“Digital marketing strategy” is no longer a high concept buzz word that your company can aspire to “one day.” If your business has a hope of competing and prospering in today’s market, they must discover which of their operations, offerings, and inventory can transfer to the web. Ideally, company leaders realize that an investment in a solid digital marketing strategy, is an investment in the future of their business. Here is the official definition of digital marketing.
Definition of digital marketing. The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media. Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet.
Digital Marketing Trends
If we look at a comparison of the U.S. Print Media to Google from 2004 through 2012 we can see a trend in advertising dollars. As you can see there has been a drastic shift from 2004 through the first quarter of 2012 of the ad dollars spent throughout the entire United States. This trend has continued as many newspapers have continued to sell at drastically reduced prices or even worse fallen into bankruptcy.
We can go one step further to look at future projections of digital marketing spends by comparing it to various other mediums (Directories, Outdoor, Magazines, Radio, Newspapers, Digital and TV). When looking at these various channels we can see that TV and Radio continue to grow while Directories and Newspapers continue shrinking even with online distribution. The real increase comes from the digital realm where it is projected to almost double in 6 short years which is amazing for something that did not exist 25 years ago.
Understanding Digital Marketing
Having a digital marketing strategy is more than building a company website. Digital marketing utilizes all of the digital tools that your target audience uses to interact with your offerings or products. Today’s consumer expects that your company values their patronage enough to find unique, or at least common, digital channels to present whatever it is that you are selling. The key to digital marketing is getting all of the various elements to work well together which will inevitably lead to increased sales and a return on your marketing dollars (ROI).
At the core of a successful digital strategy, is an understanding of the technologies that your targeted audience commonly use to communicate, and then measuring the ROI of these technologies to decide which avenues will be the most advantageous for your digital marketing strategy.
Some possible digital technologies that can be utilized for a digital marketing strategy:
- Mobile Applications
- eVouchers and Coupons
- Near Field Communications (NFC) including eWallet
- QR Codes
- Social Media
- Websites – CMS driven or static
- Augmented Reality such as virtual shopping experiences
- POS systems
- SmartTV apps
- OOH Advertising (digital billboards, interactive displays)
- Mobile Web (not the same as applications)
- Interactive Games (mobile, tablet, Facebook)
- Custom applications for training, product launch or education
Any digital marketing strategy should incorporate:
- The company’s values, mission, and long term goals for the company.
- A proposal that outlines the marketing strategy with attainable deadlines and measuring points.
- Gradual digital production of each step.
- Measure the results.
Building Digital Marketing Initiatives
Digital marketing strategies differ from print and other marketing initiatives because they must be linked to customer engagement strategies down the line (think funnel). Leaders must build the organizational structure that will be able to support a successful digital marketing strategy. Modifying reporting structures, adding staff, reworking customer care operations, and constructing a social-media network are a few key initiatives that should be addressed.
Taking time to put these elements in place is critical as moving your operations to the web will require heightened and convenient customer touch points. Having these touch points without providing the proper infrastructure to support it, including the people, will result in long delays in communication and customer problem resolutions.
Increase Your Digital Marketing Reach
Once the digital marketing strategy is made and the digital infrastructure is in place, distribute responsibilities among your business that are designed to grow and strengthen digital strategies like building online partnerships, branding relationships, online distribution, etc.
Track Customer Insights
This is a critical function that will tell you if and how your digital marketing strategy is working. Companies must track how their customers are interacting with their products and services, and on which devices. This will determine which devices your company will market towards and if consumer needs are changing.
Although a powerful and necessary tool, a digital strategy cannot save or grow your business on its own. It must be supported by a flexible and reliable infrastructure, be monitored constantly for trends and patterns, and expanded upon or reduced based on the needs of the customer.
For further information on how Cohlab can assist with your Digital Marketing Strategy give us a ping on our Contact Us form, we would love to hear about your company.