In some of our posts last year, we explored the general concept of digital marketing and some of the ways in which companies use it to promote their brand and interact with other businesses. This time, I’m going to drill into the “Why”—the major reasons for making digital marketing an integral part of your brand and marketing plan as a whole.
1. Reach Your Target Audience
Online access to online knowledge is everywhere. People use their computers, mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, and even televisions to connect to the world and find all sorts of knowledge. It’s smart planning to include tailored digital marketing efforts to reach your intended consumers through a range of channels and technologies.
In order to meet your target audience, you first need to know exactly who it is. First, do some basic research to evaluate the following:
- Demography (qualities of your desired customers, such as location, type of business, income, etc.)
- Likes, wants and needs (what goods and/or services are they likely to purchase)
- How to collect information (search engines, websites, word of mouth, social media)
Did you know that? 57 percent of senior executives use mobile devices to perform deeper analysis, and one-third use smartphone reference information during decision-making.
If you have decided who you want to target, you can then develop a marketing strategy that is designed to reach that specific audience through their preferred methods of accessing information.
2. Harness The Power Of Data
There is no doubt that data plays a very important role in marketing. Media Math’s latest study showed that businesses across the globe are dramatically raising their investment on data-driven marketing in order to make their interactions more important to consumers.
Why? Since the data gives you insight into what’s working for you and what’s not when it comes to reaching out to customers who buy your goods and services.
Marketing research is a metric focused on data obtained from customers. These metrics can be gleaned from a range of digital resources, such as traffic on your website and clicking on different links and tabs or Facebook likes or re-tweets on Twitter. However, it is important to monitor your data so that you can compare measurements over time, give you a broader view of consumer behaviour and allow you to change your marketing plans.
Word of caution: too much data is too much. There’s only so much data that can be very useful, so make sure your IT and social media people put analytics in place to collect and quantify the kind of information that will help you identify customer desires and patterns.
3. Be The Thought Leader
Digital marketing enables you to position yourself as an authority, a trustworthy resource in your industry. In other words, you can use your digital tools to share your expertise and information, effectively making you a “thinking leader” in your profession.
And it doesn’t work everywhere, as well as on your website and social media. You might, say, start a blog to share timely information about your profession. For example, a power company can regularly blog on topics such as its efforts to develop renewable and recyclable energy resources. Or, a medical practice may encourage community health by posting wellbeing tips and notices on activities such as health fairs on its Facebook page. A financial services firm might form a discussion group on LinkedIn, where interested parties could ask questions and obtain investment information.
The possibilities of building value for your brand through digital marketing are infinite.
4. Cast A Wide Net
Your website is a great tool to tell the world about your business. But what if some of your target audience can’t find your website? Digital marketing opens up a whole host of new ways to meet the companies and individuals you most want.
So, maybe not every user you want to reach is using Facebook, but you can bet there are a lot of them. The same goes for LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Many of your customers are searching YouTube for details and how-to tutorials. Email marketing, including e-newsletters, is another way to tell current and prospective customers the story of your business.
As executives, you know that if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to think one step ahead. Digital marketing gives you a chance to be different, dream big, and go beyond your website.