We live in a competitive world. Whatever your business and whichever sector you operate in, you need to fight for every customer. It helps to have a serious marketing strategy in place, something to cajole, convince and drag customers to your front door.
Traditional marketing has normally involved your business sending out a communication to potential customers. In it’s simplest form, this is a flyer posted through the front door with a telephone number of web contact. It’s generally a one way, rather limited approach.
You post out your message and sit back, waiting for that potential customer to reply. Or you produce a TV ad or bill board sign that you hope people are going to see and then buy your product or service.
Digital marketing gives you the chance to utilise several layers of engagement and pull them all together to create a complete and responsive marketing campaign. What does that mean? Well, for a start, it allows the marketing conversation to go both ways, between that potential customer and your business.
The power of digital marketing is delivered by its diversity: you’ve got your website, social media, pay per click campaigns, email, infographics, media coverage, video marketing, blogging and even affiliate marketing.
There are so many ways to get your brand message across that it can often be difficult to narrow down the choices to match your advertising budget and the time you want to spend on it.
Let’s face it, traditional advertising such as billboards and TV ads are expensive. If you are an up and coming business or just starting out, you want to make the most of your marketing budget and not throw all your eggs in one basket. Digital allows you to be more flexible with your brand development with a wider choice.
Of course, with that flexibility comes a lot more responsibility. If you’re looking to tweak your brand approach or tail or it to specific customers, you still need to ensure your core message remains solid.
But, if you can get your approach right, you can find a lot of new and interesting ways to forge a connections between customers and your product or service.
If you’ve been in marketing for an lengthy of time or studied it at college, you’ll know all about product, price, placement and promotion or the 4 Ps. These have been circumvented in recent times by the 4Cs which are specific to digital marketing and business growth.
In traditional marketing, it’s more difficult to reach out to specific audiences. This is something that has really changed over the last five to ten years, largely with the advent of the smartphone and greater connectivity. We’ve all heard the term ‘big data’. What it allows digital marketers to do is segment more intelligently and reach audiences and communities and engage with them in new and exciting ways. If you know who your customers are, it’s now easier than ever to reach them in the digital world.
There’s that old phrase: People buy from people. At no time has this been more true than in the digital age. The ability to segment customers and drill down into their wants and needs shouldn’t be ignored. It gives your business the chance to provide a personalised sales funnel from the moment they click on your site to the time they buy and the service or support that you supply after that.
You can listen and you can care and that’s a powerful way to create brand loyalty because your customer will appreciate it. You can’t generally do that with traditional marketing. You can certainly achieve it with the right digital strategy.
Let’s face it, traditional marketing limits what you can do and achieve. Digital marketing opens up a whole new range of tools and opportunities to reach out and touch customers. You can tailor your campaigns, including focusing on a local audience or sending your message global. You can use social media posts, have videos that go viral, produce a blog article that gets shared around the world.
Of course, bad news travels just as quickly (if not quicker) as good news. There is a price to pay for this freeing of the advertising shackles – you have to monitor your digital presence closely and keep control of it. And that’s not always easy.
If you’ve every worked on producing a TV ad, you’ll know how expensive it is and how difficult it is to get a return on investment if things go south or you choose the wrong advertising company. The good news with digital marketing is that it’s relatively cheap. Social media platforms cost nothing to sign up on. Pay per click can be monitored and costs restricted to meet your budget. If you get involved with user generated content, you can create a load of free marketing across the world.
What it does take, however, is time.
You really do need to focus on what you are doing and select the right tools. For many business, a scatter gun approach is par for the course. They have a bit on social media, the odd email campaign, a video on YouTube and a couple of blogs to help SEO now and again. What they don’t have is a concrete and comprehensive strategy and that’s important in digital marketing.
That’s also why you need to be a digital marketer if you want you business to be a success. Of course, if you’re running your business and dealing with customers all the time, you may not have the energy or the inclination to develop those skills.