Stop debating digital
by Darren Mansour (@Darren_M) When it comes to consumers, if 81% admit that posts from their friends will directly influence their buying decisions, 30% is most likely to respond to offers that have been reposted by a friend, and 62% is more likely to research a brand or product online before purchasing, then how, in our global ecosystem of interconnected engagement, can businesses still be debating their digital transformation?
Whether as the result of digital marketing being easily accessible or, indeed, much more cost-effective than traditional marketing, it’s still suffering the wrath of its loose reputation as the cheaper solution to its traditional family members. This assessment is not only unfortunate — it’s dead-wrong. Here’s why:
Measurement. Measurement. Measurement.
Measurement is what makes marketing science exactly that: a science. With a firm digital marketing strategy in place, you can see how many looked at it, how many times they looked at it and how long they stayed looking at it — and, ultimately, who bought it. With the fast track of analytics and cutting-edge digital measuring tools, it’s almost fair to say that businesses that aren’t measuring aren’t surviving.
ROI like nobody’s business
Digital marketing has redefined what it means to reach a target audience. If you want a female, in her 30s, who loves super cars and shops only on Tuesdays, then you can bet your bottom pound that you’ll get a female, in her 30s, who loves super cars and shops only on Tuesdays. Leveraging off the evolved efficiency of algorithms, and the right digital marketing budget, brands are able to start a conversation with the right consumer, in the right place at precisely the right time. Wastage, what?
Even when you can’t afford it, you still can
Forget ‘cost-effective’, let’s talk value-effective. Yes, digital is somewhat cheaper than traditional marketing; yes, digital is more accessible than any other media; and, no, your brand will not deliver results if you cut your digital budget by 30% or more. When considering digital marketing, it’s important to remember that accessible doesn’t equal cheap, and, as far as traditional marketing goes, it’s a solution of equal value and importance. The two play well together. Really well. Business owners need to rethink their marketing budgets in terms of merging traditional and digital strategies, for greater market impact. A given.
Digital marketing speaks mobile
Multichannel-switching has become the norm, with users swapping between desktop, tablet and smartphone throughout the day. The truth is, it’s 2018. We’ve come a long way since Mary Meeker’s 2008 prediction that mobile would overtake fixed internet by 2014. Mobile browsing is now reportedly the highest channel of internet surf in South Africa alone, with 78% of consumers browsing compared to 17% on desktop. So, here’s another truth: our bottom lines have rapidly become dependent on mobile-responsive media for consumer purchase and seamless customer engagement. Good thing it comes standard with your digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing earns trust
Through the rise of social media, everybody has a friend that loves something and shares something. Through this age of friendly-information dissemination, we’ve become a ‘like’ generation. And what we like has stickiness. Somehow, we remember it, we talk about it and, you can bet, it took us 2.5s to find the relating website that discusses it. No longer can businesses afford not to have a presence on an online platform, purely since it earns consumer trust. That, through social media, your customers can engage and interact, like and follow your brand in real-time on their phones creates a sense of community and brand loyalty, achievable only through digital marketing.
MOD — marketing on demand
The enduring beauty of digital is that it’s fluid — it can be tweaked, recalibrated and redirected almost instantly. This makes for an exciting landscape of marketing opportunities that don’t need to go through the production delays and red tape just to get a message across. Regardless of the effort you put into your traditional marketing campaign, digital accessibility is a value you can’t buy.
In many other ways, digital marketing trumps traditional, which makes it all the more baffling that the medium, in some companies, is still under “other” on the boardroom agenda. Digital marketing tools and techniques provide business owners the best chances for competition, survival and even business growth. It’s not a debate anymore; it’s a requisite.
“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on MarkLives.com. Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.
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