Integrating Digital Marketing Today

Digital marketing must be integrated with traditional selling efforts these days. If you aren’t doing effective digital merchandising, you are not doing effective marketing in today’s world. Furthermore, effective selling and product promotions are more than just having a decent looking website!

You will need to partner with an agency that understands everything that you will need to know about how to utilise digital merchandising. The question then becomes, what should this agency be able to do for you? What should the people at the agency understand?

You will need to have a partner that understands all digital tools including blogs, social media, blogs, SEO, e-mail marketing, and mobile apps. Your chosen agency needs to know how PR and online marketing fit together in whole puzzle of your marketing strategy. But what exactly will you and your partner do together to get you the excellent ROI that you desire?

  • Understand and know your audience. Today, a business must know its customers, and its prospects, better than ever before. Yet you would be surprised at how much you likely don’t know about those people. Integrating digital marketing and PR will enable you to get to know them better. An important aspect of this will be your blog(s).
  • Put together and communicate a clear, consistent message. In the digital world, where information is travelling at the speed of light, you cannot afford to contradict yourself or falter in your communications. You will need merchandising efforts that totally back up and go along with your traditional PR messages. You must use e-commerce and communications to completely define yourself and never waver from that definition. People need to see integrity and consistency.
  • Develop and maintain relationships. This one may seem obvious, but you need an agency that knows how to do this through an integration of traditional and digital efforts. How would you SEO articles, videos, blogging, and targeted e-mails to develop and maintain relationships?
  • Make you authentic and credible. It’s more important than ever before that your media image is that of a business that has no scams or scammers, is offering a high quality product or service which is not unhealthy, and does everything on the up-and-up. If you can show that you are environmentally and socially sensitive, so much the better for you today.
  • Entertain and instruct your audience. Yes, today digital e-commerce helps you get back to the “teach and delight” motivation of the Renaissance poets. People want to be entertained in your merchandising and communication efforts, or they want to receive some valuable (and free) information. How will you design and maintain your website to these ends? How will you achieve these ends with your blog?

These are among the most important and critical aspects of digital merchandising that you need a digital marketing agency to help you with. A digital marketing agency will be able to help you understand more about how to use today’s marketing tools. Do not hesitate to partner with a digital marketing agency if you want to keep your business at the forefront of technological advances.

Digital Marketing Demographics

Digital marketing has changed so much, often the best path forward it is best to step back and look at the broad landscape… the demographics of digital marketing if you will. To do this, I often look at summary reports from the best in the business. Below I lay out some of the biggest findings from a Razorfish report I love entitled “Digital Dopamine: 2015 Global Digital Marketing Report”.

According to Razorfish, “Ideas that were once dominant now face irrelevance, as new digital developments displace them. This transformation occurs rapidly, and marketers are constantly struggling to keep up. Therefore, in preparation for tomorrow, Razorfish took a deep dive into the qualitative and quantitative data of four international markets (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Brazil) to examine the ways in which digital technology is shifting traditional brand-consumer relationships. From uncovering global commerce expectations to identifying the effect of digital on our subconscious, this research set out to expose the key trends shaping marketing.”

What did Razorfish find in terms of how digital marketing was used in 2015? Here are a few of their key findings.

1. GENERATIONAL CHASM

Mobile dominates the Millennial shopping experience. A Millennial’s smartphone is their key to the world. As mobile payment technology grows, mobile is going to become an even more important part of the overall brand and retail experience. Millennials draw no practical distinction between online and offline.

Millennials’ constantly connected smartphones mean they no longer see a difference between “online” and “offline.” Technology has become an integral part of their lives, and it is how they interact with and experience brands, even when in traditionally “offline” environments. They don’t use media in silos. Rather, they use all of the tools at their fingertips at any given time, regardless of the device or platform.

Millennials are redefining privacy expectations. When compared to Gen X, Millennials are more likely to trust brands to protect their privacy-and less likely to think that mobile targeting is an invasion of privacy.

Plan for the Gen X / Gen Y digital divide. Millennials lead the pack when it comes to the adoption of technology, outpacing their Gen X counterparts in nearly every digital activity on a daily basis. Gen X-led organizations need to ensure that their brand experiences align with Millennials’ tech-led lives and that digital isn’t simply an afterthought in the brand planning process. Target carefully and with purpose.

2. THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY:

Consumers are actively avoiding advertising. Consumers in all four markets (United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, China) report doing anything they can to avoid seeing advertising, and many are utilizing tools like DVRs to help them succeed.

Advertising is most effective when it is part of a value exchange. Consumers are now aware of how much their attention is worth to marketers, and they expect to be rewarded for it. They look to be compensated with loyalty programs, free content or useful tools that solve problems.

Brazil still has a cultural affinity to traditional advertising. Interestingly, Brazil remains more receptive to advertising than any of the other markets. Fifty-seven percent of Brazilian consumers endorse TV, radio and print ads as the most influential source of advertising. Therefore, it is important to understand that adding value means different things to different cultures.

Make yourself useful. Brands need to offer their customers services beyond core products and add some real value to peoples’ lives, if they are not already. Consumers are more likely to stick with a brand if they feel it makes their lives easier.

3. SEAMLESS COMMERCE

Digital is the new storefront. A good e-commerce site is not just a nice-to-have; it has a major impact on your brand. The numbers speak for themselves: 84% of people in Brazil and 92% of people in China say that a bad brand website negatively impacts their opinion of the brand. Seventy-three percent and 79% of people in the U.S. and U.K., respectively, agree.

Current e-commerce experiences fall short of expectations. Even with the massive accomplishments made in the evolution of commerce, consumers are still not impressed. Current e-commerce experiences, return policies and shipping options are falling flat in cultivating satisfied customers.

Consumer journeys are peppered with dead ends. Although consumers no longer view a distinction between online and offline brand channels, brands are not yet structured to support this outlook. This creates a tension between what consumers want and what brands are providing, forcing consumers to jury-rig solutions.

Empower your customer. Inflexible returns policies, in particular, are a major point of friction in both the online and offline retail experiences. A good return policy is an easy way to differentiate your brand from the competition, build loyalty and earn trust.

4. DIGITAL CONDITIONING

Consumers admit to technology dependence. Over three-quarters of consumers in all four of the markets surveyed admitted to often feeling dependent on technology. Many elements are cited for the development of this dependence, including utility, connectivity and the positive emotions they associate with it.

We’ve been exposed to digital classical conditioning. As proven by Pavlov, repeatedly pairing two cues can elicit a classically conditioned response. This is equally true for many consumers who use smartphones-the light or sound emitted from the device triggers a response of immediate attention.

Instant gratification is not always preferred. Remarkably, consumers in all four markets reported more excitement when receiving a purchase in the mail than when buying in the store. This illuminates an interesting aspect of shopping that is specific to e-commerce- the power of pleasurable anticipation and delayed gratification.

Use “surprises and delights” to your advantage. Without turning brand communications into a carnival of push notifications and flashing buttons, you can still create pleasurable moments of anticipation around routine events for a brand. Smart marketers will play around with game mechanics in the shopping and purchasing process, while ensuring it doesn’t get in the way of simplicity and service.

5. EMERGING MARKETS IN THE FAST LANE

Consumers in Brazil and China are tech-hungry early adopters. This data shows that Internet users in these markets rely on technology for every part of their lives and continually look for more ways to integrate it.

Consumers in countries with lower Internet penetration may be the most demanding online. There are unexpectedly high expectations for digital services and websites in countries with lower Internet penetration. In particular, there is a very strong desire in Brazil and China for e-commerce to improve.

Tech savvy spans all generations. While there is an important digital divide between Millennials and Gen Xers in the United States and United Kingdom, these demographic differences aren’t so pronounced in Brazil and China.

Consider Brazil and China as early adopters. Emerging markets like these are exciting places to test new technology. These consumers are not afraid of technology and are actively looking for new ways to use it in their daily lives.

What Every Business Owner Must Know About Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing / Internet Marketing / Online Marketing are one of the most used terms of the industry today. However, it is sadly just a bunch of jargon for most of the people who hear it and use it to convey their mind. What exactly is digital marketing and what part of it is essential for today’s business person? We’re here to break it down for you in the simplest words possible.

Online Marketing is simply marketing of your product or service onto digital platforms so as to hold onto your loyal consumers as well as increase your reach to new potential target audience swiftly.

That is it. That is what Online marketing is. There are some further questions that need attention to solve your confusion; such as:

Is digital marketing the same as social media marketing?

The answer is yes. Digital / Internet marketing is a wider concept as compared to social media marketing in the sense that, all social media platforms are available digitally i.e. via the internet. However, there are other platforms that come under digital marketing other than social media marketing.

What are the concepts and platforms of digital marketing?

The search engines that we use to search our queries and requirements are in themselves a humongous platform for online marketing. This concept is called “Search Engine Marketing” or SEM.

Search Engine Marketing is marketing of your product on search engines such as Google and Bing by Yahoo. This platform is of utmost importance for businesses that are into a B2B industry.

Another concept that comes under the wing of digital marketing is “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a way of developing your website’s content in a way that allows the search engine’s algorithm to crawl and test your website efficiently. It is a way to get higher rankings in the search results on the search engine; helping us to have a better hand at SEM.

SEO is a primary necessity of any and every website owner as it helps you stand out among the sea of websites we see today.

Social Media Marketing is a concept that comprises of campaigns designed to market your product or service on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. SMM is a great tool when it comes to products that have a B2C segment.

There is an interesting concept called Re-marketing in Internet marketing which enables us to reach out to the potential consumer base multiple times. It can be seen as following your consumer on various platforms, websites and showing your personalized ad copy to them so as to keep reminding them about their visit to your website.

This also enables us to work on another factor called Consumer Lifetime Value wherein we can increase our reach to existing customers and improve our ROI from these consumers through various practices such as Email Marketing, Re-marketing, Paid Ad campaigns, RSS Feeds etc.

However, for a great digital / Internet marketing experience, a campaign needs to be developed using all the above mentioned platforms.

How is digital marketing different from traditional marketing?

Digital Marketing is cost effective in terms of better reach and results.

Internet Marketing lets you target specific audience based upon demographics, interest and devices.

Internet Marketing gives us factual data that can be statistically analysed. For instance, if a hoarding is marketing your product, you have no clue how many people saw the hoarding, read the content and actually became customers because of that hoarding. However, in Digital marketing, say we run a campaign marketing the same product, we can analyse the data produced by different marketing platforms that can show us how many people saw the product, how many actually became consumers and which consumers came via which of the used platforms. This allows us to find glitches in our campaign and work on it to make it even more action driven.

But then should traditional marketing be stopped completely?

Of course not! Traditional marketing, in fact, paired with digital marketing can give results superior than just traditional or digital marketing.

However, one thing that people mistake about digital marketing is that it can be done for free. It is true to an extent; however, to get the best results, digital marketing needs to have an independent budget. Money must be set aside to be able to exploit all the opportunities that digital marketing has to offer to your business and its glorious future.