Most travelers have a destination in mind. There are few who set out from their homes with no particular idea where they're going. When there's a destination, there's usually a plan on how to get there.
From my perspective, the majority of companies have no plan when it comes to their online marketing efforts.
Everyone starts with good intent. They want to get MORE of something. Usually clients. Then they sit back and wait for the clients to come.
In 2014, what I'm about to say shouldn't be news to anyone, so my apologies in advance if what I say is revelatory: For at least 99% of businesses, investing in a website to gain new customers is meaningless without investing in serious marketing.
I use the word "serious" because there are a lot of people investing in marketing. Whether their efforts are serious depends on one thing: measurement. If you are not measuring, you are not serious.
Not being serious can take many forms. Posting on social media without regard for the reach of your posts. Not having analytics installed on your website. Or, having analytics installed but never looking at the results.
When I get in the car with the intent to get somewhere, I don't sit in the driveway spinning my wheels. My odometer and the scenery whizzing by tell me I'm getting somewhere. My GPS shows me I'm making progress toward my destination.
Measurement shows how effective online marketing efforts are yet most businesses don't even have the basics in place. Without measurement you don't know if your efforts are effective. Without measurement, your plans and efforts are meaningless.
If you don't know how to measure, there's no longer any excuse. Thousands of companies offer analytical services. Some are free. All you have to do is decide to learn how to measure, or hire someone to do the measuring for you.
If you're truly interested in getting somewhere, measure your progress. Measure the effectiveness of your activities. Find out what works and do more of it.
A journey of 1000 kilometers begins with one step. Measurement means you know the steps you're taking are moving you in the right direction. Stop meandering. Start measuring. Do that and you'll get where you want to go.