Don’t get stuck in the past with your marketing techniques–you could get left behind in the dust. These days, most successful companies employ digital marketing tools such as email marketing, PPC ads, social media marketing, and more to grow their business in efficient and widespread ways. You shouldn’t be intimidated by the prospect of incorporating a digital marketing scheme into your business. In fact, you should be excited about the potential it presents. Here we break down several reasons why this could be a game-changer for your business.
Digital vs. Traditional Marketing
The difference between digital and traditional marketing centers on the audience. Traditional marketing targets a specific recipient, or group of recipients, whereas digital marketing can have infinite target audiences. The nature of the online world creates a public space where your audience is limitless, and opportunities are vastly expanded.
Another plus of digital marketing is its flexibility. Ad campaigns can be adjusted or amended based on customer response and activity, which often happens in real time. This allows for instant gratification when it comes to measuring the effectiveness and reach of your campaigns, and it also creates more freedom in the amount of preparation, planning, and adjustment you are capable of.
1. Differentiation & Better Brand Positioning
Obviously the “feel” and “look” of your brand imagery is important for conveying the experience you want your customer to have when they are dealing with your business. However, this goes far beyond just a set of words, colors, and design schemes–this is the presentation of what you want your company to represent in the customers’ minds, and it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Regular rebranding or “refreshment” of your brand can help keep you relevant in the consciousness of larger society and impactful on your target audience. Through digital platforms, it is much easier to incorporate such refreshes without too much trouble or planning. Since everything happens virtually and in real time, all you need are ideas and execution–little to no time or cost is involved.
Digital marketing creates an array of opportunities to present your brand’s image to your customers–you are no longer limited by print advertising alone. However, the rise of digital marketing has created a much stricter policy on honest representation. In today’s digital world, customers are quick to call out misrepresentations and brands must be conscious of this risk. It is more important than ever to be truthful and transparent with your audience. Gimmicks and schemes don’t work as well as they used to, primarily because social media gives the community a platform to discuss their real feelings about a product or service.
2. Leveraging Communities
The internet has created an open forum for active discussion among communities. Communities are different than traditional segments of people; segments are created by the type of people the brand believes they should target, and communities are created by the people themselves, of their own accord and volition. Thus, there is no longer room for unwanted advertising or spammy content. Communities govern their discussion space and only want to see information that is relevant or useful for them. Thus, it is up to the brand to find and reach out to these communities in a meaningful way.
3. Migrating from the “Four P’s to the Four C’s”
Digital marketing forces brands to evolve in a way to where they are not only directing messages at the customer but actively listening to the response as well. Thus, the four P’s–price, promotion, product, and place–are now being replaced with the four C’s. The four C’s are currency, conversation, co-creation, and consumer. Here we outline the shift and what it will mean for your business.
Having access to a customer’s response presents a unique opportunity for the brand. By listening to and involving the customers from an early stage, you allow them to be co-creators of your ideas and plans for your brand–which can increase the effectiveness of campaigns exponentially.
The digital space also allows for more flexible pricing. This is why it’s referred to as “currency” in the four C’s model. Prices can be changed due to demand and many other factors, with the click of a button. Consumers and conversation both play an integral role as well.
4. Making the switch from Customer Service to Customer Care
Digital marketing allows companies to provide care, not just service, easily and efficiently. By collaborating with their customers and listening to their responses, companies can customize their service and give the customer ownership of their involvement in the services available to them. Some examples are frequently-asked-questions lists, live support chats, sending email queries, etc.
5. Mediums & Broader Targeting
With digital marketing, your audience is unlimited. You can reach customers anywhere on earth at any time, and even customize your campaigns to target specific audiences based on multiple factors such as location, gender, job, age, etc.
There are 2 sides to this concept of a larger audience. With infinite reach comes the infinite potential for negative reactions and bad press. Make sure you take all the risks into account and put a plan in place for dealing with unsatisfied customers and negative feedback.
The types of ways you communicate with your audience have unlimited potential online, whereas traditional media is limited by only a few channels. Online you can reach your customers where they already are–whether it be reading blogs, liking photos on social media, playing games on the internet, or engaging in a literally endless amount of digital activities. Your opportunities for reaching and engaging with these users are practically limitless.
6. Reduced Costs
Typically digital marketing is much more cost-effective than traditional marketing. You can target audiences, create ads, and make an impact for a fraction of the cost of what it would take to reach the same people with traditional media. Television commercials, billboards, and print advertising can all be very costly and have a questionable impact. With digital marketing, you can customize, target, and produce your ad campaigns easily, quickly, efficiently and cheaply. This is not to say that traditional marketing should be banned altogether. You might find that a combination of traditional and digital campaigns will bring you the best return on your advertising and marketing investments.
7. Analysis & Learning, Broader Interaction
Digital mediums allow the customer to interact with you in a variety of easy and efficient ways. Whereas traditionally interaction occurred by phone or “snail mail”, now a customer can reach out instantly using social media comments, emails, live chats or message boards. The options for listening to and communicating with your customers creates a significant opportunity for enhancing the customer experience, which will, in turn, build and solidify your brand over time.
Interaction also allows you to hear from your customer and improve your services or products accordingly. You can poll for feedback, email questionnaires, or solicit social media engagement to truly stay on top of how customers are reacting to what you’re providing.
Additionally, digital campaigns can be easily quantified and measured for effectiveness. Analytics and rankings can show you a breakdown of how well your campaigns are performing, whether they’re creating interest, and what areas you might need to improve upon. This is invaluable because it allows you to capitalize on what you’re doing right while cutting costs and eliminating anything you might be doing wrong.