After launching a digital marketing campaign, it is reasonable to expect a return on investment (ROI). But when the expected results aren’t achieved (variation), there is a problem that needs to be investigated and eliminated. Six Sigma has a useful tool known as the DMAIC methodology that can help with the investigation and elimination of the said problem.
DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. Each letter represents a step or phase in the methodology. And here is how it can be applied to solve digital marketing problems and improve the process altogether.
The team will look into the goals of the digital marketing campaign and define the problem being experienced. For instance, a goal could be to increase brand awareness. And the problem could be that target customers still aren’t aware of the brand. This could be the case even after the digital marketing campaign has been launched and running for some time.
For this to work, especially moving forward, the team needs to establish whether the goal is S.M.A.R.T. These goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based.
With the problem defined, the team will then move on to measure it. This involves gathering data in regards to the digital marketing campaign’s performance. For example, if increasing conversions was the point of doing the campaign, the team can look at conversion rates. They can then compare the results they got with what they expected.
It is important to ensure that the data being obtained is comprehensive and accurate. This will highlight the effectiveness of the measurement system. Furthermore, anything that can affect the integrity of the data needs to be identified and ruled out. Otherwise, poor data could affect the improvement efforts and lead to wastage of time and money.
With the data in hand, it needs to be analyzed. This will allow the team to identify what can be improved to achieve the desired results. For example, if a website is not converting, an analysis could reveal that you need to reduce the number of distractions on the landing page. That way, when a customer gets on the landing page, they can complete the customer journey uninterrupted.
In terms of the landing page that isn’t converting, the team could uncover that it contains too many outbound links. These are the distractions. When visitors click on them, they get redirected away from the landing page. This is preventing them from completing the customer journey and, consequently, affecting conversion rates negatively.
After the Analyze phase, the team will have the necessary insights needed to make changes that will lead to positive gains. Continuing with the landing page example, the outbound links can be removed. These were the biggest bottleneck in the customer journey. And now that they no longer exist, your organization can expect the conversion rates to increase.
This is just one of many examples. Essentially, the team will use this step to eliminate anything that is hindering digital marketing success. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be something that is affecting ROI. It could also be something that is leading to a waste of time and money.
After the Improve phase, ideally, the problem should be resolved. The team can then use Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) to confirm that the changes have led to the improvement of the digital marketing process. If not, the team should go back to the Define phase and restart the improvement efforts.
If the changes were a success, the team should be congratulated. However, the work has only begun. Procedures for improvement need to be standardized. That way, the team can ensure that the positive gains stick. This is part of the continuous improvement initiative.
Six Sigma originated in manufacturing and that is where it is used the most. One would be forgiven for not thinking that any of its tools and methodologies can be applied to digital marketing. So the next time you experience a problem in your digital marketing campaign, consider using the DMAIC methodology to resolve it.