*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.
ArekDvornechuck: what's up branding experts Arek here at ebaqdesign and on today's podcast, my guest is Simon Kingsnorth and Simon is anaward winning digital consultant and strategic marketing expert. And he has worked and consulted to many leading businesses around the world. So Simon also helped global corporations as well as startups to scale and succeed when it comes to marketing. So Simon, wrote also this book, Digital Marketing Strategy, which is a very comprehensive book. And this is the book we are going to talk about today, by the way, this is a second edition as you can guys see right here. So this book is very comprehensive and Simon shares here His in-depth knowledge of online marketing and digital marketing. Hello, Simon, thanks for joining us today.
Simon Kingsnorth: Hey, thanks for having me.
1. Knowing your business objectives
Arek Dvornechuck: So first of all, let's start with some basics. So, you know, digital marketing is a very broad term, right? And, um, and your book is very comprehensive and you go into details and you cover all of its aspects, right? The process in great detail. So I just thought we could just spend a few minutes talking about a few, each of those five spots that you divide your book into. So hopefully it's going to give us some overview of what to expect from the book, if our listeners want to dive in and learn more, right? So starting with knowing your business objectives and knowing your costumers, right, which is the first part of your book. So here, you're talking about getting to know your business objectives and your costumer as the first step, but a very important step. So you introduced us to things like digital ecosystem and you talk about different channels and how they work together. For example, SEO and pay per click and so on. So perhaps you can give us some overview of what this first part is all about and how to really uncover our business objectives and get to know our customers.
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah, thanks! it's an interesting area. It's one that I think its a missed a bit too often, sometimes by businesses. It's very interesting. When you, when you think about digital marketing, people often get excited about the technology and they start to think about it. What can we do with Instagram and what CRM system do we bring in, but you mustn't jump to that point at the beginning, or you have to go back to what are we actually trying to achieve and, you know, forget the word digital for a moment. Just think about marketing. What are we actually trying to achieve? Right. We're trying to grow our business or we're trying to make our business more profitable or grow our brand awareness. So, it bring it right back to the goals, right back to the basics of what is it we're actually trying to achieve here and understand all of that to do that. You need to think about your wider business. So you need to consider who are we as a brand who are our customers now and who do we want our customers to be? Maybe that's maybe those two things. Aren't the same at the moment. And if so we need some strategies to move from one to the other. What's our vision as a business. Are we trying to just get a few more customers or we try to enter a new market? Are we trying to go global? What's the culture? What are the KPIs that sit behind where we're trying to go and understanding the digital consumer, obviously as part of that now. The reality these days, there is no real digital consumer. Every consumer is digital to some degree, some use, perhaps just they use their phone every day and they might just check their emails on it. Some may be in and out of social media, literally every five minutes for the whole day. They're very different people, but they're all on the scale. So there's no digital consumer and non digital consumer really, we're all just different, different sides of the same coin. But, um, it is important. Having said that, to understand what the needs of someone out the digital space. So you need to understand that we've got to be responsive in our designs because so the vast majority of people are using our platforms on mobile. For example, we need to be fast and agile in the way we work our systems to integrate together. So there's a certain technology angle to it as well. So first part is really just saying, just before you get excited about social media and Facebook and Google, just stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. Just what are you doing? Where are you now? What do you want to achieve? And what is it you need to think about as building that strategy before you start going and delivering,
Arek Dvornechuck: Right? So you need to get that perspective on your business first, before you actually dive into those specific channels and specific tactics, as you mentioned, right?
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah this right. You have to be able to answer those cool questions about who you are and what you're trying to achieve before you get into the detail.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. And who are your customers as well? Uh, okay. So some of my key takeaways from this part would be to understand your digital ecosystem. Uh, what's the difference between SEO pay-per-click social media and so on. You'll give us an overview. And later in the book, you'll dive into details and actually explain each channel in more detail, right? So
Simon Kingsnorth: We talk about SEO and PPC later on in part three, but, but that's an interesting one because they do closely relate to each other. So how you perform on organic doesn't necessarily affect directly what happens with your paid search. But if you are performing extremely well in one area of SEO, you might be able to pull your spend back from paid search on those keywords and apply it to a, to a different area. So balancing how you move those channels against each other, not just saying let's do some SEO and LSTs and paid search, but how do those two fit together and how do we adjust our pages, our designs, our descriptions. So as they work for both channels, but we perhaps focus them in different areas is really important part of that strategy. So something to consider at the beginning again, before you get into let's do a later paid search.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right? Right. And you talk about this. I remember in the book too, how they compliment each other, right. If you're doing SEO, if you're doing pay per click, you can use some techniques. Like you can a model from some pay-per-click ads in order to improve your SEO. Right?
Simon Kingsnorth: That's So you can look at that, which ads are performing, which keywords are performing. And you can test that very, very quickly with a little bit of spend behind it, understanding what people are actually responding to, and then start to optimize your SEO towards that. If you just, if you just do your SEO and wait to see what happens, it can be months, maybe years before you really get the data that you need. So, yeah. That's right.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So using the data from pay-per-click for SEO, SEO takes a long time for you guys who don't know. And also maybe you should probably mention, but you guys who are not familiar with those abbreviations, SEO stands for search engine optimization pay-per-click is PPC, right? So it's a paid advertisement, right? KPIs. So Simon mentioned is a key performance indicators, right? So it could be many different things. So I think we have an overview. Some of my other key takeaways from this first part is to understand you're also talking about business models, right? So it all depends on what's your business model, because you could benefit from mass marketing or from niche, B2C marketing.
2. Integrating digital change
Arek Dvornechuck: Maybe you can create some freemium business model and also understanding the customer and their behavior. And also you talk about in this book, which I think is pretty interesting about technology or the patient and so on from a customer's perspective. So yeah, guys, if you want to dive deeper, I recommend checking out the book as you touch upon many different subjects. So the second part, since we have some understanding that we first need to really think about our business and our business objectives and our customer and define them properly, then, uh, in the second part, you talk about integrating digital change, right? So, uh, into a wider organization, right? So in this book, you start with talking about digital transformation and what it is and what it's not, and you talk about different technology development techniques to ensure that, you know, uh, our strategy can be implemented successfully. So can you talk to us a bit about that digital transformation at the hubs, how to go about planning the implementation of our strategy for it to be successful?
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah so, digital transformation is a really interesting area? It's changed a lot over, it's always changing actually, but it's certainly over the last 10 years, if you rewind 10 years, digital transformation was just in its early days. Really people were starting to talk about it a lot. I think there was a lot of debates about what it really meant. Um, and some people, it was just changing a technology platform, but that's not really transformation and what it meant for a larger business versus a smaller business. Your big businesses that have been around for a hundred years. Sometimes they have a lot of different systems that are talking to each other, many of which are very outdated. Um, and the digital transformation programs, there can be four or five-year projects that's, um, that incredibly complicated and difficult and put it in hundreds and hundreds of people and spend millions of dollars. And the other hand in a startup, it's very, very different. You can do a digital transformation in three months in a startup, but that doesn't mean you just go in and get on with it. You've still got to think about what transformation actually means and transformation doesn't just mean changing a bunch of technology. Yeah, sure. That's part of it. But you know, a big part of digital transformation is actually changing the way you think and changing the way you work. So there's a cultural element to digital transformation. It's not just, if I change from HubSpot to Salesforce, great, happy days, I've done a digital transformation. Well, no, you haven't. You just change your CRM provider or your automation provider. Uh, but, um, you actually, it's about changing the way you work, changing the way you think. So to say it certainly in a larger organization, you need to get all the key decision makers behind you to understand that you are transforming your business from one way of working to a completely new way of working. It's going to be about data. It's going to be about speed. It's going to be about agility. It's very, very different to an old school way of working from perhaps the back end of the last century or even early part of this digital transformation is, is a lot about understanding what technology is out there and moving into a much more agile way of working, but also future-proofing yourself and enabling yourself. Next time you go through a digital transformation, which, you know, you'll have to do some kind of tech or digital or cultural transformation at some point, there's no point in pretending you don't. If you are going to do that again, and maybe 20 years time, you have to make sure that this one has been built in a way that is incredibly agile for the next ones that happen easily. You don't want to go through another 10 year project that keeps doing that in 10 years time. So, so there's a lot of agility and cultural change within that. And also within this section is a chapter that I think is probably the most important chapter in the book. And yet it's the least glamorous chapter in the book. Um, it doesn't talk about anything really cool or sexy or exciting. It's about planning, all right, which is potentially very boring, but actually it's, I hope it's not too boring. I hope I haven't read in a boring way. Um, but you know, I always say to people, this is potentially the most boring, but most exciting part of the book at the same time. Because if you get this planning rights, everything else will work, right? Everything else will work. Your SEO, your social media, your content marketing, your acquisition of clients for the right price, the way your website works, your digital transformation, everything will work if you do this planning process correctly. And there are some very clear steps and approaches to doing that within the book. So in that chapter, I think it's chapter seven and the second edition is really critically important. And then if you follow that process, as you're building your strategy up and you're pulling in paid search and social media and content strategy and video marketing and whatever it is you might be doing within your specific marketing strategy you will have your best chance of making that work. So this part two, is a lot about cultural change, transformation planning, really thinking about how you are going to set yourself up for success. So we've talked about who you are and who the client is. Then we're talking about setting yourself up for success. But for part three, when we actually go on and start getting over with delivering some marketing each of the individual channel.
Arek Dvornechuck: So, right. So for you guys, so some of my key takeaways from this part, you know, you were talking about getting decision-makers on the same page, so they need to understand what tech is out there and buy into it right into the change. And then you also mentioned that maybe it's not a sexy subject, but this is super important to plan your process correctly, right? This is critical to pulling off a successful strategy. So planning is you should spend some time, you know, in order to be able to successfully launch your strategy or marketing campaign. So here in this part, you talk about different development techniques like waterfall, agile proof of concept, minimal viable product. I think our listeners probably are familiar with some of them, at least. So yeah. Basically planning would be like, you talk about that in the book, you know, to define where you are as of now just A, and where do you want to get, which is B and the third question would be, do you know how to get there?
3. Using channel strategy
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. So we need to create a plan of the change. Right. So, okay. So since we've covered that, the third part of your book, you talk more about using channel strategy to reach our customers, right? So you basically dive deeper into those channels and, uh, and the intricacies, and like, for example, SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, right. And how to go about pay-per-click strategy as well, and all the channels like display, advertising, social media, email marketing, automation and so on. So I thought maybe you can just give us some, uh, general tips on how to use channel strategy effectively for what kind of business, because there are different businesses out there as some of them, I assume, are more suited for those businesses. Like, you know, B2B versus B2C and so on. Would you have some general tips on how to use channel strategy effectively in order to reach other customers?
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, obviously this is a huge area. So this is talking about all the channels, supposedly, as you say, paid search SEO, display advertising, social media, and we're really going into the detail of, of each discipline within, within digital marketing now. So there's a massive, massive area. So we can't spend a whole call on this. It will be here for a couple of weeks. Right. But
Arek Dvornechuck: Definitely, Yeah,
Simon Kingsnorth: But yeah, it's, as you say, one of the key things about the book, when I first wrote it, I was very conscious that me, myself, having worked in B2B and B2C and B2B to C and then get very sector startup, big corporations, there are lots and lots of different business models. Each one is unique. Each company is unique, actually. So you, you, depending on, as we say, going back to the beginning, depending on your goals and who you are and who your consumers are, you're going to have a different approach to each of those, which is why we tackle that bit first. So if you are focused on, let's say you're a small, small business, you're just starting out. You don't have a lot of money, uh, you know, where do you go, right? You can't just go and do a whole load of paid search and display advertising because that's potentially going to cost you many, many thousands of dollars that you don't have at the beginning.You're not going to be able to bring in like a Salesforce or something hugely expensive that could cost many tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of pounds to, to integrate. So, you know, there are plenty of good tools and platforms out there. And we talk about that later in the book, but there are plenty of platforms out there to use, but there are also in terms of where you focus the channels, there are ways to optimize around low budgets. And probably the best of those today is content marketing part of which we're doing right now, right on the podcast. Very good example of it. So podcasts is extremely popular at the moment. Of course, you look at all the social media, that's all content marketing, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, you name it. Um, all of that is, is content marketing. You're blogging on your own website is content marketing, reviewing the static content of your website, where you talk about your products and about the company and your homepage, all of that is content marketing. And you could even go so far as to say that your, you know, your brochures, your flyers, all these things are content marketing as well. Um, you know, it's a term that's been around for a long time, but it's certainly at the moment is the most important area of marketing. So building a content calendar and having an approach. Um, there's an approach in the book called the content bubble that I developed, which is worth having a look at if you get a moment. Um, I think I probably have a blog about it on my website somewhere. So as well, if he wants to have a look, but, um, but that, that's you understanding how to do really good effective content strategy, which is chapter 14 of the, of the book is, is really important. Cause that influences social media, which, which is going to grow your following, which is going to get you a lot of word of mouth, which is going to get you good engagement, which is in itself a signal to SEO, which is also informed by content, of course, because the more pages you have, the more likely you are to return in certain search engine results that will relevant. They are through good, effective use of keywords, et cetera. That again, that's going to, that's going to perform much better for you, an SEO if you get it right, can be a very low cost way of bringing traffic into your website. Exactly the same. There was social media content. Maybe you have people internally writing. It can again be really effective, getting yourself PR coverage and getting on a podcast doesn't cost you anything necessarily. So you can use PR agencies. You can use marketing agencies. Of course you can to do all these things, but also if you're smart and creative and you really drive at it, you can do a lot of these things very effectively for very low cost and bring in users, bring in visitors, bring in, bring in clients very cost effectively. And so I say that for people with low budgets, but that doesn't change if you have a lot of money, right? I mean, if you've got big budgets for marketing content, it's still a massively important areas of focus. So maybe you could do more of it. Maybe you can do more complex pieces like research papers. Maybe you can develop tools that people use. So, you know, things like mortgage calculators or tax calculators, those sort of things, not very glamorous, but if you work in financial services, those are fantastic ways to drive traffic to your site because people use them all the time. So those are the things you can develop and optimize around. So, so, you know, I would say whilst there's lots and lots of areas of focus on. If you had to pick one today, I'd say that's content marketing, because that influences pretty much everything else.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right. I would agree with that. This is what we are doing right now. And yeah, as you said, it works great. It just takes some time, you know, SEO takes some time. It's not an immediate result. You know, if you do pay per click, you're going to have immediate results. Right? Of course you need to spend some money to a good out what works for you and what doesn't, what brings you to total investment and what doesn't. So we will have to have some capital, but with SEO, oh, well it doesn't cost that much, but it does cost you time. So, uh,
Simon Kingsnorth: It does cost you time, but also there are ways to get ahead of it as well. So you're right. You make changes in, uh, for SEO. They are probably going to take several months before they really kick in and start to give you any feedback. But there are tools like, like Google's tools themselves, they're obviously free. Um, and you can use those also tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs and things like that that have really good SEO tools that can give you data and insight about what your competitors are doing, a way your website is working or not working for SEO and even suggestions around, you know, which sort of links you should go after. What sort of content and partnerships you should go off the site. There's a lot of good tools that can give you direction as well. Even if you haven't, you haven't touched on it at all yet. So, um, so yeah, it's a hugely important area. The only thing you really need to remember is the same thing that people have known for, you know, a good hundred years in PR, which is like, you've got to produce content that the reader cares about. Not just content that you care about. I think that's the important thing, a lot of companies, and this is where that content book bubble model comes in a lot. A lot of companies focus on you. We've just won an award. We need to tell everyone about that, or we want a new customer. Let's tell everyone, okay, great. But most people don't care. If we're honest, they don't care about your customers and your awards. What people care about is what affects them personally in their lives. So if you're able to deliver something, that's going to add value to someone else's life. Then you're going to have success in your content marketing. If you're just talking about yourself, nobody cares.
Arek Dvornechuck: Right, exactly. That's what we are doing right now. We are trying to provide some valuable content and insights for your guide, give you an expert overview. But yeah, as you mentioned, SEO takes some time, but there are tools that can help you out at the beginning. And you know, when I started with SEO few years back, I have made some mistakes, but, uh, I realized it worked and then I was more specific and more accurate about, you know, choosing my keywords, for example, right at the beginning, uh, I thought, okay, uh, and the keyword related to my industry, like even how to trademark a logo, right? Which is, you could say it's relevant. I mean, graphic design and branding, right? It could be relevant. You know, there is other people's for that, but it's a mistake. Actually. I just wanted to get it out there. It was a mistake because, you know, if you look at the customer, if they want to trademark a logo, they don't need the logo design anymore. They already have a logo. So I should also pay attention to that. So maybe keywords, like best non-profit logos and featuring best non-profits logos is a better way of getting those clients because they are just in the research phase, they're probably ready to buy, right? So that's how I figured out these type of keywords that would work for me, not how to trademark a logo since they already have the logo, but they want to try, like,
Simon Kingsnorth: It's a really good point. It's a really good point. One of the things you need to consider when you're thinking about content and keywords is ultimately the needs of the user, it's all about needs, right. You know, someone is searching for something, they have a need that they're trying to fulfill, and you have to always think about what need am I solving here? What will problem by solving? So if you're, if you're providing logo design services, you're going to solve the need of, I need a logo, not any of the other needs. Now, maybe once they come on to your website, you could upsell them some trademarking services or something else, but you can't bring them in with that because it's, it's too late. So, um, so you, you've gotta be thinking with, with all of this that you do, what, what need to they have and by the right person to solve it, is this the right keyword to solve it. So always be thinking about that.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. And where they are in the customer, in the journey. Right. So, yeah. So, you know, it seems like they have a logo or they want to trademark that logo. They don't need another logo. Right. So, but if they're looking for best logos, like best non-profit logos, that means that they are probably non-profit industry. Maybe they're a startup. Maybe they want to redesign their logo. They just want to get a sense of what is out there. And they're just doing,
Simon Kingsnorth: There'll be looking for best logos. That'd be to design a logo, maybe looking for a branding company near me. So you absolutely used to play around that, but stick within the same need. Yeah.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. So this is just like a life kind of example for you guys. Uh, okay. So some of the key takeaways from this part, so Simon was talking about, you know, of course there are different ways to go about that, but if you are a startup, the most cost efficient for you would be just in general content marketing. So you need to think about that rather than, uh, probably like display advertising and things like that. It's effective and it's low cost. So you can just start with a podcast or start with blogging, hire the right people, you know, create content calendar, and take it from there and target the right keywords. And of course set up everything, the whole funnel, um, it was called to action and things like that. So we can actually capture those leads, right? So there are different aspects also to this like marketing automation and email, email marketing, you know, how you capture those emails and this data and how you do your follow-up with them.
4. Conversion, retention & analytics
Arek Dvornechuck: And so on. But as Simon said, the book could be talking for weeks about the content from this book, because it's really, really comprehensive. It has over 300 pages and really explained many different aspects when it comes to digital marketing. So, okay. So in the fourth part of your book, you talk about more about, conversion, retention, and measurement, right. And I think a very interesting thing would be now in the perspective of creatives, which is part of my, you know, my audience, you talk about the importance of UX design and design thinking, and in general about the user experience and also other things like, you know, setting up a CRM system and measuring those results and using some data analytics. Right. So can you just talk to us a bit about, you know, how those conversions happen and how to measure them and the house, you can give us some like general tips on how to design that great experience in order to retain our customers and convert.
Simon Kingsnorth: Absolutely. So as you say, part three talks about, how to get these guys to you. Part four once are there, how do we convert them into clients and keep them as clients and then keep those happy clients as well. Right. So I get them to refer clients to you, bring more business to you and build your empire. So, yeah, I mean, tracking and analytics is a hugely complex area and very technical, um, in, in many, many ways. So I'd recommend everyone, who's going to be doing something that's going to deliver a result. You should always make sure you've got effective tracking on that. You should always be testing. You should always be using unique URLs wherever you can append any tracking on to that. You should be using an analytics platform on, on your website, of course, across all of your apps. Um, you know, Google of course is free. Um, there are many others out there as well, and it goes, Google is just moving into a 4.0 version at the moment, which is going to create some complexity there. There's also complexity around privacy and cookies. Obviously I'm sure many people listening to this will have heard about the onshore very well aware of all the changes in cookies and privacy over the last few years. And that is continuing to be very complicated and a challenge for marketers. I think it's great actually for the consumer. I think it's good for the individual to be able to say, I want to know exactly where I'm being tracked and what data I have is being taken by companies and how that's being used. And I want to be able to say no to that. I think it's definitely the right outcome as marketers. Of course, we want to serve personalized, relevant appetizing to people and we don't want to be spamming people with rubbish. So I think we're in an interesting phase at the moment where you can say no to, to personalize advertising, but you're still going to get appetizers. And so is it a better or worse experience for you potentially worse and it's worse for the marketers sort of everyone loses, but I think this is a temporary phase we're going through at the moment as we start to, to navigate, uh, privacy and, and, and cookies effectively. But that's something worth doing a lot of reading about, I read a few articles about that. There is to say, do you have a good browse around lots of other people, even smart with me even smart for me, I should say, I'm not that smart, but certainly smarter than me. I've written great analytics over the years as well, but just taking a step back validation and let's look at UX, um, it's a really interesting area. Um, and the mix between design or the blend between design and conversion and programming versus sort of backend and front end, you, there's a, there's a, uh, it's a complex area. There's some amazing web developers that I've worked with. Some amazing designers. It's rare that you find someone that's amazing of both. They're just very, very different skill sets and very different ways of thinking. So putting those, those two things together into, you know, good design thinking is, is, is really, really important. And yeah, there've been some fantastic case studies. Um, I remember a story from, from Google. This is what I always give to people years ago, which is a great example of the surprising things you can do to change the user experience that they are going to have a commercial conversion benefit for you. Um, so the, the story was one of Google's events. Uh, I think it was in Ireland years and years ago that I went to and they told me about a business that had, um, they had a picture on their homepage of their website and had a button that they wanted people to click on to buy their products. And they wanted to test how they could get more people to click on that button. So they took the picture, which was just their product and they changed it to a human person. Now we as humans, we have a better relationship with humans than we do with things. And surprisingly the button clicks actually ended up sending to people, clicking on that button, went up as a result of a person being on that. Um, then they made that person a smiling person. So now it's a positive relationship and they got more clicks on that, that button.
Arek Dvornechuck: Um, then they made that smiling person, a smiling baby, everyone loves babies, they got more clicks on that button again. And then they made that smiling baby, look at the button and then they got more clicks again. So, you know, UX, isn't just about, do I make that button green? Do I make it bigger? Do I put it in the middle? There's a certain amount of, of human psychology that you need to understand within that as well. And how you use images, how you take people through, for example, if you're taking people down a conversion funnel, making sure there's really good signposting to say you are at step two of five steps of the top, rather than just here's another page. Cause you're off the two to three pages. People start to think, how long is this going to go on for? And you might see a lot more drop off from your conversion funnel than you would.
Simon Kingsnorth: If you just said, like, I'm going to go one more step to go. And that that often happens is he that all the time in, in conversion. Um, so, you know, good UX user experience, it's about familiarity as well. You can, sometimes people are trying to be a bit too clever and let's try and reinvent the way the internet works. That'll, that'll be okay for some brands, but for most companies, people are just going to leave because they just can't work out. What else is going on on your website or on your mobile app. So a certain amount of understanding what good UX practices are. Um, and it's important also if you're, if you're operating in that field of UX and web design to stay up to date with the trends because they didn't change the trends in terms of how consumers navigate, how they use menus is it, burger menu is a mega menus. It's on the left is over the top trends do change over time. And so making sure you use the designs that you're putting together are in line with those trends as well. So you don't start to look like you have an outdated website very quickly. Uh, those are important as well, but it's a huge area and it's, it has a technology angle to it. It has a design angle to it and it has a psychology angle to it. So if you're operating in one of those three areas, I would strongly recommend going and reading about the others. You don't have to become a programmer. You don't have to become a psychologist, but having an understanding of what is the technology, what is the psychology? What is the visual design element of it? And there's three pieces and how they play off against each other is well worth reading because it's a fascinating area.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yes, yes. It is definitely so to add to it. This is very important, what you just said, you know, user experience and coming up with new things versus using best practices and what actually works. You know, there was this book. If I remember the name, well, it was Steve Krug - Don't Make Me Think so. Yeah. So it just crossed my mind because he was talking about that in the book as well. And they're going to got into what you just said, you know, not make it difficult for your costumers to understand whether it is, you know, the, the flow of the process, you know, how long is it going to be, you know, the shopping experience or whatever it is, filling out the form, right? So don't make it difficult, make it easy for them. Otherwise your conversion rate is going to go down if you would try to be too clever. So using best practices, as you said to your advantage and using trends and making the experience enjoyable and seamless and simple to your, to your customers is probably one...
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah. And you mustn't assume that the people are all going to love your brand and they're going to work really hard to buy things from me because they're not right. I mean, ultimately people don't want to do that, right. Is that whole phrase case, keep it simple, stupid. And as you say, that book is a great book as well. So, um, so keeping it simple is critically important. You need to make sure that you make everything very clear. If you've got a form, for example, make it really, really clear what you mean on each of those questions. Is there any way that question could be interpreted differently? Make sure you've got an error message. If someone makes a mistake and the error message is really clear about what mistake they've made, as soon as they have to think about it, they're just going to get annoyed with you for not having made it easy for them. And the people don't accept that anymore. You know, maybe 10 years ago, people did a little bit, but now they just don't. If you're going to make me take an extra 10 seconds out of my life, I'm going to go somewhere else. So it doesn't make me do that. So it's just not, it's not accepted. So it has to be really frictionless, really, really simple, make it as simple, clear as you can then take more data than you have to don't make it complicated. Don't try and be clever, just make it really, really clear and simple.
5. Conversion, retention & analytics
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. And then you can, of course you can have great design and kind of impress your customers and build and differentiate yourself, you know, with visuals. But, uh, their user experience should be on point and it should be seamless and enjoyable, right? So this is very critical. And in the fifth part, uh, you talk about how to put this all together, right? How to put all those pieces together and you actually explain the steps to implementation on how to implement that theory, those, all those different things that you've talked about, here in the book and how to put this into practice, right. To create a solid, robust strategy. So perhaps I thought, you know, as the last question as the last key talking point, I thought maybe you have some, like in general tips for our listeners when it comes to this part of your book.
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah. I mean, I think really the last part of the book is, is, is primarily focused on, on everything that we've talked about already. Um, and just how do we put it together in a way that is logical and clear? Um, there is, if you follow it, it summarizes all the different sections of the book and says, don't forget, these are the bits and pieces to put together in your strategy. And you know, your strategy might be, uh, you know, it depends on your business and your culture and everything else, a style of how you guys communicate. It might be a strategy. You might be an email to the CEO, right? Or it might be a 400 page PowerPoint presentation. It's going to be different for how you're presenting, but once you've built that strategy and you're confident and you can show the results you're going to deliver based on the spend and where you're going to attribute that spend across all the channels that we've talked about. You've got a clear content plan. You've got a clear advertising plan. You know, who your audiences or this is about how all those points we've talked about. It's about saying there, there is a section of the book that talks a little bit about, um, decision-making within organizations, which is a, an interesting area because ultimately different structures of organization make their minds up in different ways. You might have a, a board who meet once a month and they have an agenda and you might get two minutes on that agenda to come in and present your marketing strategy. Um, and you have to, you go and you got two minutes to get real buy-in on this and which case you've got to take that 400 page PowerPoint presentation and compress it into 1.1 page with five points. So they're going to be really, really powerful, but then you're going to have to wait three months for that book to all discuss it and agree it. So how do you make sure you keep yourself top of the agenda and it doesn't lose focus. On the other hand, you might be a small company with 20 people, and then there's a CEO or you say something to him and he decides if he likes it or if he doesn't like it. And that's it. So that's a very different style of how you need to convince that person. Or you might have a boss. Who's the ultimate decision. Who's not the board or the CEO is just the marketing director or she's the CMI or whatever it might be. And with that person, they always listen to the advice of an external consultant. So maybe you need to influence that external consultant to get them onsite as part of that decision-making process. So, so there's an interesting way to come back to psychology as, as we so often do in marketing. But there's an interesting point around there about not just have you built a great strategy, but how do you get that decision maker to buy into it? How to make sure you understand that person or that group of people, what their decision-making process is. And therefore make sure that you walk into they're confident that not only is your strategy good, but you know that those people are going to buy into it. I think that's important because it can be incredibly frustrating when you spend months building a strategy that you know is right and you've, you've tested and you've got to career of doing this really well. And then you put it in front of someone and they just dismiss it. It's incredibly frustrating. So you comparing yourself and making sure you make the best case is something that everyone ultimately needs to do in life.
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that was very interesting. Uh, you know, buy-in is very important as you said, uh, you spend months or weeks or whatever it is, preparing yourself and creating this strategy. And then there is something lacking a presentation or whatever it might be. So yeah, that section would be really helpful, you know, so yeah, in your book again, guys, as we are approaching the end of our interview time on really explains everything about digital marketing, you know, all kinds of aspects and really dives deep and tells you so whatever your business you are, whether you're a startup or a bigger corporation, B2B, B2C, I think this book is for any kind of business who wants to dive into, you know, digital and create a successful digital marketing strategy. So as we are approaching the end of our interview, of course, I'm going to include the link to the book in the, in the description box below. So you guys can check it out, but...
Arek Dvornechuck: I would like to ask you Simon, how people can find more about you and the work you do. So it can include those links in the description, maybe your website, social media.
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah, um, you can just Google me, you'll find me. Um, but my website is, um, is simonkingsnorth.com. Um, so you'll find links to digital marketing strategy. My new book, digital marketing handbook comes out in January and, uh, about my, uh, my business, which is a marketing consultancy and agency helping companies around the world with all these things we've just talked about. So, um, you know, if any of you guys do want to, uh, you know, a free sort of marketing audit or consultancy, just get in touch with me through that. And I'm more than happy to see if I can help any of you there as well.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you very much for your time Simon. It was a pleasure to have you on our podcast and talk about digital marketing strategy.
Simon Kingsnorth: Yeah. Great. Thanks. That was a really good chat. I enjoyed that.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you. I appreciate that. Bye.
Arek Dvornechuck is a strategist and designer who helps brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
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