Simplicity has become the best currency for my success. But an oversimplified understanding of what it means can cripple anyone's growth opportunities and limit their influence.
Consider PPC marketing, a model in which you direct traffic to a website, and pay when ads are clicked. Managing, testing, and optimizing ads become essential to the success of any business running these campaigns–and it's easy to make the process overly complicated. Most managers make the mistake of turning the process into a project. This always blows up; teams lose the ability to refine and improve campaigns due to the lack of an assertive approach with a simple roadmap.
Or think of most "modern executives" that need to see employees at their desks everyday from 9am to 5pm starring at their screens in order to trust their commitment and ability to get work done.This overshadows what managers should focus on; achievements. Digital marketing teams should simply focus on measurable results, not presence.
Because following minimalistic processes can make us feel like we're doing enough, we tend to unnecessarily multiply tasks as a pretext for sticking with what's safe. But digital marketing has no room for that. And this is 10x true in today's data driven world.
In my experience on transforming companies' digital marketing teams, I have observed that successful advances require executives to clear the clutter from their management styles. Nevertheless, most fret about their ability to get their teams to perform in a minimalistic setting.
The word "simplicity" stands for clarity, not effortless. When applied to digital marketing, it can definitely take on other meanings–and can be extremely useful. For example, to really maximize your digital media spend, and extract the best ROI out of it, you need to continuously optimize your campaigns in a simple way.
Allowing the process to own you–splitting hairs though every single step–is both undermining and counterproductive.
Traditional marketing teams struggle with this for several reasons. First, digital is able to make nimble and significant changes in the kinds of channels they market in. So when digital tries to change the game, stiff dated-concepts drag companies into slow, painful, and complicated actions.
Second, in digital marketing, many of us work with people who don't share our channel benchmarks and have different expectations for how we should perform. It can often feel as if we have to choose between what is presumed–thus virtual. Presence is as case in point.
Third, KPIs are always available in real-time in today's world of web analytics and digital dashboards. How we measure results–not just as responses but as revenue, with simple interaction paths and behavior flows–has become an important aspect of digital. Being able to clearly distinguish a persona that visits a website for all to see can create "skepticism."
Re-examining one's management style can be cognitive and a productive process. Our findings can sum up perceptions and goals, while reflecting the requirements of the people we are trying to lead.
The only way we can help companies succeed in the digital world is by identifying simpler ways to get better results. Success doesn't require complexity. Simple things–in the way we manage people, the goals we set, the way we measure–are the best way to get the job done.