Road Rules: Drive Online Marketing 4x4

In every successful engagement, exactly (4) Rules of Four apply. While there are a lot of Road Rules to follow with online marketing, this is one of the more important for keeping forward-moving without any wheels loose.

Start your engines.

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I. Everything Marketers do is held accountable to up to (4) core measurements.
They are:

1. Revenue
2. CPA
3. Profit
4. ROI

If you're not working to at least (2) of those with the first one included, that's an attribution challenge that needs solving before you deploy your next campaign.

II. There are (4) core business models on the Web. They are:

1. Lead Gen
2. eCommerce
3. Branding & Advertising
4. Customer Service & Support

Each of those has overlapping nonetheless distinct KPI sets, so the best returns come from working methodically yet without getting too cookie-cutter.

III. There are (4) stages of the customer lifecycle. Often in any given situation some need hence get more attention than others, but normally all are critical. They are:

1. Reach
2. Acquisition
3. Conversion
4. Retention

Of that list, the second one means getting Traffic. A lot of people get that confused. If you're a Director of Acquisition and your job's mainly about winning converts, ask for "Customer" to be added into your title.

IV. Online Marketers should focus on a maximum of (4) channels at any given point, typically for durations of at least a year at a time i.e. changing up the set no less infrequently.

The selections can and should vary per situation. Examples:

a. If you're working for a large enterprise it might be [Search (SEO, PPC), Email, Display, Social Media]. You've got an established brand to maintain and corporate reputation to protect, and the wherewithal to work across the gamut of channels from the tried n' true to the newer.

b. If you're rolling more SMB it might look more like [Search (SEO), Search (PPC), Email, Mobile]. You can do some advertising and list buys but not gobs, yet you still need to reach a sizable market. You can do it, just not without staying very targeted with every channel.

c. If you're a Sole Proprietor or Small Business, chances are your mix will lean more [Search (SEO), Affiliates, Email, Social Media]. Advertising is largely cost-prohibitive so you need to work only the normally most financially efficient and/or inexpensive. Even if one of those is somewhat immature, everything has trade-offs (and besides, if your doors are just freshly opened your business isn't exactly matured yet either, so that's all good).

In any case though, the rule about keeping most if not all one's time and effort on a limited number of channels applies. Doing a few things but well always trumps trying to do it all but generally sucking.

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Whatever your chosen online marketing route is, driving with this 4x4 is a great way to help ensure you get to where you're trying to go.

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