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Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Mix

In a recent post I discussed the difficulty in picking a digital marketing strategy without having first looked at your analytics.  But once you know the numbers, what do you do?

Which Digital Marketing Channel Should You Lead With?

It may be painfully obvious but you will surely want to go with the channel that gets the most conversions, right? This would seem the logical choice on the surface but let’s dig deeper. Let’s look at the data below and see if we can make some clear choice as to direction.

  • PPC – Say your PPC campaign is closing sales at 1.5%,  with an acquisition cost of $6, and your average sale is $150. That gives you a pretty good ROI.
  • Affiliate – Your affiliate program is closing sales at a rate of 2% of visits and is costing  you 6% of your cart, with an average order size of $135.
  • SEO – You’ve spent on average $2,000 a month on content and SEO efforts and you’re getting about 500 customers from your organic results each month, and growing, with an average order size of $155.

There are of course many more numbers you could look at, but you’ve got some basic details in the above numbers. However the numbers don’t tell you the entire story. In fact, all of these channels, depending on your cost structure are performing pretty well.

Where would you put your money?

Where you put your money would depend on looking at the bigger picture. Here are some questions you’d want to ask about each channel:

PPC

  • How much further can you optimize your acquisition cost?
  • How much can you increase sales with better landing pages?
  • Are there additional keywords you can expand into?
  • Do you have the funds to experiment considering that some of the new keywords may not pan out?
  • What would your competitors do if you increased your budget to garner the #1 PPC position?

Affiliate

  • Are  you putting as much effort into your affiliate channel as you can to maximize exposure withyour top affiliates?
  • What woud your competition do if you increased  your comission structure?
  • Are you out of affiliates that can effectively sell your product?

SEO

  • How well are you holding up for older keywords  you ranked highly for last year?
  • How much budget do you have for additional research to determine what new content to create?
  • Have you identified new areas of increasing  your SEO position through Social marketing?

In addition to these questions you need to consider the following pros and cons of each:

Pros

  • PPC is easy to budget and measure results
  • Affiliate channels only cost you money when you make a sale
  • SEO results can give you sales for months or years even after stopping all efforts

Cons

  • PPC campaings will stop producing revenue the minute you stop spending money.
  • Affiliate channels are built on a other peoples sites continuing to rank where they are today. If their rank drops so does their traffic and likely your sales.
  • SEO can be a roller coaster ride going from 14th to 4th in a matter of hours.

Risk and Reward

The point is you need to consider all apparent and external forces when considering which channel to increase investment in. All of the 3 channels mentioned can produce great results, depending on your resources, competitors and market position. All have up and down sides that need to be considered. I only scratched the surface on the questions for each channel, you could easily come up with 5-10 more levers to look at in you decision making process for which one to pull.

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