More Signal, Less Noise: Building a Practice to Evaluate your Marketing

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously stated that “change is the only constant in life.” I like to think marketing conferences have their own set of constants: the predication of impending change, great food with fantastically smart people, and countless fallacies.

We all know disruption is happening. And I love sharing breakfast with brilliant friends. It’s those fallacies that sneak up on you. Be wary of the absolutes you are sure to hear from stage: “every builder must have a Google budget ad budget,” “nobody clicks on banner ads,” “tik tok is the future of social media.” With enough conviction, any opinion can be stated as a fact. It’s our job as world class marketers to know the difference between opinion and facts. To collect the truths most relevant to our business. And to cut out the noise.

To start, you’ll need to bring organization to your marketing strategy. Identifying your customer and the steps they take thru their journey of buying will act as a basis for marketing decisions. Align the key steps in this journey to meaningful actions that can be measured. Then work towards influencing those actions. For example, chasing likes on social media might be considered a vanity metric by many (including me), unless you decide to use those likes as inexpensive market research on what community photo resonates more with early stage browsers. Each channel should align with a key step, a key metric, and a type of content to be most effective. As you separate noise metrics from signal metrics, you’ll be better armed to educate and orient your organization towards the most effective spend of money and time.

In many cases, builders employ a single marketing professional. And it might seem silly to write down notes to yourself. But getting these goals and intentions on paper build a habit as you evaluate future marketing campaigns. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a sales call pitching remnant ad space or the hot new listing aggregate site. Having done your work in advance, you can drive these conversations back towards what’s right for you. Your marketing muscle memory will ask, “does what’s being sold align with my business goals and my customer’s needs?” Vendors that align with those goals will become trusted partners, and you’ll benefit from more effective marketing efforts.

Building your marketing practice is a fluid exercise. Know that it will never be perfect. Staying agile and fresh allows you to maintain the ability to change. And as we know, change, above all else, is constant.

Will Duderstadt

Will Duderstadt

VP of Digital Marketing

Will Duderstadt is the VP of Digital Marketing at M/I Homes, Inc. He oversees online marketing campaigns, lead generation, SEO, PPC, Social Media and content strategy for 16 divisions in 11 states.