your content, the more the audience is compelled to engage and with an increased chance of brand recall.  With the right communication, you are closer to your sales target.

Integrated media planning: In 2023, with the expected rise in competition in the digital marketing arena, no marketer can do without integrated campaigns. Regardless of the different communication formats of the platforms, the central theme of the campaign needs to be integrated and aligned towards the common goal, creating a melodious symphony for the audience as well as the brand.

For example, while optimising your search engine campaigns for 100s of keywords, you should also focus on integrating elements of branding campaigns via Google Display, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, creating a push factor, resulting in holistic campaigns.

Similarly, for a successful PR campaign, let’s suppose you got an article featured in leading publications. Now, to get the most value out of your PR efforts, that article needs to be further promoted among the target group without incurring much extra cost via cost-effective channels such as social media, WhatsApp messages, SMS and e-mail marketing. For instance, a social media post can be made related to that article boosting your consumer engagement. Further, an email, SMS and WhatsApp message can be sent to the captured and opt-in database of the audience promoting the article, driving people to read the entire piece.

Automation: To achieve the most efficient execution, marketers must consider using automated solutions for several client-servicing options. Automation not only saves time and effort from micro-managing but also helps channelise creativity into major marketing campaigns.

Apart from increasing internal efficiency, automation can further customer satisfaction. For example, small steps such as automated personalised and instantaneous responses for customer enquiry can add warmth and personal touch to communication without taxing too much manpower.

Optimised execution: Imagine for a great meal, you bought all the ingredients and mixed them in the right quantities but forgot to adjust the flame, resulting in burnt food: what a futile exercise!

Much like the flame in cooking, optimization is key in digital marketing campaigns. Even with the right research, perfect creative and ad copy, and an amazing media plan, without timely execution and continuous calibration of the KPIs of the campaigns, all the efforts are in vain.

The key to a perfectly optimised campaign execution is to continuously track the campaign’s direct and indirect impact on sales as well as brand recall value; this exercise is invaluable not only because it helps in determining the net performance of the campaign but also because some campaigns might look non-performing while their indirect contribution ends up being the most effective one.

Much like the ever-changing consumption patterns in the market, the Digital Marketing landscape is equally dynamic. To stay at the top of this game, above any hack, any marketing guru can come up with, is the marketer’s instinct. A good marketer not only understands the need of the hour but also can foresee the demand that is to come and starts pitching for the change. While these tips will hold you in good stead in the coming years, a sharpened instinct will carry you through the decades.

The author of this article is SRV Media VP marketing Vinay Babani.