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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Digital Increases Your Business

Many companies ask: “Is digital marketing really for us? Isn’t social media a marketing gimmick that targets youngsters?” However, the question to ask is no longer “Should we?” because it is rapidly becoming a ‘We must’.

The question from this companies should be asking is “How do we use digital to our benefit?”

The notion of digital tends to being correctly associated with websites, Facebook or Twitter pages. Digital is not this simple. It is about enabling a two-way discussion and engaging your target audience on an interactive level through the use of new technologies and approaches that are based on the age-old marketing recipe.

While it is an effective way to connect with your audience at a tactical level, the real power of digital lies in the impact it can make on your organization and brand. Through technology and innovation, it necessitates an adaption of the organization structure, process and business model. For example, a magazine would now explore selling online advertising. A company dealing in after-sales would integrate social media listening with the call center. A company dealing in CRM and loyalty programs would include content personalization and 1:1 capabilities. HR departments would change job descriptions for recruitment and add training for staff, to ensure employees are able to deal with digital. It impacts companies at the core, but currently, in ways companies have yet to completely integrate.

In parallel, digital plays a critical role at every step of the sales funnel. From customer acquisition to lead generation to conversion, it is an incredible way to engage customers in a much more interactive manner while driving them towards your campaign goal. However, digital should not be used as a ‘copy-paste’ of the traditional marketing activity – merely putting up a picture of your product on your Facebook page is simply…useless. Social media is about creating a unique opportunity to attract, involve and communicate with customers – you listen to and have a genuine conversation with them, not blast and spam customers with promotions.

Finally, the power of digital goes beyond a single tactic. From mobile technologies, search and listening tools to social media ecosystem such as platforms, blogs, micro-publication, forums, sharing tools, social media enablers, digital OOH, augmented reality, 3D, cloud computing, touch technology….. you name it…. technology is an amazing way to meet the customer needs: it makes their life easier and gives them better and faster access to your product and brand.

It is the marketer’s dream and an extremely powerful way for companies to measure, track and learn about their campaigns such that they are able to adapt and modify them to increase the ROI or ROMI and achieve the desired target. Marketing is finally getting back it’s science and is able to prove how a $1000 margin can be generated from a $100 investment.

Digital makes it possible for companies to target individuals like never before. A printed DM, magazine or book can now be 100% built around the recipients! It is not only the digital outcome but also the treatment of marketing that can lead to traditional offline mechanics. For example, RF technology gives you the opportunity to track what your customers are doing, buying and liking. As a brand, you are now able to customize your entire portfolio to their needs and increase your sales by increasing the conversion rate or reducing the acquisition costs.

Digital goes beyond websites and when harnessed upon, has a real, measurable, and positive impact on your sales.

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