23 August 2018

Digital Strategy: Six Awesome Things You Can Learn From Netflix

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Having a digital strategy is critical for any business to succeed online.

Even just a few lines outlining what channels will be utilised and what you hope to achieve.

This way you can see if your online marketing strategy has been successful or not (which is fine) and learn from it going forward.

 

Every business tracks performance one way or another, simply counting how many customers visited this week compared to last, is a form of tracking.

To build a digital strategy, best practice involves drilling down into the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and opting for a data-driven approach. 

KPI Graph

 

What is a digital marketing strategy?

 

Novicell is a digital strategy agency, we view internet marketing strategies as an overall plan to achieving a long-term goal which is agreed with the client.

This goal might be achieving 30% growth over a 12 month period. 

We break down digital strategy into "Digital business strategy" and "Digital channel strategy."

The first focuses on achieving your company's potential, the second ensures customer contact points generate the highest possible business value.

 

The value of measuring data

 

To be data-driven in your digital marketing plan means that you have adopted the process of using accurate forecasting.

Rather than going with your gut instinct on strategic decisions.

In time, this is a sure-fire method of increasing performance and overall profitability.

 

A great example of a data-driven company is Netlfix.

With 117 monthly users, Netflix tracks everything on their platform.

From how many hours each user watches to how many times they press the pause button.

How much Netflix do you watch?

 

Netlfix next episode screen

 

Netflix tracks a vast array of KPIs and PIs to arrive at a critical conclusion; if a user watches at least 15 hours of Netflix in a month, they are 75% less likely to end their subscription.

On the other hand, if a user watches less than 5 hours a month, they are 95% more likely to cancel their subscription.

This is a precious insight which has helped to build a coherent digital marketing strategy.

 

So how does Netflix get the golden >15 hours?

 

Now Netflix has the data, they need to act on it otherwise it's worthless information.

If you’re not using the collected data in your digital strategy, then there is no point in spending the time and resources to collect and analyse it.

 

Insights need to facilitate digital actions which create results, action points in Netflix’s digital strategy include:

 

    Creating and adding new shows based off of most viewed genres

    Auto-playing the next episode

    Providing tailored recommendations in and out of the platform

    Auto-playing trailers and previews

    5+ different trailers, showing the most relevant one based on previous behaviour

 

The most important aspect to take away from this is that you can break down their process into three easy steps:

 

    Set goals and KPIs

    Track significant parameters

    Use actionable data for future decisions

 

Strategy graphic

 

Creating a digital strategy

 

Planning your KPIs

 

Why plan? Failing to plan is planning to fail as cliche as that might sound. 

If you plan what you want to achieve, you are more likely to reach it.

Having a goal in mind is more motivating; working towards a common goal is an investment towards spending time more efficiently in the long term.

Bulletproof KPI-setups answer three questions:

 

1.    Is the online channel reach its overall goals?

2.    Why/why not?

3.    What are we going to do about it?

 

What’s stopping you from tracking KPIs?

 

The most common obstacles we see with new clients is that they haven’t got Analytics set up.

This means that you are missing out on vital data on your website which can have huge impacts on performance.

However, many issues people face is their CMS makes it difficult to implement any form of tracking through being outdated too tricky without support.

 

Think of it this way, not tracking any KPIs or viewing analytics is like having a physical shop and running it blindfolded.

You can’t see who’s visiting your store; their gender, age, what they’re most interested in or why they aren’t taking actions like purchasing a product.

So when it comes to creating adverts or improving your website, you are throwing time and money into the unknown and hoping for the best.

 

Google Analytics "audience" report

 

Here's an example of demographic data which can be easily viewed in Google Analytics for your site under "Audience."

 

Google Analytics Demographics

What this data tells us is that the majority of the site users are females aged 25-34, now we can effectively target our advertising campaigns towards this particular demographic. 

Whilst that is a great start to taking a more data-driven approach, there is still more to be done.

 

You can look at which demographic is actually completing conversions, on which device (mobile, desktop, or tablet) and at what time of day. 

 

Sessions by deviceUsers by time of day

 

Looking at this data will tell you where to direct your ad spend

An example might be that the top converting demographic is females aged 25-34, who are viewing on a mobile, between the hours of 20:00-22:00.
 

Now you have just cut out a massive chunk of unnecessary ad spend and just left the top converting segment, this is a great tactic if you are working with a limited budget. 

 

Before launching a project or start increasing advertising spend, ask yourself these questions:

 

    What is the company’s primary goal? (E.g. sales)

    What online channel are you using and how does it support the business goal? (E.g. Facebook and Facebook Business manager)

    What are the KPIs of the channel? (Conversions, clicks & engagement)

    What user actions push them closer to conversions? (Clicking an ad, watching a video or visiting a landing page)

 

With your company’s primary goals in mind, we can work backwards to understand the main focus areas and PIs that need to be tracked.

Using our quick digital marketing strategy template will give you an understanding of how to complete the process step-by-step.

The principal of this process is to give your work structure; this is one of the most critical parts of a digital marketing strategy. Use this handy worksheet to plan KPIs for your digital strategy.

Your Free Digital Strategy Framework

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Digital Strategy Worksheet / Cheatsheet

Setting targets: Digital strategy development

 

With your main company goals in mind, it’s essential to set quantifiable targets along the way.

It is all well and good saying “I want to increase sales” but this is too broad.

Sales of which product? How many? By when?

 

An improved goal would be “I want to increase sales of product X by 15% within the next three months.”

 

Without targets, you can’t measure your performance, so how do you know if your online marketing strategy has been successful?

 

Rather than throwing in a random figure of 15% as I have done in the example, there are various pieces of information you can use to decide on a more suitable value for your digital strategy target.

 

Look at the historical performance of previous campaigns or last month’s sales, analyse various online channel performance, consider seasonal demand during Black Friday and Christmas holidays.

 

However, why set targets in the first place?

Imagine you’re playing a game of darts, you want to win, but you haven’t decided where to aim at the board.

Without a target in mind when you throw the dart, how are you going to win? The same applies to any digital strategy.

 

Measuring digital strategy success

 

Now you’ve created your digital strategy, established KPIs and taken digital actions.

Now it’s time to see how well you performed; this takes a bit more of a sophisticated approach than just having a look at your analytics account.

 

Creating and delivering a full report around campaign performance is an excellent way of showing achieved results.

This is important if employees are avoiding regular reports, no one checks the analytical tools, and there aren’t any visible dashboards. 

 

kpi dashboard

 

Dashboards are a brilliant solution to data reporting, having them visible to all employees on a screen can boost morale and motivation.

Real-time information on performance allows quick access view KPIs, instead of having to log into separate accounts.

 

Creating dashboards for different stakeholders and teams throughout the company is more efficient; a sales dashboard, development, marketing and one for the CEO.

The sales team don’t need to see Click-Through-Rate and website speed like marketing and development do; they need to know the number of phone calls, sales and revenue.

The CEO may want to see revenue, staff time tracking and social following.

 

Breaking up the different dashboards into relevant groups is essential to avoid muddy data if it is there on a dashboard but if no one cares about the display then what’s the point?

Keep your dashboards tidy with relevant metrics for each team to avoid clutter. 

 

 dashboard comic

 

“So how do I get started?” – Your action points to building a digital strategy

 

As an overall reflection of this post, here are some action points to kickstart your data-driven digital strategy – try saying that five times.

 

An excellent start to this whole approach is with your mindset and attitude towards daily tasks, what do you do and what is the purpose of doing that?

Once this is understood, you can appreciate their higher purpose and apply the same thinking pattern to your digital strategy.

Why do we have a digital strategy? Why do we have online channels?

 

Think about your primary business goals, where do you want to be in five years’ time and how are you going to get there.

Write down all the potential targets and pick the three most relevant, use the same method for your dashboard.

 

When it comes to creating a dashboard, bring out your arty side, sketch on a sheet of paper how you want it to look.

Include the most important metrics that enable you to take digital actions.

Some helpful tools for creating dashboards are Google Data Studio and Geckoboard; Data Studio integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics and Google Ads to display data.

 

Bring dashboards into meetings, an easy to digest visual display is very effective when explaining why digital actions are being taken.

An impactful dashboard can assist with creating the ultimate digital strategy.

 

Take your time to brainstorm when you write your first strategy, it will never be perfect in the beginning. If it is, then great!

Learn from mistakes, poor performance and unexpected wins to tweak your digital strategy into the ultimate road to success.

 

Novicell’s Digital Marketing Seminars

 

Novicell offers free digital marketing seminars around various key aspects, a recent seminar with Google saw nearly 100 participants. View our most recent seminars here, this is an unmissable opportunity to speak with our consultants about your digital marketing strategy.

About the author

jacob_tibbott
Jacob TibbottDigital Marketing Consultant Send e-mail

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