True Digital Marketing Innovation Does This …

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digital marketing innovation

True digital marketing innovation marries the past and the present.

We often hear that we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been.

Of course you have to start somewhere, but once you have a baseline for guidelines you should use that to dictate your next move.

Here’s how to look back and propel yourself forward …

How You Should Look At Digital Marketing Innovation

Let’s go to the granular level to break it down:

The Past: Time Tested

  • Understand your proven techniques 

The Present: What’s Happening Right Now

  • Adapt your old techniques with what’s happening now

The Future: What We Expect To Achieve 

  • Analyze your techniques and modify based on your results

Even if you’re just starting out, there are some questions you can answer to determine your baseline.

We use an onboarding questionnaire to get a feel for where our new clients sit with their digital marketing, and based on their answers put them into “buckets” or levels.

Here are some ideas based on our worksheet to help you pin down your level of marketing:

  • I am tracking and measuring my campaigns based on behaviors (example: clicks) (Y/N — Level One)
  • I use standard metrics to gauge my digital marketing success (Y/N — Level One)
  • Google Analytics is an important tool in my toolbelt (Y/N — Level One)
  • I use benchmarking to marry past results with current results (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I use analytics software or worksheets to track results (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I’m comfortable using optimization tactics — for advertising or online content (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I use segmentation strategies with my marketing list(s) (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I use some form of automation with my digital marketing (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I use drip campaigns to nurture potential clients and convert leads (Y/N — Level Two)
  • I use advanced segmentation with my marketing list(s) (Y/ N — Level Three)
  • I create personalized content based on my advanced segmentation (Y/N — Level Three)
  • I produce cross-channel messaging for my digital marketing campaigns (Y/N — Level Three)
  • Everything is mobile optimized (Y/N — Level Three)
  • I maintain high levels of growth — with strong engagement — on social channels (Y/N — Level Three)
  • I have performed deep audience profiling as part of my audience development plan (Y/N — Level Three)

Be honest with yourself.

Some people aren’t even at Level One, but that’s okay because at least now you have something to aspire to (and a semi roadmap to get started with!).

You Can’t Be Innovative Without The Basics


You simply can’t win if you aren’t in the game.

Development in the following areas is critical for businesses looking for a leg up online:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Digital advertising
  3. Social media marketing
  4. Landing page optimization
  5. Email marketing

The basics should make up your baseline, and moving forward you can add pieces or elements to supplement your campaigns.

Other Past, Present, & Future Things To Observe

1. Audience

Past: Who did I target?

Present (or starting place): Who am I targeting? New niches? New segments? Or if you’re just starting out this is where your buyer personas come in.

Future: How will I define, attract, and maintain my alpha audience? What segments are most engaged?

2. Content Strategy

Past: What pieces performed best? Worst?

Present: How will I get my content to move (content distribution)?

Future: Where does my  content need to be seen? How does my alpha audience prefer to consume my content?

3. Lead Generation 

Past: Which landing pages have the highest conversion rates? Why?

Present: How can I attract new leads through content?

Future: How will I nurture my leads once they’ve opted in?

4. Measurement

Past: Which content, emails, landing pages, etc. spurred the most positive behavior(s)?

Present: What KPIs (key performance indicators) and tools will help us track success?

Future: How can we improve on poor strategies or go further with working campaigns?

Innovation, Not For Idiots

I see a lot of posts talking about how to be innovative and other digital marketing innovation tips.

And honestly, I don’t think you can make something be innovative, just like you can’t make something go viral.

Those who do happen upon innovation have done so through tried-and-true measurement, through strategic planning, and a solid digital marketing foundation.

The bottom line is: Know where you’ve been, or make today the starting point, and measure, track, glean, learn, and gain insight every step of the way.

Doing that is the only surefire way I know to be innovative.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Marketing, Online Marketing
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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Josh St. Aubin
    May 13, 2015 9:26 AM

    I agree Brooke. People confuse innovation with shiny object syndrome, when it’s really nothing more than giving people the things they want and need without them realizing they ever wanted or needed them. But a huge part of that as a brand is being self aware – knowing who you were, who you are and what you want to become. If you can’t answer those 3, it’s going to be hard to be innovative.

    • Thanks, Josh! Self-awareness is HUGE … not just in our personal lives, but also in business. DO THE WORK, as I tell my clients. It’s hard, but in the end, it will all be worth it. 🙂

  • I agree that nowadays digital marketing should be considered. It is a rising industry. Content Marketing is time consuming and hard to create but is so rewarding. Thank you for sharing this informative article! Good read!

  • What an insightful post, Brooke! Most of us usually puzzle digital marketing with Search Engine optimization (SEO). It is not just solely SEO or Social Media Optimization (SMO), instead it is an unification of all such actions which are realistic to advertise your website in the most prime way. The nature of such actions would chiefly depend on your business vertical.

  • Thank you for sharing such a useful information. It is really helpful for digital marketers. Creating relevant, interesting and unique content is always important for internet marketing personnel in order to achieve the expected website traffic goals. Content has always been the most important factor that attracts targeted customers to the website.

    When anyone going into digital marketing, they should come up with the best strategies to drive traffic to your website and find ways of converting the traffic you receive into valuable sales for your business. One can use different methods to ensure that you track traffic to your website.

    Keep Sharing.

    Elise Forsyth Mort

  • Brooke, do you recommend 3000-5000 words article? I tried and got a brilliant result in the end. Although, no doubt that content is always and will always king for digital marketing business as well. Anyway, great collection of data on digital marketing!

    • Hi, Tim! I haven’t yet tried for that many words. I have, however, noticed that our longer posts (1,000+ words) often gain more traction. I need to try for 3-5k! It seems like a daunting task, but well worth the try. Thanks for chiming in with your advice! 🙂


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