Lately it has occurred to me that there is this line that has been drawn between traditional Marketing professionals and Online/Digital Marketing professionals with regards to generating brand awareness. This line has become more apparent with my recent inception (not the movie) into the Digital Agency environment.
Previously I have been responsible for the full brand awareness of the company for which I worked. This allowed me to get a very rounded view of marketing techniques (inbound and outbound) that a company can use to generate brand awareness. I learnt (the hard way some times) that the “right way” is the way in which you can best reach the target market. This in turn led to a definitive lesson for me, “There is no line”. The space between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing does not exist. As with many things it is only there because we gave meaning to it.
The following is true
- Online is the future
- Some traditional marketing techniques are not going anywhere anytime soon
- A large portion of disposable income is still in the hands of the 45 – 65 age group, who are more likely to respond to traditional marketing
- That age group I just mentioned…They can use the internet too and are doing so frequently
- In the next ten years there will be a new 45- 65 group of internet Savvy, Disposable income holding, non-smoking, all gymed up old fogies making the buying decisions and telling their kids “How it used to be”. No I won’t be one… but I won’t be far off
- A combined approach will work better than an isolated one
So why the “Invisible line”?
Fear? Stubbornness? To be honest I am not sure. In some ways it seems that a portion of the older generation of marketers did not come to the party and in response the new generation decided to rebel against the old generation… and a family feud was born.
Sorry. In seriousness the bottom line is proficiency and income. The “Traditional” marketers had been in control of a market that was unwilling (until recently) to engage in the online community. This meant that the Digital Agencies struggled to grow.
Then there was facebook and the world got smaller as people began to instantly share opinions and generate conversation. All of a sudden brands could no longer control the “Message”. So Digital agencies began to grow.
Then there was Twitter and Instant became constant. Not only were brands unable to control their messages but now they were being bombarded left, right, centre, top, bottom in and out. Rise the Digital “Marketing” Agency. These agencies began to manage the conversation online for brands. They could not control it but they could direct and mould it.
Here is where the divide between traditional and Digital Marketing began to grow.
So what should we do?
My little piece of mind is that a holistic approach to any marketing campaign will serve best. Put your head down and get some basics right:
- Who is the business
- What/who is the target market? Age, gender etc
- What is being sold? Is it dynamic or static, new or old, innovative or steady, flexible or rock solid
- Where are my consumers likely to engage with my market
- There is more than one way to skin a cat
Some lessons for the road
Get to the core:
If you don’t know who you are then how do you expect to tell the public?
At the core of everything a company does is the brand. Even if you are a one man band you still have a name to which clients attach values.
As they say “put your best foot forward”.
- Have an identity. Give your clients something tangible they can engage with
- Be great at what you do.
- Match your market
- Check out the competition – Fails and wins
Think like this – Products/Service, Market, Perception, Competitors
Manage the message:
You can’t control it but you can generate conversation that is positive, informative, unique and useful. You can manage crisis situations with a crisis management procedure. You can be creative and innovation in the distribution of your message. You can
- Generate conversation that is positive, informative, unique, entertaining and useful
- Be creative and innovative the distribution of you message
- Lead consumers into conversation environments
- Listen when your customers talk
- Monitor trends in the market
- Have fun – Don’t be a goof but don’t be boring…please (Google Nando’s and Santum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEVcglVC29Q, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUAKjzEzeq8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUAKjzEzeq8)
Don’t fly off the handle!
Plan, Plan, and then when you think you have planned enough…. you got it…plan a little more. Understand that just because it seems like a great idea right there and then it could cause as much damage as good.
In a world of instant and constant communication it is easy for a brand attack to happen. What is even more frustrating is that in this instant world you need to quickly respond to both negative and positive comments, conversations and trends either to stave off attack or generate ambassadors for the brand. Have plans in place to deal with situations that have been foreseen and those you completely missed. As a general rule, “24 hours later is 23 hours too late”. It is best to have real time communication but if you have not responded in 24 hours you have missed the boat.
Monitor the conversation:
Great! So you did all your research, you put all the right plans and actions into place… now what?
Answer: CHALLANGE ACCEPTED. My friends we have only just begun to fight. Today’s environment is instant and constant. By Constant I mean “Once it is going it never goes away”. Today the essence of marketing activities is generating conversation and once it starts it needs to be monitored.
- Negative comments can spiral a brand into destruction. Especially if it reaches “Trending” status
- Missed positive sentiment = loss of potential revenue. Yes… The end goal is revenue and as with any other system, if you don’t monitor, it will cost you
- Google, Bing, Yahoo… The three Musketeers of the online environment (Google having the lion’s share) distribute information to the masses. They rely on many factors to rank a site/brand in search results. Dynamic and user generated content are one of the most important factors. SEO= Measure and Monitor
- The press have influence. If you have engaged in a campaign aimed specifically at the media then keep an eye on what the sentiment generated is like
At the end of the day it is all about the bottom line! Did that campaign make me money or cost me my left arm? If you are (or are using) a marketer worth his/her salt you will have measurables in place.
Things to keep in mind
- R.O.I – Return on investment is still THE WAY to measure success. I spent X and I made Y
- A.V.E – Ad value equivalent. Specifically targeted at online campaigns the A.V.E says: “I reached X amount of people (Analytics can usually give you this info) and it cost me Y. If I had spent Y on advertising I could have reached Z people. This is a seriously simplified concept for the A.V.E. In reality there is a formula that calculates it however there are tools that will do this for you
- Reach – How deep into the pool did your arm go? Where did you engage with the market? Did it spread to different platforms? (Facebook, twitter, youtube, Vimeo, Pinterest)
- Value – Is there value in the conversation? Can it lead to conversions? Again remember that your actions are aimed at the bottom line
- Sentiment – What is the feeling that is being generated with regards to your Brand? Positive? Negative? Neutral? (“There is only one thing in the world worst than being talked about, and that is not being talked about” Oscar Wilde: The picture of Dorian Grey)
That is all I have for you today. So stay tuned for more updates and remember to follow us on twitter and facebook.
(“Keep it up, don’t let it get you down and when in doubt slide to the right and skip to the left”: Anonymous)