Posts tagged with ‘digital marketing’

Current Social Media Trends

If you are a small business owner, you have probably heard this line a thousand times: “Are you utilizing social media yet?” If you’re not, you probably roll your eyes, wondering why there is so much emphasis on it these days. After all, it has been difficult to actually quantify its effectiveness. I recently found an article on that just may shed some light on why you need to be looking into using social media if you aren’t already doing so. Here are some of the current social media trends:

  1. The benefits are continually on the rise. As business owners and marketers have continued to increasingly use social media, the benefits have become increasingly clear. Rather than counting on it for lead generation, marketers and businesses are seeing it as a way to create brand awareness. While it is not easy to quantify the ROI on this, brand awareness is no less crucial to a business.
  2. More businesses are investing in their social media marketing. This means that you risk being left behind. The good news is, however, that many businesses are not using it as effectively as they could, which means that you still have time to get in and leapfrog your competition.
  3. Businesses and marketing agencies view the value of social media differently. As I’ve mentioned above, it is typically quite difficult to measure ROI. However, marketers are finding an increased correlation between social media engagement and getting found online. With more and more people using Google instead of the Yellowpages to find businesses, it is easy to see how important it is to be found online.
  4. Having an integrated social media plan will make you more money. Several surveys have found that there are still a lot of businesses that have not fully integrated social media into their marketing plans. However, the ones that do are seeing a greater financial reward for their efforts. In short, it pays to engage your potential customers.

While I won’t come close to saying that social media is the great panacea for your business’ marketing woes, I will say that it is a very important cog in the machine. When evaluating your marketing budget, take the time to see how social media can fit into your overall plan. You won’t regret it.

Digital Marketing is Still Marketing

I’m about two beats away from ridding our Digital Marketing company of the “digital” prefix altogether. There seems to be this expectation that the marketing we do is somehow fundamentally different in its approach than any other marketing activity, simply because it’s digital. But it’s not. In fact, digital strategies that are not solidly rooted in Marketing 101 basics fail the test every time.  Our roots are solidly planted in the deep soil of all the best marketing knowledge to come before us.  Remove the word “digital”, and we are still a marketing company.

Digital marketing is a useful term, but only insofar as it describes the medium in which we work. We still need to understand market segments, demographics, psychographics, and the common human experience in general. We need to know what the triggers are for people in a specific market, and we need to find compelling stories to tell about why one product or service is better than another in the same market. Our clients know we will take these fundamental understandings and employ solid strategies in the digital space. It’s not magic just because it’s cutting edge. We still have to do our homework the same as any worthy marketer.

We reach people in different ways today, but the essential work of finding them and reaching them still looks much like it did in a previous era.  My bookshelves are filled with marketing psychology books and marketing management courses, all of which do not mention the internet or email, or web sites, or Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  They were written before those strategies existed. Does that mean that the concepts within them are outdated? With few exceptions, they still hold true today.

The exceptions are notable, of course. The savvy consumer of today doesn’t tolerate the old “buyers are sheep” paradigm any more. They are exercising full control over their choice in the marketplace, and that’s a great thing. Does it change the buying triggers? Not really. Good marketing doesn’t always have to create the desire, so much as tap into the desires that already exist in the marketplace. The work of marketing is primarily concerned with ferreting out those emotional and logical justifications, and aligning the product or service in a way that gives the consumer the ability to purchase from you.

I do not always see those in the “Digital Marketing” camp talking about basic marketing principles. perhaps it’s all a foregone conclusion that any discussion of digital tools and tactics takes into account the rudiments of marketing best practices, but from what I read, that’s not always the case. Too often, the justification for the use of a digital tool or platform comes more from a sense of what is possible (i.e. provided features) and not from a solid understanding of the more human triggers of desire, belonging, need, opportunity, knowledge or advancement. That’s a shame. The digital space is a fun playground for marketers. But we squander our clients’ resources when we do not start at square one in building an understanding of their products, services, customers, prospects and marketplaces before we go out to play.