Break Out of the Groundhog Day Cycle: Quit These 2 Marketing Habits

February 1, 2018 Melissa Piccinich

Ever since the 1993 film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, Groundhog Day and the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil are synonymous with recurring mistakes.

As a marketer, you never want to be stuck in a cycle of repetition. But it happens because it is easy to become too focused on the deliverable and distance your thoughts from the goal.

Are you in a Groundhog Day rut? Quit these two habits, and you’ll be on the path to avoiding the same mistakes over and over again.

Groundhog Day Habit #1: Publish and Pray

A creative idea struck your mind, and you have crafted the perfect way to generate the interest of your target readers. You write a thought-provoking blog and post it on your website. Write. Publish. Repeat.

When it’s time to evaluate the ROI of your blog, were you able to determine the effectiveness? If you weren’t, maybe you are stuck in the cycle of "publish and pray."

Before you even begin to write a blog post, take these steps to help ensure its success:

  1. Define your target audience and the action you want them to take.
  2. Set the objectives for your post and confirm how you’ll measure success.
  3. Identify a list of long-tail keywords you can use throughout the post to increase organic SEO.
  4. Plan methods for driving traffic to the blog post, including social media and email.

The “publish and pray” cycle does not only affect blog content. Email marketing can also fall victim to repetition.

Imagine this. You have a stellar newsletter, and your open rate is consistent. You send your email each week on the same day, at the same time and with the same subject line. Are you missing opportunities to optimize your open and click-through rates because you’re not striving for more?

Here are three things you can do to maximize your email marketing efforts:

  1. A/B test subject lines to drive open rates higher.
  2. Test CTAs to see if changing colors, size, placement or word choice can boost click rates.
  3. Examine your distribution list to see which segments of your audience are most and least engaged and adjust your messaging strategy accordingly.

Groundhog Day Habit #2: Automation Invasion

In the race of marketing, time is the problem and automation is a potential solution. Automation can be a significant asset. But if automation is not implemented strategically, it can quickly create a repetitive cycle that is unable to evaluate its flaws.

Have you spent the last year wondering why your engagement is low on social media? It is not difficult for your audience to notice when marketers become robots. If your posts are published during the same time slots three times a day and the diversity of content is minimal, your social presence might be missing a pulse.

Similarly, many click campaign platforms allow for automated optimization. But guess what’s being maximized through automation? Your clicks and your spend. If you’re over-spending on clicks that result in low-quality leads, it’s possible automation has negatively impacted your performance.

Here are three tips to help get out of the automation invasion cycle.

  1. Identify the marketing tasks you have on auto-pilot.
  2. Move away from automation for a set period of time to test manual versus automated campaign management on campaign performance.
  3. Calculate the cost of manual management versus the incremental return to determine whether automated or manual is your best path forward.

When you can consolidate management time with automation without diminishing performance, it can be an optimal choice. But if your return on investment or return on effort is not being maximized, you might be in a rut.

Don’t be Punxsutawney Phil. He’s been doing the same thing since 1887.

Remember, “we’ve always done it this way” are six words that can quickly lead marketers into a pattern of replication that may drive engagement numbers down.

Strategies are only new for a moment. Never stop pushing yourself to the limits, and always seek to uncover innovative and fresh ways to engage and grow relationships with your audience. The first step is reimaging the way you win.

Like the movie weatherman Phil Conners, you can escape a monotonous routine when you embrace the possibilities of the unknown. February could be the month your brand gets a do-over and optimizes for a fresh start. Want some help maximizing the win? Team DMS is ready to assist. Click here to have someone contact you.

About the Author

Melissa Piccinich

Melissa Piccinich is a Marketing Manager at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Melissa handles marketing and communications efforts for DMS and its subsidiary brands. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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