Before Digital Business Marketing there was a time when consumers were told what to think and feel about a brand. There might too have been discussions about who ‘owned’ the customer. This was the era of ‘push’ marketing’.
Social media fuelled by digital technology and ‘on all the time’ devices has turned this conventional approach to marketing on its head. There’s been a shift of power and influence from organisations to the individual. Brands now live or die not only on the user’s experience but that of the people in their social networks too. Going ‘viral’ – like the weather – can range from a light drizzle to a tsunami!
So the Digital Business Marketing focus now is on conversations and engagement – it might mean a relationship too but that’s the customer’s prerogative not that of the organisation. This is pull marketing – I’ll engage with your business as long as you deliver value – as I define it – to me when and where I want it.
And at the same time I’ll expect you to be open and transparent about what you’re getting out of it and preferably socially responsible too.
And another marketing model bites the dust – the simplified but misleading notion (even in the past) that customer’s follow a linear decision making process like a sales funnel – Awareness, Interest etc. (AIDA).
Access and knowledge through the web is now basically a commodity. Sources of information both formal and informal have multiplied – potential customers dip in and out of it almost at random. The search process is now a web of its own and successful digital business marketing allows a forensic understanding through mapping of what the ‘Consumer Decision Journey’ (as McKinsey call it) looks like with the focus now on ‘moments of truth’ – whether ZMOT or UMOT!
If understanding the complexities of the Customer Journey is a challenge, then deploying the often bewildering range of digital media options increases this exponentially. There’s a vast treasure trove here which is properly the domain of digital marketing experts – like Frontier’s Knowledge Community.
From web design to content management systems, understanding and optimising digital touchpoints through social media marketing and distinguishing between paid, owned and earned media, the list and purveyors of these skills is endless. It serves to emphasise, too, how everybody is now part of a global digital economy.
This granularity has a number of substantial benefits not the least of which are the ability to more tightly manage budgets, real time learning as to how your media is being used and consumed (live ammunition) and the opportunity to be more spontaneous with messaging. – like the famous Oreo Super Bowl ad. Slightly more staged but still immensely engaging are videos like the T-Mobile Dance.
Big Data is the still slumbering but much reported ‘Big Beast’ that represents the occlusion of computing capability with the proliferation of mobile devices is set to go even more nuclear with the onset of the ‘Internet of Things’.
Data on its own is just raw material, it needs to be mined and sifted to generate the seams of gold that ‘insights’ can deliver. This touches on another facet of the changing face of marketing the need to blend creativity with the scientific evidence that data provides. It plays too to the needs of Finance Directors with their focus on understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) from marketing in general and social media in particular.
This is another area for experts who understand Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the mechanics of Pay Per Click (PPC), conversion rates and cost of acquisition. Google Analytics provides a free and extremely detailed analysis of website traffic, for example, which can be scrutinised in a number of different ways.
It goes without saying that there’s a growing need now for marketing people to re-invent themselves too. There’s always been a need for a thorough understanding of strategy – now a Digital Business Strategy, of course, supported by an appropriate marketing strategy.
Increasingly this needs a combination of classical marketing skills, digital and social media expertise and the numerical appreciation that data demands. Initially, it makes sense to outsource these activities but as knowledge grows many businesses will see the merit of bring these skills in house. This is an area where there is strong competition for Digital Business People.
Closer collaboration with IT is an essential with many seeing the role of CMO and CIO merging. Some businesses now have Chief Digital Officers and indeed more recently there was a call for Data Scientists.
Part of Frontier’s capability mix is working with clients as a Digital Marketing Consultancy to craft an appropriate Digital Marketing Strategy and Plan designed to maximise your revenue. Talk to one of our Knowledge Community marketing people now. For related topics see also Digital Business Leadership, Digital Business People, Digital Business Processes and Digital Business Strategy.