Q&A with Digital Strategist Jonathan Matheny

Digital Strategist Jonathan Matheny shares his expertise in digital marketing strategy trends that ultimately lead to growth.

1. Given the constantly evolving nature of digital marketing trends, how do you help clients keep up?

a. I personally follow as many high-quality sources of digital marketing news as I can. This includes media publications like Adage, Search Engine Journal and Digiday; thought leaders on social media, like Seth Godin and Neil Patel; and newsletters from digital service providers, like SEMRush. When I come across something that may be relevant or provide value for clients, I talk to reps and peers at other digital product and services companies to understand how they are adjusting to the change or incorporating the new capability.

b. In general, I have found that curiosity and a willingness to test out new and unproven ideas is paramount. Testing and evaluating strategic shifts and new capabilities requires a high level of measurement to quickly identify, acknowledge and change course when that shift is not playing out as intended.

2. What are the top three digital marketing priorities organizations should focus on?

a. Measurement is the greatest differentiator between organizations that are digitally savvy and those that may feel like they are struggling to catch up to their competitors. Digital marketing tactics are great in part because of how much data we can collect at each touchpoint with the audience. It’s important to define which metrics are the most important to measure, and how they correspond to the real business and organizational impact of your marketing efforts. Organizations that do this well are able to make highly informed strategic decisions in real time to ensure their digital campaigns are working as hard as possible.

b. Once a strong measurement plan is in place, the next priority is identifying and fixing pain points in your digital funnel based on drop offs in user engagement. This includes places where your audience loses interest in your content, or gets frustrated and annoyed with the user experience. For instance, many users lose interest if you do not respond promptly after they submit a lead or question form on your website, or interact with a chat feature. Prioritizing a more prompt response can go a long way to keeping the user interested.

c. The third priority is to match your content to your audience’s needs. For instance, in 2022 Google started prioritizing “helpful content” in its search results, because they realized that audiences were a lot more likely to engage with sites that provided content that helped answer their questions or unique queries. Content that fails to provide value to the user can damage your image in the eyes of your prospective customers, and reduces the likelihood that your site will show up in Google search results.

3. Can you provide examples of successful digital marketing campaigns that you have worked on that have driven meaningful growth?

a. During the pandemic I managed the digital advertising campaign and strategy for the WI Department of Health Services (WI-DHS) COVID-19 public safety and vaccination efforts. In particular, I helped develop a measurement strategy and digital dashboard to track infection and vaccination rates in each community in Wisconsin alongside digital marketing campaign efforts in each community. We were able to create a responsive campaign based on this that helped boost vaccination rates in undervaccinated communities by as much as 35% in 2022.

b. I also worked on a campaign for the Indiana Hospital Association with the goal of encouraging residents of key swing districts in the Indiana Statehouse to encourage their representatives to not cut funding for Indiana hospitals at the height of the pandemic. We identified priority districts based on their representative’s voting records and looked at demographic data to develop a campaign to reach those constituents. The campaign was ultimately successful in helping to stop two bills from making it out of the Indiana Statehouse.

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