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When your digital marketing engine is running well, the power that drives inbound leads and nurtures existing customers can accelerate sales significantly in the same way that a well tuned engine powers a car. When applying this analogy to your digital marketing efforts, it can be used to look at the components of your digital marketing efforts and the technology you are using to support them.
If you think about how a car engine works, and some of the basic components of a compression engine, here are some deeper analogies that compare a car engine to your digital marketing efforts.
Spark Plugs: Ignite the fuel that runs the engine
= Digital Marketing Strategy
Your digital marketing strategy is the initial spark that is going to start your marketing engine. It is the foundation for what must be done by each part of the engine in order to generate the energy that is going to take your organization to its destination. Without spark, your car is going nowhere and without strategy, neither are your digital marketing efforts.
Pistons: Heart of the motor with a four-part process
= Digital Channels
There are four digital channels that need to work in concert with each other to have your marketing pistons firing properly. These include web, social, mobile and email. And your brand presense and marketing communications should be consistent from one channel to another. With the right timing and the right sequencing, your pistons will produce the marketing power you want.
Fuel: Regular or Super? Gasoline or Diesel?
Do you have a sound content strategy across all of your digital marketing channels that fuel the interest of your prospects and customers? And just as you might try different types of gasoline, additives or octane, your content strategy should be evaluated and changed to get the best performance on each of your digital channels.
Cylinder Head: Creates combustion and mounts the valves, spark plugs and fuel injectors.
= Marketing Technology
Do the technologies you are using create combustion for each of the pistons of your digital marketing engine? The technologies and tools you use are integral to the success of your marketing efforts and they should integrate to be able to feed the pistons in each of your digital marketing channels. Tools such as Bufferapp and Hootsuite help to manage multiple social networks are examples of some of these tools that integrate your social media marketing efforts.
Crank Shaft: Converts the motion of the pistons to turn the wheels
= CRM System
One of the main goals of digital marketing is to drive inbound leads. And lead capture for sales and how leads are nurtured translates into sales conversions. A CRM system is the crank shaft that can help convert the inbound leads that are being generated into the sales that demonstrate the ROI on marketing efforts.
In taking this analogy a bit further, there are any number of reasons a automobile compression engine might not be firing properly and it is the same with digital marketing efforts. This question was posted on an auto forum,
“A cylinder is not working in a six cylinder car and my mechanic told me to trade it in for a new one. Can I continue to drive my car with one cylinder not working? Will that cause more problems with the rest of the engine?”
Responses to this question varied and this one describes how many digital marketing efforts end up when problems with the marketing engine are not addressed:
I had a car with a weak engine and a dead cylinder that I drove for a year and a half until another cylinder gave out. Once I didn't have enough power to climb the driveway, I had it junked.
But if it runs, idles, and can still get around, you can limp along for a while. Just keep a good eye on all the fluids and make sure you have AAA or some other means of emergency roadside assistance. Chances are you will need them.
Your digital marketing efforts may be running and producing some of the output that it needs to, yet if it isn’t firing well, it is not producing the number of inbound leads that it could. And without tuning it regularly and refining how well it runs, the leads it is generating will be less and less. Take the time early to have some diagnostic testing done on your digital marketing engine and find out what is wrong before your company has to call AAA for roadside assistance.