Our daily lives are busy. This weekend I found myself finally with a couple of extra hours to walk around my house. I hadn’t realized how overgrown the gardens and shrubbery were with weeds and how tall the grass had grown! It was difficult to distinguish to which plants and flowers were to be showcased and which were unwanted weeds… it all looked like a jumbled mess of blossoms, dead plants, brambles, and thorns. Seriously, the landscape looked so unkempt that one may have wondered if the inhabitants were of the “Gomez and Morticia” ilk.

Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to review the state of the digital ecosystems of several different companies as I’ve done for dozens before. Each of these businesses, each of different industries and sizes, had certain commonalities among them. Even with either in-house staff or outsourced agencies managing their websites, social media, and other digital channels, their enterprises were limping along far behind where one would expect them to be. Each company claimed to be very busy, but each also admitted to a certain degree of neglect in the maintenance and care of their web presence.

Routine Pruning and Maintenance For Marketing

Much like landscaping, if your marketing ecosystem not reviewed frequently, it can easily fall into a state of disrepair which can be costly. Those costs do not only include fixing what may be broken, but also in lost opportunities to garner more market share, to capture leads, and to foster return business. Here are a few items to maintain regularly:
  1. Software – Whatever content management system (CMS) or web platform on which your website is built will require periodic updates. These updates may include security fixes, additional functionality, browser and device compatibility, etc. From your host, your CMS, your plugins, or your database, good hygiene for your systems includes keeping abreast of the latest updates, reading through the documentation, and making the changes that are necessary to keep your website running smoothly.
  2. External resources – Digital marketing does not just pertain to your website. To be found online, there exists many different peripheral entities such as Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools, and various directories which are essential to your marketing system’s health and well being. Spot checks on these properties to ensure they are fresh and well maintained can mean the difference between a flourishing digital marketing program and one languishing in limbo with little action.
  3. CRM – Customer Resource Management (CRM) systems come in a variety of different forms. There are free ones such as HubSpot CRM, cheap ones such as ZoHo, or enterprise-level ones such as the almighty Salesforce. This is where you manage your prospects, leads, and customers. All too often in my experience CRMs have so much missing and incorrect information that the data becomes somewhat meaningless to the organization. When you can couple your CRM with a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, Pardot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, etc., you can begin to add context to the presence of the people in your list. Segmentation based on mission-critical information, “pruning the list” of bounced or unwanted contacts, and keeping in touch with those most qualified to purchase are possible with well-maintained systems that use the power of CRM and marketing automation.
Rest assured, if you are not manicuring your digital marketing systems, some company in your competition IS doing so. Beyond “curb appeal” of a polished visual presence, the health and wellness of your business’ sales processes depends on the maintenance of your marketing ecosystem. Get someone on board who has a passion for getting “into the weeds” to integrate systems into something that works to advance the company’s authority and vision, continually monitors performance to make updates and changes when necessary, and who is dedicated to learning so that your marketing will no longer be behind the times.