Getting More Out of Digital Marketing

Companies don’t lack choices when it comes to following their customers online.  Most firms are rapidly introducing Web 2.0 programs including social media, sponsored content and online promotions. Unfortunately, in their haste many marketers are not paying enough attention to the bigger strategic picture or spending efficiencies.  For example, how does the new investment fit their consumer’s actual on and offline purchase behavior. Or, how do digital programs align to their brand and corporate strategies?

Before jumping on the next technological bandwagon, marketers would be prudent to revisit the efficiency and effectiveness of their existing digital programs. I have found that the most successful digital marketers consider three core principles before they increase digital’s percentage of total marketing spending: 

Integrate on and offline programs through a digital customer experience

Customers these days, whether by receiving direct mail, searching for products online, or using mobile devices to find retail coupons, use a combination of analog and digital vehicles to interact with brands throughout the purchase continuum. However, in most companies completely different parts of the organization manage each interaction, thereby reducing overall marketing coordination and brand integration while creating duplication and missed sales opportunities.

Digital channels have the ability to unify these disparate connections into one seamless and synergistic customer experience, as well as increase program efficiency and minimize revenue leakage. For example, TV advertising should feature the same words used in keyword programs.  To be sure, it is not easy to coordinate content and activities across the entire on and offline marketing experience. And, while a single customer experience is desirable, many managers must be careful not to invest in any one activity out of proportion to its actual role in revenue generation.   Despite the challenges, pursuing a single, digitally-driven customer experience is a worthy stretch goal. 

Maximize the potential of user-generated content

For many brands, active digital consumers generate, consume and distribute considerable amounts of unique and relevant content through channels such as user-forums, YouTube and social media.  By using powerful user-generated content, smart marketers can (with the right technology investments) accelerate and optimize their own branding efforts in two important ways.  First, combining user-generated content with your own messages can create a multiplier effect, substantially enhancing the brand’s impact. Conversely, utilizing user-generated content may enable firms to spend significantly less on marketing as a percentage of sales, with little or no performance deterioration. 

Allowing consumers to shape your brand inevitably raises concerns among companies that are fearful of losing control over brands. The key is to strike a balance between retaining control and creating opportunities for consumers to embrace and extend your content.

Turn data-driven insights into business results 

Savvy digital marketers deploy intelligence-gathering tools and processes that analyze what customers are seeing, doing and saying within their digital journey.  Significant value can be created when these digital insights are turned into actions that improve business performance, increase revenues, and drive efficiencies.   To accomplish this, marketers need a proactive data management strategy and system that links data collected to marketing activities, target segments and corporate priorities.  Part of this strategy would involve regularly deploying active and passive analytical tools & skills that assess and distil important consumer intelligence in real-time.  Marketers would develop action items from the data ensuring that they are consistent with key priorities and metrics. A cross-functional group could then review the actions for operational & marketing applicability and suggest course corrections that could be quickly deployed.  Overall, the key would be to create a tight feedback loop between data-driven consumer insights, enhanced programs and improved results.

For more information on our services and experience, please visit the Quanta Consulting Inc. web site.


1 comment so far

  1. […] post: Getting More Out of Digital Marketing « Mitchell Osak Online 2-0-programs, bigger, haste, paying-enough, Web […]

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