It’s not news that the technology evolution has shifted the way consumers and retailers communicate. While the purchase decision pyramid remains relevant, today’s consumers’ digital hyper-connectedness is increasing the transparency of the process. As a result, we as marketers, developers, content curators and business leaders need to up our game.
The art of persuasion is as much about publicity relevance as it is behaviour science. The emergence of such career trajectories as marketing science, consumer mind mapping and cultural anthropology have enabled marketers to dive deep into the consumer psyche while inadvertently educating consumers on the techniques and practices used to promote goods, good and bad. We’re all aware that today’s savvy consumers are quick to reject being sold to and extremely receptive to brand that can prove relevant to their lifestyle and needs while delivering the highest level of convenience available.
Enter, digital marketing.
Handheld popularity and increased affordability begs we deliver smarter, multi-faceted campaigns marrying the digital pillars; search, social, mobile, display and the analytics behind it all. Orchestrating campaigns that deliver ever-improving, measurable results requires planning and active on-going management. Navigating this can often appear daunting for the most seasoned marketers let alone someone taking the early steps in their digital journey. If you missed the session at Dx3 Canada last week, here is a quick summary of my five tips for connecting these pillars.
1. Research. Plan. (breathe…) Then do.
Invest early and proportionately in determining the realities of your digital marketing ecosystem. Recognize what CAN, what WILL and what WON’T work. What channels/platforms/metrics can actually be harmonized to develop an attribution framework and KPI plan you truly believe in? How do you plan on making that happen, exactly? No, really? If you don’t have your tactics nailed and the ‘sizzle’ set aside in favour of the ‘steak’, the remedial, diagnostic effort required to access the insights you need will overwhelm you.
2. It’s a Journey, not a Destination
The most functional, sophisticated and exciting digital ecosystems rarely rest. They test, hypothesize, tweak, enhance, lather, rinse and repeat almost endlessly. If you’ve invested correctly in the planing phase and have disciplined execution you will be surprised at how agile and fluid things can become once you’re in the swing of things. Finding new ways to dimensionalize and analyze your data can reveal new insights that drive you down previously unconsidered paths. Keep moving. Be prognostic. Answer a great question nobody asked you yet and you’ll be a rockstar.
3. “Free” Doesn’t exist.
The explosion of freely available tools and platforms available today is both a blessing and a curse. The horespower we as marketers can tap into with a few searches and a quick sign-up process is staggering. But beware… just because these tools work does not mean they are working properly in support of your plans, goals and strategies. Remember your plan; your use, configuration and deployment of these tools in order to support this plan will require some effort and expertise, and that means an investment of one kind or another.
4. All Content is Critical
Start by defining content within your team. By my interpretation, everything is content. The perfectly written ad copy that catches the eye of the right person at the right time is amazing content. An accurate address and phone number listing when someone is trying to find your business is the most important content imaginable at that moment in time. Persuading someone to choose you over your competitor could all come down to a single review written by a perfect stranger… again, crucial content. It’s everywhere, and all incredibly valuable at a certain moment in the purchaser’s journey. Curate diligently.
5. Own It!
As an Agency guy, obviously, I’m going to suggest you get help. But this means more than just an Agency like us. Our most successful engagements include very bright and savvy people on the client-side – and we love it that way. Some have developed those skills internally through experience; others have acquired it out of necessity. Either way though, while the expertise and attentive skill of an established outsourced/agency partner can yield tremendous value, the core intellectual property of your digital marketing strategy needs to be an internally governed asset.
Remember, this is an industry littered with grandiose promises, tactical wizardry and varying perspectives on measurement and evaluation. It’s time more marketers delivered transparent results based on well-designed and effectively executed multi-channel strategy. After all, performance really is everything.