For a number of reasons, marketing has changed dramatically. Primetime TV and rush-hour radio spots, full-page ads in high circulation daily papers, premium and impression-based media buys – all these are no longer enough. The marketing universe is complexifying, transforming, reinventing itself. We are juggling an infinite number of products, brands, tools, channels, and mediums. We are having to find ways to adapt to the new realities of inbound marketing or permission marketing. Gone are the days of worrying about spam. Today, the onus is on us to establish direct, sincere, and localized dialogue with consumers. It’s all about the customer.
These changes have been taking hold for the past several years, and as time goes on they will only become more pronounced. To deal with them, we need to get more granular, shrewd, relevant, and conscientious about how we spend our digital marketing dollars. How can you avoid missing the boat?
“We like to feel special. Some people want decaf. Some want skim milk. Soy milk. Almond milk. When a business listen to your specific desires and makes an effort to cater to them, it makes us feel good.’’ – Monetate.com
This should be the foundation of every digital initiative. How can you make sound business decisions if your numbers are wrong? How can you draw conclusions from your digital campaigns or communications efforts? Our data should be easy to access, easy to understand and easy to digest; too much data is as bad as enough. You need to be able to get a quick overview of your situation. One of the best ways to stay focused on the right data is to define your goals and KPIs from the beginning, document them, and above all, don’t lose sight of them. It’s equally essential to look at your data through the right lens, i.e., to understand how your various marketing channels interact and what each brings, using a reliable attribution model.
Test, test, test. We can’t stress this enough. It’s the only way to grow, to know what works and what doesn’t. At some point we’ll all experience successes and failures, it’s inevitable! There are different types of testing you can do, whether it’s A/B testing banner ads, text ads, landing pages, design, or content. The conclusions you draw will allow you to provide the best possible user experience, and choose language that inspires and resonates with your audience. Everyone wins, including you.
#engagement #conversion #ROI
At a glance, this seems obvious, basic even. But how often do we really stop to think about this? What do our customers like and dislike about our products? Are we listening? If we want to be successful, we need an attractive offering that’s aligned with our customers’ needs. And in a competitive industry, we need to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. What’s our competitive advantage?
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.’’ – Seth Godin
Do you really know your audience? Can you identify who your messaging most resonates with? If yes, hopefully you’re using this invaluable knowledge as one of the foundations of your marketing strategies. If not, it’s undoubtedly time to investigate using, for example, user interviews, search trend analysis, A/B testing, or your internal database (first-party data). These efforts allow us to define personas, a critical piece of knowledge for any company. This knowledge can open up numerous opportunities, for example Custom or Look Alike audiences in paid search, or more personalized email marketing.
Essentially, the idea is to find a way to reach the right people, segment/personalize your messaging, and thereby maximize the efficiency of your investments, your ROI. Even more importantly, targeting the wrong people can have worse consequences than simply losing your investment. By bombarding the wrong people with your messaging, you can actually damage your brand image by generating negative sentiment.
In itself, adapting your messaging to your audience is natural; we do it automatically in our everyday lives, so why not apply the same logic to the web? The real challenge is in choosing from among all the possible opportunities. In evaluating, for example, the effort it would take to create ten messages instead of three, and assessing the incremental benefit of those three or ten messages.
Consumers are not stupid. They’ve never had access to so much information. Trying to control or hide this information is a lost cause: very quickly it all comes to light through one channel or another. Remember the Volkswagen scandal? “The fact is, you’re always on the record, everyone is a critic (or could be) and the web remembers forever.’’ Seth Godin. Success is more likely to come with honesty, transparency, and communication – of good news and bad. Surround yourself with brand ambassadors and allies. Above all, establish a direct and efficient dialogue with the consumer.
“You can now be rewarded very quickly if you can build something worth talking about’’ – Seth Godin
… And the reverse is also true!
Why talk about anything other than your brand? It’s not about you anymore! What interests your audience? Offering useful, rich, informational content that responds to users questions can have huge returns. Better yet, offering inspiring, unique, and engaging content can do even more. We need to challenge ourselves, be innovative! In a world where every digital media campaign is costing more and more, it’s more important than ever to create sustainable digital assets.
Each initiative has an influence on another. The best media plan needs to be combined with quality banners and landing pages that offer an optimal user experience. The best content strategy needs to be developed with input from SEO, SEM, and social media specialists. And your brand needs to be consistent online and off, and on both digital and traditional channels. Marketing needs to be looked at as a whole!
Detecting opportunities quickly, before anyone else, can have major payoffs on the web. Do you remember the Oreo Twitter campaign during the 2013 Super Bowl? Thanks to their reactiveness, inventiveness, and sense of timing, Oreo succeeded in stealing the show from the biggest advertisers, for zero dollars. And you could do the same!
In short, no, mass marketing isn’t dead, but it’s no longer enough. There’s no question it’s in decline, but it can certainly still serve a purpose depending on the context or the brand. It is, however, essential to adapt to today’s realities, and to evolve to keep up with the new standards.
What about you, what strategies and tactics have you used over the past few years?
– Infopresse Forum data et programmatique Conference
– SETH GODIN, Meatball Sundae, 2012