In many ways the world of marketing (as we have known it for the past few decades) has gone through a paradigm change. Today we use terms such as ‘digital marketing’ and’ social media and content marketing’ a lot. Unfortunately, vast majority of people who use these terms do not even know what they are talking about. Or for that matter they are unaware about the key differences between various marketing strategies or different marketing channels that are available to them.
Here we can say that Google Analytics is to blame for this state of affairs.
As a matter of fact, it has barely been twelve years since the platform was launched and yet it effectively made a lot of lessons that had been so painstakingly learnt in the past decades obsolete. Now tech marketers are hooked on to only direct responses with regard to their ROI or return on investments.
What are marketing channels
In the hay days of TV advertising most people who wanted to reach out to their target audiences did so by offering adverts to (let’s say) prime time shows or even by airing infomercials with popular celebrities. Here the TV itself was the marketing channel while the infomercials and the adverts were essentially the means of implementing a preplanned marketing strategy, with the advertisements themselves being marketing content. Many people end up confusing these mutually exclusive terms a lot.
Facebook can never be a marketing strategy, rather it might be the channel though which content would be delivered to the target audience.
From the point of view of search engine dynamics. The SEO (search engine optimization) approach might be taken as the strategy and the content in which the SEO has been used would be the article or blog or post that contains those words. Lastly the channel would be the search engine itself.
Not knowing these common terms and their usage could lead to mistakes that just might end up compromising the entire marketing plan of the company.
The Marketing Analytics Mix
All marketing efforts are centered on creating specific messages that may then be inserted into the right content to be disseminated over a specific channel that would enable the messages’ outreach to the target audience.
Before deciding just which channel to use, and what kind of message to create and convey, a lot of research has to be conducted with reference to the target market. This ‘ground up approach’ effectively means that the marketer has to understand the target audience itself (its psychographics, demographics etc.)
However, Google has changed the whole bucket altogether. Now, the actual strategy (along with all the extensive homework used in its drafting and implementation) has in fact, taken backstage to the channel itself. Thanks to GA, most marketers now acquire their critical data through its traffic analysis tool. And therefore, are almost completely dependent on it.
That is essentially what happens when marketers put on blinkers and become entirely dependent on a lone platform for all their marketing data needs. Since they lose their ability to think out of the box, they end up concentrating entire strategy only on one thing. GA is ultimately just like any other software. Its usage is therefore also subjected to certain limitations. Not understanding that may end up costing many marketers their campaigns in the long run.