Digital World and Luxury Brands
Why do companies need a digital marketing strategy?
What is the importance of digital marketing strategy in a company? The simplistic answer is the loss of opportunities and business. Digital marketing strategy formulation helps in making informed decisions about ones foray into digital marketing arena and ensuring that all the hard work is focused towards the fundamentals of digital marketing, which happen to be the most pertinent to a business. This is the initial step towards understanding the dynamics of the evolution of digital technology on the market place and its relation to the company. Increment in target market doesn’t necessary depend on the type of business, but on digital technology to research, assess as well as buy the products they intend to consume. A coherent strategy of initially engagement and subsequently retention via digital technology helps a business in utilizing available opportunities thus being able to compete well in an industry without giving the competitors a chance draw away athwart an ever-increasing digital divide. In contrast to the conventional forms of mass media marketing, internet has the capacity to broaden a company’s scope of marketing and in narrowing its focus significantly on relevant areas. Using digital channels can help in transcending traditional constraints, which includes geography and time zones, in connecting with a much wider audience. Digital technology also allows companies to create their marketing messages with laser-like precision in targeting speci-c niche segments inside a given wider market which once implemented effectively could be an extremely powerful amalgamation. It has often been argued that internet has put buyers in charge as never before, but it is additionally vital to remember that it has an ability to deliver an unparalleled suite of not just tools but also strategies as well as tactics, which permits marketers to approach and also engage with the same target market. The promotion field has never before been more dynamic, challenging and varied which rationalizes a need for a cohesive digital marketing strategy. In harnessing the benefits of digital marketing to push forward online business to novel heights, a company needs a comprehensive understanding of market, how digital technology is utilized by consumers, and how a business can best utilize the same technology to construct long-lasting as well as mutually beneficial links with them. As digital outlets carry on to widen the scope accessible to marketers, a potential complication of digital marketing operation also increases. Holding a visibly outlined strategy helps to keep a company focused in ensuring that its marketing activities are always aligned with its business objectives and, crucially, ensures targeting of the right people required for improved performance.
Digital marketing and its link with ordinary businesses
Nature of business, current business position and expected future performance are more dependent factors for consideration compared to business suitability to digital marketing. Digital marketing is not suitable for dairy farmers in rural Ireland who supply milk on fixed contract to local cooperative and have little or no ambition to expand in future. Digital marketing is also not suitable for the local barber or even butcher with a dedicated clientele in a flourishing market town or district, but has a desire to maintain a status quo. An example of digital market oriented business is a flourishing town’s butcher looking to diversify his or her product offer, broaden the scope of business and has plans to begin selling quality organic products to hotels and restaurants throughout the country. Majority of businesses that exist in an economy can benefit from digital marketing to a certain degree without considering the size of business. Providing online informative brochures and sending out special posts to current consumers through his newsletter campaign or Really Simple Syndication (RSS Feed); are some basic activities which qualify for digital marketing. Target market for home-based business selling hand embroidered cushion covers, a small-scale artisan food producer, upland-coming restaurateur, or multinational corporation, can generally be found online. Critical digital marketing can be experienced when a target market, with access to internet, relies on online channels for information, research and purchasing needs.
Who needs digital marketing?
There are two key questions one need to resolve before deciding whether or not a business has got to have a digital marketing strategy. First and foremost, a company needs to know whether its customers can be traced online or not. If customers utilize digital technology to research or perhaps purchase products and services a company provides, then obviously digital marketing will be embraced to help engage with them as well as retain them. Digital marketing varies with generations which require companies to remain updated to avoid reduction in market share. Secondly, a company needs to know whether its products, services or brands are suited to digital marketing. Such a question is usually tricky, but often the response is usually positive since it doesn’t matter the kind of product, service or brand available as long as its target group is found online. There are products and services that are easily found online including digital files comprising of e-books and music, and spring to mind which makes it easy to make choices when need arises. There are also some items which are usually marketed via digital outlets which people do not expect to find in the internet and their purchase is rarely done over the internet. Customers go online to research, evaluate and compare choices of different products and services made available to them. Consumers make buying decisions founded on the online experience quality and subsequently head to the physical location of the store to pay in cash. Products such as cars, boats, homes, apartments, animals, tractors as well as others, are all being proactively as well as successfully marketed online.
Classifying digital marketing strategy
Once a company decides to market products through internet, the next is usually to settle for an appropriate strategy which fits the products or services being offered for sale which takes substantial period of time to put in place. Different companies do have different strategies and any imitation by companies on competitor’s sample usually leads to negative results. However, there is some sample background information found online which can help to give a direction for appropriate end results. While the available elements are identical, the consequential strategies could be completely different which is objective and easy to understand. If a company sells apples to domestic buyers by the truckload, its strategy will hold little similarity with a firm selling electronic-books. In addition, its reports on detailed financial trading, which will consequently be extremely distinct from the strategy assumed by a sports clothing producer who desires to avert retail outlets and allow customers to buy directly on the Internet. Distinct products, distinct markets and distinct needs are usually accompanied by distinct solutions. Digital marketing strategies can easily be defined accurately by people who have substantial knowledge about the products, services or business in operation.
The ins and outs of digital marketing: At the global level
There is nothing unusual about the digital customers at all. They are the regular customers visiting a retail shop, walking in and out of a sore, calling on the telephone and meeting on a daily basis. The digital customers think and act the same way like real customers do. The customers are doing what’s expected of them. That is sharing knowledge and experience amongst themselves. Now technology is bringing them closer than ever before with distances eliminated by laptops, smartphones and tablets, it’s really a global village. It’s all about communication; it’s always been like that. They have fixed language and they are communicating in it. They aren’t always sitting in a bar drinking wine, maybe they are conversing with each other on the internet with more than five people.
The comfortable web
The customers are least bothered about behind the curtains work done. All they are concerned is with the shopping experience and value-for-money offered to them. They are alien to such concepts:
Above the line
Below the line
All of these terms are unknown and alien to them. The customers care about the shopping experience. They should be able to make informed decisions and the website will determine that. People are the most important segment of the website behind the curtains and beyond the curtains. It’s true for every field; not just digital marketing. Being a digital marketer, it’s necessary to comprehend the customer behavior and their psyche. The digital customer has a particular behavior and it keeps altering. The digital technology changes but with it the requirements of the customer also changes as well. According to Dave Friedman (president for central region Avenue A) says that, ‘The customers of today are busy sharing their experiences digitally while overseeing niche content with video as well to ensure quality purchase’. The digital technology is fast and ever expansive. It can filter, categorize and organize the content according to the user’s requirements. According to Friedman, ‘The digital marketplace has reached its zenith as the customers are busy pouring through various channels of technologies and social media to access others and share their personal experiences’. He says, ‘There are recommended engines, blogs, start pages and well-connected customers make the internet a better place for shopping than ever before’. Spam marketing is being fast replaced by targeted and user centric advertising via internet. Now segmented marketing is done; in other words relevant marketing is executed related to the audience. With the help of digital marketing, long-term relationships can develop with customers. Now marketing is all about dialogue, one to one conversation and listening-talking to each other.
The general feeling is, ‘I don’t know you and vice versa’.
The internet provides a shield of obscurity to the users surfing on the internet. They aren’t chained by the social shackles of the real world moving like free birds. Real life is different in comparison to internet life as they move about from one website to another. In a real life store, the shoppers will wait their turn and shop around as they please. On the internet, the customers have zero patience requiring a seamless customer experience. The aim is to deliver first time, each time. If the website fails to meet their demands (prices and products), then they vanish into thin air. Once gone, they aren’t coming back. The only proof of their existence is the log file on the web server. Then the word goes out to their colleagues.
Behavior of an online customer
We have grown up with the road rage analogy of an old man/woman who becomes a speed freak when he/she sits behind the wheel. That’s the case with internet people. They are fast and furious on the internet. It’s not a good practice to generalize people and judge them. Internet is a whole new ballgame and keeping away from judgments is better. Knowing your market is important for business and conducting research in this regard will go a long way in focusing a target group. This being said, tons of research has been done on the behavior of the internet customers with mixed results. Some similar characteristics have finally emerged that defines the internet audience finally. The internet audience is cozy with the internet. People have been surfing the web for a decade now literally. The younger lot is the biggest audience on the internet, the older population is keeping up as well. The older population is getting warmed up to internet.
People are very careful in the beginning ‘pling, pling, pling’ is all they do, later they start playing symphonies’, says the guru of web usability Jacob Nielsen in an interview he gave back in 2006 to BBC. When people get cozy with the system then they use it more frequently. When they know the general feeling, then they won’t be there for long. They have a want-it-now approach. On the internet the speed is really fast and customers have zero tolerance. They want-it-now approach is why websites are so direct and fast catering to their users. Time is money for them and wasting it on tough-to-understand websites isn’t their priority. While the marketers and developers are making the website, they ensure that instant information and less scanning features are present troubling the user in the least. The internet isn’t a passive medium even in case of Web 2.0. In case of information and communication failure, the audience won’t stick for long and move elsewhere. The marketing strategy must be user centric, permission or elective based offering real value to the customer. Great propositions will result in great results. There is a problem that speeds of the internet erase the vendor / brand loyalty but rather they corrode it. Digital marketing is up for developing trust amongst customers and the brand.
But today clients are literally comparing products and website with their fingertips on the internet. How is a person supposed to tackle this issue? Is the competition global or national? The customers are very vocal on the internet and stacking up a trusted audience is an ardent task. With the help of social networking websites, blogs, peer reviews, discussion forums and online communities; they share their relevant shopping experiences, both positive and negative. It’s a two way street on the internet. One way, the brand has a positive vibe going for itself it can spin magic while getting it wrong is equivalent of digging your own grave. The internet community is stringent and tough.
Comprehending digital marketing: From inside out
People inquire about products they are unsure of and unaware of. Seeing a new product in the market, they will ask their friends and buddies. Having a social circle helps as people refer others products worth buying. Apart from that they are using social networking websites, blogs, and discussion groups while being part of a vibrant internet community.
Notice the market movers and shakers. Analyze their behavior and tailor a digital marketing campaign which suits that particular group resulting in huge benefits soon enough. Never leave the core market and keep in mind the market trendsetters entailing the entire digital marketing scheme.
Keep P’s closer
There are four P’s of a product. These P’s are:
But now one wonders why these P’s found their place in a digital marketplace:
This one is easy. It’s the internet. Over here, one billion people from all over the world visit making the world a global village all accessible by a computer and a cable. That’s about it. Tap into that potential.
Price is so critical on the internet. Pricing is lucid as on the internet competition is high. It’s not good practice to be the cheapest, but not be the most expensive either. The proposal should appeal to the client. If a product is out of range, all other websites will show this anomaly as the review websites red flag the website as untouchable. These review websites review every tiny detail from cars to school stationery.
When a product is needed and certainly viable for the buyer, the customers get interested soon enough and persuading them is easier. Apart from that, a useless product can’t be marketed by the best-in-the-business if it isn’t needed. That’s when the internet stabs in the heart which is horrendous. Promise what a product can really deliver otherwise people are really unforgiving and harsh on the internet. The internet customers weren’t born today, they are intelligent and surfing the entire web. They will advise others against your website or minor flaws occurring. They will spread it everywhere and people will red flag the website permanently. If that happens then it’s back to the drawing board as all digital dreams of building a business are quashed. Establishing a plausible online business require some sound planning. Ensure that product and its client value chain is correctly aligned from the beginning. There are so many other internet businesses.
Promotion is all about being offline and online to get the product ready, take in new customers and keep the old ones. The digital promotions tools are given below:
The website is your digital paradise as it’s your most prized possession on the internet for that matter. This real estate chunk on the internet is all you have. It’s all about generating traffic for your website ensuring sales. The website should be able to direct the traffic from all corners of the internet.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is life and blood of the website and business at hand. The customers are searching for products and if you have them then it’s necessary to tap into that audience. The website must be visible to people and Google. For increasing the traffic on your website, the organic searches matter a lot. It means that search results must be shown on the front page till the middle of the page. No one visits the next page by the way.
Pay per click advertising (PPC)
Pay per click advertising is the life and blood of a digital marketing scheme, as it cuts through the search pages and indicates the relevant searches. It depends on the business and the keywords to be used which can certainly produce desired results incorporating search engine indexing and ranking. This medium is gaining popularity fast but the rising problem is that notable keywords are expensive to buy and smaller businesses are bent on taking them as soon as possible.
It’s important to work with other companies and build partnerships. This can result in valuable long-term relationships while selling products and services.
Press releases, article submissions and blogs generate a positive vibe on the internet about the business / brand in question. It keeps a competitive edge to the business.
Social networking websites
It’s a new marketing tool but one may certainly tap this unhidden potential accessing people by reaching into websites they use such as Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and Twitter. Notice their personal interests for that matter.
The father of internet marketing is internet marketing. Due to spam bomb, it has taken a step back but still it’s a valuable tool in every digital market’s weaponry. Keeping continuous relationships and building new ones is facilitated by email marketing.
Customer relationship management
The digital marketing is all about keeping old clients close while keeping new clients closer. This results in tons of rewards for both. Digital technology develops and strengthens a bond between two people through a cable.
Go for the gold
One critically imperative segment of the digital marketing plan is making real-life goals. The business strategy needs to define the proper goals to be attained in order to kick-off the marketing efforts. Having a clear destination in mind helps a lot in strategizing and rigorous planning. Imagine you are Green Arrow (world’s best archer) but no villain to shoot arrows at, what’s the point? Set milestones one by one. Measure the achievements and steer the digital campaign like a race car. The digital world offers a plethora of tools at your disposal with multiple techniques to make use of, hence attaining a better return on investment. The notable fact to remember here is that digital marketing is a nonstop process of continuous development and stead worthy refinement. A person is able to supervise and examine his digital marketing campaigns in real-time. One can simply put on advertisements alternatively as well as working on other strategies as well. The key advantage is that one can calculate everything there and then. Before selecting a designated course one can certainly test some alternatives. This involves, testing, retesting, refining and finally deciding on investing in the most lucrative segment based on customer interest.
Keeping accountability in check
When a computer, laptop, smartphone or a tablet logs on a website (any website), the web server keeps a log file, based on the particular IP address of the person. Hence the user’s navigation is kept track of in this way. A cookie is a small file sent by the web server to the person’s computer, which permits the web server to remember the particular in question. Hence, all the websites operate this way. That information containing in the log file can certainly tell a lot about the user based on his activity:
The user’s location is known and his logging time.
The geographical location is indicated by the IP address.
The user’s web browser and operating system is known.
This tells us a lot already and accountability starts from here. For instance, we target all our ads and marketing messages to people living in Ireland using Mac. They hate working prior to lunchtime and certainly sports are a religion over there. This is where things get interesting. We have added some page tags in our website (using a website developer, analytics person and a webmaster); we are being a bit intelligent. We keep track of the visitors on the website and watch their purchases. For instance, we plan to show a banner ad campaign. We found out that people who clicked on our banner did purchase the product after navigating through the website while some didn’t click on our banner, but made the purchase weeks later anyway. The marketers are highly interested in these new phenomena’s as they realize the value of clicking.
A short while ago digital marketing metrics was all about clicking. Now clicks are important but less applicable for instance let’s say 250 people saw an ad today, but what happened? The answer is nothing. The internet marketing investments wants plausible return on investment. It’s all about ROI (return on investment) and conversions. At the end of the day, the brand’s accountability, price, the ad campaign and marketer’s role is important.
Now a disturbing question: Which case seems more suitable to you?
1: A situation where you have achieved a 10% rise in sales in teens aged 18- to 24-year-old children after extensive research?
2: A situation where there are 1,293 pending enquiries pertaining the product, services, name and email addresses of the new clients to be attained?
Internet marketing is direct marketing per se. The aim is to invest, sell and measure the return on investment, learning, adapting and moving onwards. The internet process is faster per se. still the core concept of brand based advertising persists. The famous drum playing gorilla that is eating Diary Milk, or the girl who is whistling the Nokia tune and offering her Pepsi is all part of memorable brand building. This form of advertising sticks with a person. The digital marketing is quite accountable whereas the former form of advertising isn’t. The technology provides great information as a person has better control and can close in logical decisions coming from the feedback. The marketing budget can be twisted and turned in directions feasible or maybe channel it into other lucrative directions. While showing holiday ads, the marketers are aware of the seasons when they are actually noticed and when they are frowned upon (winter season). It would be so cool if the holiday advertising is commenced right when temperatures start to drop around 10 degrees in some region? How about being able to show currency exchange rates for thriving markets capturing the trader’s attention?
Summing it up: The possibilities are limitless in a digital world.
Digital marketing strategy gives a person a lot to think about. The entire process is all about analyzing, researching and comprehending three factors necessary to success:
The business strategy will define the foundation of a digital marketer and drive the relevant decisions while others will be disposed. There will be some hits and misses. Digital marketing is all about clever boxing. The factors necessary for a business to run are taken in consideration. A clear strategy needs to be defined founded on analysis of the current position of the business to taking it to another level. That’s the reason it’s important to know what’s important and what’s not-so-important.
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