If your company is not up-to-date with the latest innovations to maximize digital marketing potential, then you're living in the stone ages of advertising. Today's marketing doesn't look like it did 10 years ago, or even a few years ago.
With technology's rapid evolution also come changes in consumer behavior. Here are 10 strategies for better marketing in the digital age, grow as a company and strengthen the performance of your brand.
1. Smarketing: integrate your sales and marketing for optimal performance
Yes, it is a "thing" although you probably won't find this word in Webster's Dictionary. It means that you integrate sales and marketing to optimize performance of marketing efforts.
Gone are the days when a consumer peruses an ad in print media then purchases that product later during the appointed shopping day of the week. Digital ads are portals to online sales. Marketing and sales all happen in the same place with the tap of a finger or click of a mouse.
If a potential customer has a question about a product, that, too, happens in the same place in cyber-world through chat window features. If your company is not smarketing, it is losing significant sales potential.
2. Experience: Reaching a digital customer, requires that you become one yourself
Have you walked in the shoes of your customers? Have you surfed the web to map the path of discovery to your product's online ad? Did you click and see where your landed in cyberspace? What about the purchasing process? Was it a secure experience?
If you have not walked a mile in your customer's shoes, how can you know if the process is efficient? That's one of the best ways to fine tune your online presence.
Learning a new language requires complete immersion. Otherwise you'll need an interpreter and in the case of marketing in the digital age, that means a savvy digital marketing agency.
3. Playing Field Dynamics: Not every digital marketing challenge is solved by throwing more money at it
In the olden days the playing field belonged to the company that could afford the biggest print ad or a prime-time television/radio slot for a commercial.
Digital advertising has seriously leveled the playing field. Just look at what happens when a YouTube video goes viral. A company doesn't always have to outspend a competitor to solve a marketing problem.
4. Engagement: Having a Digital Presence is not enough
So you have a company blog and a profile with every social media platform under the Sun. Yet you haven't seen a significant impact on sales. What is going on?
Creating a digital presence is only the first step. Now you have to engage, engage, engage. That means creating content that inspires a reaction. Calls to action, surveys, asking viewers to name the new company cat rescued from the alley are all great ideas to create intrigue and stimulate engagement.
You've got to do something with your digital presence: connect with people. offer value and get them communicating with you.
5. Who's In The Driver's Seat? Let data drive the decision-making
If data is not behind every decision, then your company is flying blind. The greatest thing about digital marketing is that every single action can be measured.
Did switching background colors result in more traffic? Good decision. But, even if it had been a bad decision, analytics reflecting a noted drop in traffic, or less time spent by visitors on your site, would have alerted you to the need to re-adjust accordingly.
Data must captain the ship.
6. Value: You must offer education & value
There is more to value than getting a great product at a great price. Content is the most valuable commodity in the digital age. The information you share needs to have value to viewers.
Cultivate an online reputation for being the premier authority on your particular industry. It's easy to Google an answer to a question. But believing in the integrity of a source is the value that will bring readers back time and again to your site for reliable information.
7. Personalized Automation: So you don't lose that personal touch.
Automated e-mails and notifications don't seem very personal, do they? It kind of has the flavor of SPAM. Au contraire, mon ami. That's the lovely thing about data!
Analytics identifies so many unique characteristics of customers and viewers that marketing automation can take on amazing personalization aspects. You can send birthday greetings or religious holiday observances according to each individual. An anniversary of a loyal customer's first purchase can be noted.
A customer's purchasing history can generate a suggestions list of other products of interest. Marketing automation can definitely create that personal experience that online customers still crave.
8. Get Out More: Your customers don't spend all their time in one place, and neither should you.
In the time of yester-year, sales executives had to get out and mingle in order to bring in more customers. It's the same in the digital age. Your content needs to get out more.
This is often called a multi-channel digital marketing strategy which means ads are delivered to other online targets. For example, when Google recognizes the potential of a Facebook user to find your brand interesting, it places your ad before their eyes as suggested content. Voila. You just mingled online.
9. Digital Agility is a must
There are all sorts of technical lingo to explain concepts like "agile sales". All you really need to know is that things can change.
You've heard us say before: "your website is not an office building, so don't treat it like one!" In the ever-changing digital world, you must be ready to change with it-- and that includes your website.
So that website you built? Is it turning out to be lousy? Don't despair! Be agile! Change it! When you build something to be accessed by others through the worldwide web, it's not set in stone like a brick and mortar store.
If they turn out to be a bomb, tweak it. The digital age means everyone gets do-overs until you get it right.
10. Chatter Matters: Business practices, good and bad, will catch up with you eventually
That old saying, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" does not apply to what your company or brand is doing online. Reviews matter. Feedback matters. Social media chatter matters.
If you get a bad review, be responsive and get things resolved. Stay focused on good customers service because all of your digital footsteps are out there for the entire world to see.
Need help developing your digital marketing strategy in this modern era? Please contact us. Our marketing strategists can assist you in the best online marketing practices for your company or brand.
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is a co-founder of BridgeRev. In her role, she develops, leads, and executes digital marketing strategies for the company’s growing client base, including a Fortune 500 subsidiary and an NBA basketball team. Ashley’s work can be found in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, and she is an OKC.biz 40 Under 40 honoree for her leadership in business and community. She frequently speaks at universities, churches, and conferences on marketing, diversity, and business.