Back to the Basics: How to Build Digital Marketing Channels

Published on: | Updated on: | Trisha Miles


We talk about digital marketing a lot – it’s what we do all day, every day. Most of our latest videos have covered digital marketing: new trends, predictions for 2021 and how to continue adapting to the ever-changing industry. But in this newest episode of our Marketing Expert Chat series, we’re going back to the basics. We’re taking a deep look at where to even start when launching digital marketing efforts. 

Kyle Grant, Marketing Director at Regency Fireplace Products, joined us to chat about how to build digital marketing channels from scratch. If you’re in the process of establishing digital marketing efforts for a company or you just need a refresher on best practices, watch the video to learn: 

  • How to select channels that will prove ROI and drive revenue for your organization

  • Strategies to help you define how you will measure the success of new channels

  • How to analyze data to determine the scalability of a channel 

Check it out now to discover how to assess where your organization’s strengths lie and how you can use those to your advantage when building your digital marketing efforts. 


Video Transcript:

CAROLINE: Hi, today I am here with Kyle Grant. Kyle is the Marketing Director at Regency Fireplace Products. Kyle thank you so much for joining me today.

KYLE: Thanks for having me.

CAROLINE: So, today we’re gonna talk about building digital marketing for a company that has not traditionally done a lot of digital marketing. I think more and more marketers are in these shoes, because more and more and more companies are transitioning to digital marketing. But there’s always kind of the question of where to start? How do you build trust? So, what would be your advice to marketers that are tasked with building digital channels on where to start?

KYLE: That’s a huge question And the advice that I can give is, first, it’s not gonna happen overnight. So, really, think big, but start small, and then plan it out. Really take a very slow, cautious approach to how you’re going to build out your digital channels. And what we found successful is that we really started to select the right channels that were going to prove ROI immediately for us. And build out with the channels that are gonna prove the highest ROI first. So basically, build out your strategy, but start from a position of strength and keep building and playing to your strengths. And eventually you’ll have a fully built out strategy but it’s gonna take time, it’s gonna put those building blocks in place to create that whole overarching strategy.

And then really start to ask yourself, how are you planning on building that channel and how does it apply to the business. And selecting those channels is going to be, and when I said based on ROI, that’s really gonna be the key because you need to start proving the value of it and building upon that value as you go. And also knowing what it takes for each of those channels before you go into that channel. So, do you have the infrastructure to support building out that channel? And then go into that channel knowing what you’re gonna get into. You can’t go into a channel, say, take social media, for example. You can’t necessarily just say, you know what, we’re gonna go into social media. We’re gonna build out a social media strategy, without really thinking about Okay, do I have the resources that it’s gonna take? Do I have the content that it’s gonna take? Do I have the ability to keep feeding that content machine? Or am I gonna go into this, and I’m gonna start into this. And you know what? I’m not gonna have the ability to do this, I’m gonna abandon that strategy six months down the road, because you just simply don’t have the time or the bandwidth to be able to do that.

So, and that’s honestly the worst thing you can do is start and then abandon something. So, make sure that you have that infrastructure able to support that channel. And then most importantly, how are you going to define success? And how does that success create value for the company? And how are you going to measure that? Be realistic and set very clear expectations. So, example, having a content strategy, everybody talks about content strategy. But how are you gonna measure that? How is that actually going to provide value to the company? And then how are you going to keep coming back to that? A content strategy can take months before it’s actually gonna start to prove any kind of ROI? So, how do you set those expectations internally? And then how are you going to keep coming back, and keep measuring the impact of that and reporting back to the business?

And then the key to being able to build successful strategies, is to continually prove that ROI. And then once you started to prove that ROI, then you can go into the building the next aspect of that strategy. And keep building it out as almost like taking pieces of Lego and start putting them together. And eventually you’re going to have a fully fleshed out marketing strategy for digital marketing, but it’s gonna take time.

CAROLINE: Alright, and would you give us a couple of examples, how do you measure success? And I know that when we talked previously, you talked about, for example, like, how you’re measuring at the very beginning of setting up a channel may change from when you’re measuring down the line. So, can you give us a couple of examples?

KYLE: Sure, so, I’m in a really fortunate position because we have a very solid ERP system that we can go back to and start measuring sales data. I also work very closely with multiple other departments. So, when we’re trying to prove out value, we can do things like take a look at how our strategies are impacting sales in specific areas. We can tie warranty information back to channels. We can start to tie rebates back to marketing channels. So, from that perspective, we’re really lucky. But one of the things that we’d like to do is, we kind of have this mantra internally, as we think global, but we act local. My team and I work data house. We love data, we get into it, and we love to model things.

But what we found really successful is rather than just trying to say, Okay, you know what? We’re gonna launch this global strategy. And we’re going to see how this marketing channels going to impact sales at a macro level. That’s not necessarily going to be easy or effective to do. So, what we do is we say, Okay, let’s take out and carve out a small segment of the market. Let’s go after a specific city, or a specific province, or state. And then we start to invest at that channel and direct that channel into that particular market. So, we can measure that sales left on the local level, because it’s easier to see that. And then you can use other markets as your control markets. And you can measure the impact of that channel on that market versus your control market and see if there’s lift. Because you’re gonna have externalities that happen all the time. We all just went through one of the biggest externalities in history called COVID. So, how does that impact the business? And how do you measure that, when you’re doing something else? So, if we’re measuring sales, well, if we’re going and we’re trying to target the entire market with a marketing channel, and you’re measuring the sales lift off of that, and you’ve got this major externality that’s offsetting that, it’s gonna be very difficult to prove what’s the thing that actually contributed to that sales lift or decline.


KYLE: So, by setting test and control experiments, you can actually define what that control variable is, and then actually define, alright, so we’re gonna go into this market, this is going to be our test market, our control market is gonna be a different market, which is very similar to this market. And then we can start to see, okay, well, both markets went up. But our test market went up more than the control market, you can see, yes, there was an impact of some extra knowledge, say, COVID, pushing sales and driving sales. But the marketing channel actually contributed to a higher lift than your control experiments. So, always coming back and being able to define experiments and be able to measure against that. That’s kind of what we talk about, when we’re saying we think global, but we act local. Once you’ve proven the channel and you’re comfortable in that, you’ve got statistically relevant data, then you can look at expanding that channel into further markets. And what we’re talking about at the beginning as always go from a position of strength. So, if you can prove the ROI in a local area, then that gives you the credibility and the license with the rest of the company stakeholders to start building out from there.

CAROLINE: Right, right, and it’s also a much easier ask to start with an experiment, right? You start with something smaller, you can get approval, like faster for that too.

KYLE: Yeah, absolutely, and the other thing is, you’re not asking for such a large budget as well, you can ask for. So, if you’re trying to measure the impact of paid search or social media. You don’t have to go and ask for a six-figure budget to test it on a small local market. You can go on you can ask for a few $1,000 and start to test with that. And then once you prove in the results that makes the bigger ask much easier in the future.

CAROLINE: Right, right, exactly. Alright, well, thank you so much. I think all of this is very applicable. So, our audience will probably really like it. So, thank you so much for spending the time and sharing what you’ve learned in your marketing career.

KYLE: Alright, thank you so much for having me.