In today’s fast changing digital marketing environment, the best way to succeed is to try lots of things and determine which ones work. The iterative model of entrepreneurship and agile development are a good fit for digital marketing where you need to be creative, test your ideas, believe the data, and start over. Here’s what we’ve found works:
Set goals: If you don’t measure it, how can you improve it? If “failure to plan is planning to fail” then failure to set goals (i.e. failure to plan) ensures the failure of your digital campaigns. So set goals and measure your success and failure so you can iterate to better results and justify your spend. You can keep it simple (# of unique visitors or conversions), the key is to pick a KPI that you can easily and accurately measure and set your target in advance.
Pay daily attention to your Analytics: You can’t just “set it and forget it”. You have to constantly monitor and tweak (“iterate”) your campaigns. Look at the before and after performance (Google Analytics makes it easy to compare the 5 days before and 5 days (or 1 day) you made some sort of change, so always look to see if changes result in pre-expected outcomes. Learn, adjust, iterate. With digital advertising and data you can measure both quality and quantity and sometimes the most expensive leads are also the most profitable. One example is the keyword “Cartagena”. It’s much less expensive (15 cents/click) than “Cartagena Boat Rental” (41 cents per click, depending on the quality of your site), but the more expensive Keyword produces more engagement and converts to leads 7x better for Jetsemani.
Test, Test, Test: Running multiple ad creatives or landing pages, or comparing one traffic source against another is a critical part of the “iterative” process. If you monitor campaign performance daily, you’ll be able to better iterate your strategies and optimize your performance. It’s easy to guess if something worked or didn’t and also easy to guess why, but the devil is in the data, and by testing you can draw legitimate conclusions.
Define your customer: At Jetsemani, our customer is the supplier, so we build a persona of the supplier, what they are looking for, where they roam digitally, and we try to get in front of them there. Our supplier’s customer tends to be the tourist, so when we build campaigns for our suppliers, we start by helping them build personas of the tourists they want to target (male vs female, luxury or economy, sporty or artsy), we set up some tests with different types of creatives and images (the boat or the architecture or the beach), we collect data, we analyze and we iterate until we are attracting the customer who buys. We do this with event sponsors, hospitality suppliers, and tech and service vendors like ourselves, but you’ve got to target the right audience.
Select Channels: There are so many places to buy digital ads from sponsorships to product placements and from Google Ads to Social Media. Some are easier to access than others, but the more channels you can test, the more likely you are to find the one that gets you the best performance. For example, while Bing doesn’t have the same volume of search for terms associated with Cartagena, the prices are lower than Google and especially for ads targeted at an older demographic, we find that Bing traffic converts better.
Mobile First: It’s a mobile world, but in Cartagena we almost never meet suppliers who build their marketing efforts around a “Mobile First” strategy. Our traffic is more than half mobile, so it makes sense to consider how our products look and perform on mobile first, then we can adjust as necessary for desktop computers. If you don’t consider mobile first, you are missing out on a chance to connect with the majority of your target audience.
It may sound difficult to do all of this, but in fact, it’s mostly a matter of applying the time and resources. We can help you get things set up and train your staff to do the work. It doesn’t matter if you make a few mistakes along the way, but getting the basic systems in place before you start can save you time, money, and stress, and help make your campaigns more fruitful in the long run.
To learn more about digital marketing for the Latin American Travel & Hospitality Market, contact us at info@Jetsemani.com.