Ron Shulkin
Ron Shulkin 13 January 2015

This Year's Digital Marketing Machine

In the digital marketing mix, brands strive to be personal, informative, engaging, entertaining, authentic & present.

No one said it was going to be easy. Brands have new challenges in 2015. They not only have to get consumers’ attention, but they have to jump through hoops to get it.

This year there are a lot of moving parts in the digital marketing mix: Brands strive to be personal, informative, engaging, entertaining, authentic & present.

1. A Common Experience in Every Channel
If your audience is on mobile, they need to find you there. If your audience is on your web site, on the cusp of making a purchase, they need to find your message in the critiques that your other customers publish. Your brand experience needs to present a cohesive, consistent look, feel, message and call to action no matter where our audience finds you.

2. The Blurred Lines of Content and Advertising
You can’t just tout your brand’s best features. You have to be benevolently educating your audience about things that matter. You have to perfectly describe an experience where your brand fits in nicely. You have to deliver new information.

3. Entertaining
You can’t just show up and throw up. You have to be entertaining. This means multi media. Or augmented media. And interactive media. And if that’s not challenging enough, your audience needs to be able to see a call to action embedded in that video they can act upon. Without disturbing the entertaining moment.

4. Personalized
You need to know a lot about every member of your audience. Whenever someone interacts with your brand, you have to be able to scoop up the resulting data the moment generates, synthesize the information, figure out how it translates to the interests of the viewer and then deliver your tailored message in that entertaining, appealing way.

5. Curating the Dialog
Your appearance on the customer’s radar doesn’t happen by chance. Brands have to curate the conversation. When someone searches for a topic germane to your brand, whether that search occurs on a social network or in a search engine, appropriate, germane content must appear.

6. Channel
Brands must have a steady supply of interesting, informative, entertaining content. Delivered in the language of the searching consumer and via the channel in which they search.

7. Content
You need to produce lots of great content. But the best content might not be content your brand generates. It might be content from the news, from sports or from the world of the bizarre. But it does have to be content that gets clicked on, is informative, relates to your brand and has a call to action yielding a conversion you can monitor.

8. Listening
You need to know about every audience interaction which, thank goodness, is possible in today’s interactive, two way marketing environment. Rapidly responding to your audience’s complaints, inquiries and comments via social are table stakes. Your consumer leaves their digital footprint every time they click on something. It’s up to you to capture the information and make use of it on your audience member’s behalf.

9. Peer to Peer
And if you think the pursuit of brand advocates is hooey, think again. The average consumer trusts the word of other consumers way more than the messages you’re delivering. Some say the power of social networks is fading but consumers rely on reviews and they even buy via social (think about those disruptive technologies like Waze, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft). The power of advocates, those voices we listen to in the social ether, are very important steps in the buyer’s journey.

10. Surprise & Delight
This may be no surprise to you, but your audience is a bit jaded. They see premium, multi-media content everywhere and from everyone. Brand messages frequently outnumber (and can drown out) the personal status postings of some people’s real life friends. That phrase “surprise and delight” may be bandied about carelessly, but it has real meaning to the audience member’s life because only those messages truly appealing will get clicked. And only those messages have a fighting chance of pushing out a Call to Action the consumer can act upon.

The good news is brands have smart people paying attention to message delivery. They’re armed with emerging technologies to enable the real time, interactive message delivery concepts we’re embracing. We just need to pay attention to a lot of moving parts.

Read More About Strategy Here.

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