Create value with sustainable digital marketing
For several years now, we have heard talk, with good reason, of sustainability in various sectors of activity. This is a philosophy that is influencing more and more companies that want to find better ways of doing things; more efficiently, more sustainably. In digital marketing, it is also possible to draw inspiration from these practices to generate long-term value. This is what I am focusing on today.
When we talk about sustainable marketing, what exactly are we talking about?
- Marketing efforts that have a sustained impact over time on a company's bottom line.
- System and processes that allow continuous improvement by maximizing the assets in place.
Conversely, unsustainable marketing approaches only focus on immediate results. For example, once a traditional media campaign is over, neither the users nor the business will get any additional benefit. In other words, the results are deeply related to the dollars invested in the short term.
It always surprises me how much companies prioritize short-term results over longer-lived assets. We often have the impression that companies want to repair temporarily, without planning for the future. Most of the time, we are behind on our sales target and we want to address the situation quickly without thinking about the long term.
Allow me to highlight the importance of generating sustainable marketing assets for a company and to expose the value of this practice which influences short-term results (yes!) while allowing to face the challenges of the future. (which are coming faster and faster!)
I HEAR YOU TALKING TO ME ABOUT SALES…
Regardless of your industry, the main objective is, most of the time, to generate sales. But what drives sales , or how do you increase conversions? By only increasing the media budget?
DIGITAL MEDIA: FROM UNSUSTAINABLE TO SUSTAINABLE
Certainly, investing in media is a good idea, but today, we can guess that most of your competitors are transferring their traditional media budgets to digital channels and opting for the same ROI-oriented tactics. If everyone does it without pushing their strategic thinking further, no long-term asset will be generated: everyone will pay more year after year and it is the broadcasters of this world who get rich laughing in their beards! To understand why we must have a broader view than the famous ROI in digital media, I strongly suggest the article by Philippe Boutin-Lizotte and Stéphanie Gélinas .
In a sustainable marketing philosophy, if a portion of the media budget is shifted to sustainable assets, we do not end up empty-handed! So what are the sustainable assets that increase your sales and provide a better return on investment?
IT'S A SAFE BET THAT FOR THE SAME BUDGET, A COMBINATION OF SUSTAINABLE MARKETING PRACTICES CAN GENERATE MORE REVENUE THAN A 100% INVESTMENT IN MEDIA.
SOME EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABLE ASSETS
A content strategy will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, to be in harmony with what really interests your users, and therefore to increase your organic traffic and the effectiveness of your dollars invested in digital media. A perfect balance between content and media will ultimately lead you to generate more sales at a lower cost (remember that in paid digital media , we often pay per click). The impact on sales following the implementation of such a strategy will be lasting over time without significant additional investment. The efforts will bear fruit for the months and years to come!
With a content strategy, the average cost per qualified visit decreases significantly over time.
You can also consult this article by Julien Abadie where we observe the effects on the ROI of a social content strategy. If you want to learn more, here is a good summary of the key principles of content creation.
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION
By optimizing your conversion rates, you reduce your costs and will quickly be more efficient with your media budget. The math is quite simple: how much are you willing to invest to increase your conversion rate by 10%? By measuring the additional sales due to this potential increase in the conversion rate, it is obvious that the investment in this type of project is profitable. It is a smart investment that will certainly generate value for the company, in addition to generating results. Don't hesitate to get started!
How do you ensure that your acquisition tactics are not a “one shot deal” and become sustainable? marketing automation is a technology used to collect and organize data to automate certain repetitive tasks. Concretely, this technology makes it possible to communicate in a personalized way on different channels with a user acquired at a certain price. Being able to start a relationship with a user makes acquisition marketing tactics much more sustainable. The key elements of any marketing automation platform are long-lasting assets for a business: database, automation tools, measurement tools. There is certainly a cost to implementing such a platform, but once the database is properly configured and the business rules are in place, this investment creates long-term value for the company with an ROI very positive. You will find here more details about this marketing trend.
These different disciplines of sustainable marketing are user-centric and should be accompanied by analysis. An aspect that is too often neglected, user research feeds the strategies to be put in place. This step is often absent from marketing plans. It's a great example of a sustainable marketing asset that should be viewed and valued as an investment, not an expense . (source: Infopress)
THE CUSTOMER AT THE CENTER OF THE MARKETING STRATEGY: CREATION OF VALUE FOR THE COMPANY
A company that generates sustainable growth must position the human behind the user at the center of its strategy. In other words, the more the company manages to collect information on the individual behind his screen, the more this data can be used laterally, within the various departments (sales, operations, customers, etc).
We've been saying it for (too) long, but most companies still work through channels ! It can be seen in the structure of marketing departments, in relationships with suppliers and agencies, in the allocation of budgets and in the measurement of results. This is no longer the preferred approach!
I invite you to reflect on these sustainable practices in your next budget planning exercise. This is what differentiates a leader from a struggling company.