Commentary

Scaling Resources Help Optimize Media Operations ROI

  • by July 10, 2008
Driving revenue up and keeping costs down is a key component for growth in any business. However, this basic principle can go overlooked by digital marketing execs, who put their mid- to senior-level employees to work on tactical tasks such as gathering data and generating reports for clients.

By taking the focus of these valuable team members away from strategy, digital marketers may not be getting the kind of bang for their buck that propels a healthy growing business.

How do you eliminate time not well spent? It's a matter of implementing scalable resources and determining if your employees have the skill sets required to support your specific campaigns. Establishing which employees are strategy-focused and revenue generating, and which are execution-oriented, is essential. And, if there is a gap between "available" and "required" resources, you have to figure out the best way to fill it.

Let's take for example a typical digital campaign that consists of three main phases. These include a pre-campaign phase involving sales activities, planning and setup, an execution phase involving campaign optimization and data aggregation, and a post-campaign phase involving analysis and data archival. A variety of employee skill sets is required for each. Some positions, such as sales, campaign planning, and client services, are more strategy oriented and require greater expertise. Others, such as copy development, keyword generation and site tagging are more execution oriented and require less experienced personnel.

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In the ideal, cost-effective scenario, execution oriented tasks are mostly performed by entry-level employees. However, the reality is that many organizations are delegating these tasks to their experienced workers, because entry-level staffers are often hard to retain and companies are sometimes reluctant to expend resources to staff properly.

Digital marketers thus need to intelligently scale their resources to minimize the impact of such time-consuming tasks. To make best use of your resources, you need to determine your company's core competency as well as a method for maintaining focus. Fostering employee retention and organizational growth, along with cross-training talented execution-focused team members to become strategy-focused, revenue generating employees also puts your organization on its way to generating increased ROI.

While few can live up to an ideal, there are other options that allow for wiggle room without compromising ROI significantly. One such option is to outsource execution-focused tasks. If you are considering this, you should ensure that internal processes are capable of leveraging the outsourcing benefits, the would-be partner can handle the necessary task functions, the partnership is going to be a cultural fit and if scalable resources are available.

Since it is crucial for any company to optimize resources and revenue, there is an overarching need to maintain focus on core competencies while minimizing resource costs associated with functions that generate little or no revenue. The bottom line is that any online marketing organization that achieves resource scalability will increase its ROI.

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