Have you ever thought about slapping on a blindfold and eeny-meening-miney-moing your choice of stocks to invest your life savings into? No? Most people wouldn’t, but it does beg to wonder why so many people take for granted the advantages of a well-planned out digital marketing strategy.
There are so many different ways of marketing your brand depending on the level of effort you want to invest in your product or business. There’s email marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Social Media outlets, Online marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Text Messaging, Blogging, Vlogging, RSS & News Feeds and viral marketing.
Research studies show that email marketing is still a preferred method among 54% of businesses, but the Vblog is not to be dismissed as a potentially highly rewarding point of revenue. Some vloggers on Youtube are pulling in the upwards of 5,500$ CND . The biggest success factor, of course, is having a solid product, service or message to offer, but how you market your service, product or message can be the make it or break it in the business world.
There are a lot of online business options out there from online training courses, internet coaching, web business management, and online pay per use social platforms. If you can imagine it, you can put it online, but the key is to get the message out to your target audience, that’s where digital marketing becomes your best friend (or your worst nightmare).
If you develop a business that sells and markets bathroom aides, such as grab or bath rails, for seniors or those with disabilities online marketing via Google Adwords or facebook advertising may not reach your target audience. The average audience for bathroom aides likely grew up in the post war era where the internet was not a commonplace household tool; however, for the sake of digital marketing you may be able to reach those audience members via email.
If you develop a video gaming based business your target audience would likely be the Millennials, most of whom are accustomed to use of the online world, social based interfaces and mobile platforms. Your ability to market via several varied online interfaces would allow for a lot more leverage if applied correctly. This could include facebook advertising, Google Adwords, emailing, blogs, vlogs and mobile app stores (just to name a few).
There is no doubt that the online world has the potential to become the newest art form of business selling, but what does that mean for the future?
The Future of Digital Marketing
The future of digital marketing is a varied projection depending on who you consult with. Some people believe that online stores are the future, and others believe that mobile stores are the way to go. The question is how do you predict the trajectory?
A Gartner Newsroom Press Release issue in January of 2014 says the future is being paved by day by day increases in mobile apps:
By 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe. As a result, Gartner predicts that mobile users will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day.
268 million times the downloaded apps, $77 billion in revenues and personalized data to more than 100 apps and mobile services daily; sounds like the digital marketer’s paradise. Truth is, it IS a marketer’s paradise.
Robert Triggs, VP of Sales and Marketing for CRM Dynamic who kindly interviewed for this article. In discussing with him, he was asked about Gartner’s Newsroom Press Release of January 2014 and how he believes that forecast will impact digital marketing.
When you look at the way a person shops in a b to b (business to business) or c to b (consumer to business) via transactions in the ecommerce world today, businesses have shifted from direct personnel and sales associates to an online platform. The key is making this transaction digitally available. If businesses have done a good job via blog post, video information and create highly searchable web sites, the business can actually do the entire transaction online or at least guide their client or customer through a 60 – 90 ratio sales cycle before the business or consumer ever engages in contact with a sale associate or business personnel.
Many companies aren’t up to par with digital marketing, or are lacking in online marketing plans. In the long term this will impact their overall sales. If the consumers can’t find the company or the product/service the company is offering in google or Bing searches, they will look somewhere else. It’s a necessity to have a way of attracting people via online tools. Good marketing strategies will attract people. For example – if you’re out and looking for a restaurant; You might turn to your phone to find a restaurant in your location, if the restaurant has a mobile friendly site, you can access the information you need to determine if you want to eat at that restaurant. Your restaurant can have the best quality food and service, but if at the time that the prospective patron is searching, if the restaurant’s site isn’t mobile friendly or they don’t have a digital means to exemplify their foods and services, they would lose that business to a restaurant that does offer that search capability.
Much of the business conducted in the online world relates back to the content of your site and the venues by which a company can reach its potential client and consumers. PANDA 4.0 was a clear indication of the direction that google wanted to take the online world in terms of end user satisfaction. The same holds true with online business to business and consumer to business satisfaction. The more access the structure a business’s information, the adaptability of the interface for home computing and mobile access through tablets and mobile phone apps the more satisfying the marketing experience will be for the clients and consumers.
There are five main entities in CRM for logging client information. Three of those entities are Contacts, Opportunities and Leads. From first point of contact the program logs the IP address in a contact record. The traffic to your site is there to become one of your clients, there by accident or looking for job. Anyone who’s there by accident or looking for a job is a potential customer. Being that the attention span of a web surfer is minimal when they’re targeting a search, CRM can automatically store web traffic information as lead or new as contact record, identifying the number of pages accessed, how long the visitor stayed on each page that was accessed and what the visitor was interested in. If your company has something compelling to offer a client, a competitive advantage, it can be displayed, such as online video or PDF resources, for which your visitor would provide you their email address in order to access those tools.
These tools, beyond the programs ability to cull a lot of data in minimal amounts of time, give marketers a door way to maximize their efficiencies. In place of chasing clients down via cold calling or throwing emails against the wall in hope that one will stick; marketers can batch their clients based on location, purchase preferences, contact preferences, and trends. Essentially personalizing the online experience to the information obtained relating to each individual.
Now, Gartner has also indicated that mobile users will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day. That’s a lot of data for marketers to sift through. When asked “What are the pro’s and con’s of using a personalized data streams?” Mr. Triggs has this to say:
The Pro to personalised data streams is that you’re working with very relevant marketing information targeted to companies with real data you have compiled through online interactions or automated information gathering.
The Con is that some people get spooked out by the level of knowledge. For example if you know that a client was on your web site and looked at six different pages, particularly if they are baby boomers, or generation x’ers, the idea that you know what they were looking at and for how long might make them uneasy whereas millennials, who are more familiar with concepts of personalized data streaming, won’t spook as easily.
Five years from now, personalized data will have been normalized. If a company isn’t doing it already, it`s important that they start planning for it or they will lose the ability to compete in the market.
In Sales and Marketing, trends and paradigms in data sets will be important to the direction that your marketing takes, which platforms you use and to which target audiences you would engage. Depending on the direction of the trend, errors could be costly for companies who’ve invested a lot of time and money into a strategy that isn’t up to par with the direction of the social and digital media venues available. For startups and small businesses, marketing errors can be difference between making or breaking the business. When asked “In your experience, what do you recommend to your client’s to avoid costly pitfalls in missed marketing opportunities?” Mr. Triggs replied:
Many companies try to have a voice through digital channels. They need to really focus and think about who they are as a company, in place of trying to be all things to all people. The old adage is if you try to be all things to all people you end up being nothing to nobody.
It’s also important to recognize that sales and digital marketing are now merging. The coined term is “Smarketing”.
Smarketing can also refer to smart marketing. Which is the concept of bundling a company’s sales, marketing and personal/public relations into a 360˚ all inclusive outreach that are geared towards what the individual wants and not the company. In essences, the market it driving companies to adopt a more client friendly approach that cuts out the egocentricities of bottom line focus. If consumers can find a company online that will provide for them, personalized, easy to access information in the fewest clicks that’s where they are going to bring their business.
With all this marketing potential and a massive amount of consumer information a business could want, the possibilities are endless. Indeed the digital world of marketing is at once as fascinating as it is exciting. When asked what he felt was the most exciting thing about digital marketing in today’s environment, Mr. Triggs replied:
The most exciting thing is if you can figure out how to do it properly, you have to capability to explode your company. We’ve never lived in a time where it was that easy to do that.
Now more than ever there are information programs built right into varied media, and those you can buy, to disseminate your data sets and tell you where your marketing is most effective. Programs for purchase include of Customizable of the Shelf Products (CotS) like SAP, CRM Dynamics or Infusionsoft. Used correctly, and you can manage your entire company from a single interface at home or on the go.
Predictions for 2015 . . . online and mobile is the new black
It’s not about being online, it’s about being an Online Brand
Create, build, innovate, and make a statement by creating your own brand of product or service. Be bold, be daring and most of all, be geared to your client’s needs. Matt Weiss, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Havas Worldwide calls it “One word: Ideas. … Powerful.Motivating.Insightful.Brilliant.Expansive. Without a platform-level idea to drive unification across marketing activity, marketers are left with tactics, tricks, and one-offs … “Ideas” will motivate consumers to action and create a competitive durable advantage for those marketers who understand what lies at the center of a buzzword-driven marketplace”
Gone are the days of bottom line
It’s not just about the bottom line anymore. If your business is going to succeed, you need to gear your content, your product and your service to your client. Failing that you will lose business to the company that can and DOES gear their product and service to their clients. In an article written in the Globe and Mail, predictions are “Marketing efforts will focus on targeting consumers by lifestyle versus obvious product placement”
It’s a simple and one, two, click
With all the online social media venues available, there are infinite ways to structure your sales event, but the few clicks the greater the sale. Present your product information in such a way that your client doesn’t have to sift through pages and pages of unwanted information and have the sale cart at the ready.
The world is your oyster was never truer than it is today
The online world has made the idea of global commerce a very real, very tangible and an incredibly borderless possibility. Reaching clients across borders has never been easier. In an article written in the Globe and Mail, cross border marketing is cited as “ … no longer only about North American relationships, it’s about global relationships. Because of the internet and social media, the world has become a smaller place.
In essence, 2015 is promising a year of infinitely possibilities insofar as digital marketing is concerned. Video, instant messaging, emailing, social media, RSS feeds and any other number of formats are pushing businesses to innovate and create based on the end user’s needs and propelling companies towards a borderless branding that can only be augmented by the ability to harness, record and manipulate data sets in correlation with strong marketing, sale and PR techniques.
Say hello to tomorrow today and empower your business with digital marketing.