Most companies employ a variety of digital marketing tactics like email marketing, social media and PPC advertising as a major part of their overall marketing strategy. In this blog, we look at why you should include these tactics as a major part of your overall marketing strategy and let your traditional marketing efforts remain in the past.
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
How are traditional and digital marketing different? In traditional marketing, communication only happens in one direction, with the company speaking directly to its target audience. While this type of communication does sometimes exist in digital marketing, typically the focus is around multi-directional communication, with the company both talking and listening to its audience. In addition, in digital marketing, all interactions are online and, therefore, are public. Any customer can join in the conversation in real time.
Advertisement campaigns have also changed with digital marketing. In traditional marketing, campaigns are well-planned and span a specific amount of time. In the digital world, there’s also some planning ahead, but there’s more room for adjustment during the campaign. Additionally, there’s always space for real-time response.
Examples of Common Digital Marketing Assets and Tactics for B2C Businesses:
- Branding assets (logos, fonts, etc.)
- Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Earned online coverage (PR, social media, and reviews)
- Online lookbooks
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Affiliate marketing
- Native advertising
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Online public relations
1. Better Brand Positioning & Differentiation
Your brand is much more than just a logo and a tagline; your “brand” is also a representation of the overall experience an organization delivers to its customers. It should capture and convey the character of the organization. There have been many digital campaigns built around “brand refreshes,” or updates to brand imagery. Through brand refreshes, companies like Starbucks and Google have remained strong.
In traditional marketing, your brand may be showcased in magazines, on TV, on billboards, etc. Potential customers have a passing glance to determine if they’re interested in your product. With digital marketing, you can start to define and present your brand in different ways. But it’s important to be wary that in today’s digital world, customers are now empowered to evaluate and even scrutinize brand promises, so make sure you’re always transparent.
With this transparency (due to the rise of social media) brands can no longer make false, unverifiable promises. Companies can position themselves as anything, but unless the greater community backs up those claims, the brand has nothing to stand on but its words.
2. Leveraging Communities
In the digital world, customers are connected with one another in a variety of social communities. Whether they’re on a formal social media site such as Facebook, or commenting on a Buzzfeed article, the possibilities for discussion and interaction are endless. These communities have replaced what traditional marketers would refer to as segments. Unlike traditional marketing segments, communities are formed by customers who define their own reasons for joining the group. Traditional marketing simply segments users into groups by what marketers think they know about those customers.
Customer communities won’t tolerate spam or irrelevant advertising, and they’ll force out companies that aren’t offering valuable information to meet their specific needs. This demonstrates the horizontal relationship between brands and customers in digital marketing.
3. Migrating from the “Four P’s to the Four C’s”
Traditional marketing is all about what to offer customers and how to offer it to them. The established four P’s: product, price, place, and promotion, have always been a major focus for marketing departments. But today, the marketing mix has shifted from these P’s to four C’s. Though these new four C’s have been defined differently by various marketing experts, we’ll define them as co-creation, currency, consumer, and conversation. These elements represent the evolution of brand-to-customer communication to a model where companies both speak and listen.
Co-creation is the process of involving customers early in the ideation stage for products, services, content, and more. It allows them to customize and personalize these elements to their needs. Currency, or pricing, is also evolving. Dynamic pricing, which involves setting flexible prices based on capacity utilization and market demand, is not new in some industries, but the practice has continued to grow in the digital age. Companies of all sizes are now charging different prices based on company size, location, and more. In this way, price is more like currency, which fluctuates depending on market demand. As for the other C’s, consumers and conversations, these are both an important part of digital marketing that we’ll discuss in more detail.
4. Switching from Customer Service to Customer Care
Before customers make a purchase, they’re often treated as prospects or targets. Once they decide to buy, they get all the perks of customer-service, based on the traditional marketing model. With digital marketing, it becomes simple to treat customers with care and concern. Companies have the ability to listen, respond quickly, and consistently follow through with an approach that’s beneficial for both sides. Collaboration is key to customer-care success, and it happens when organizations invite consumers to participate in the customer service process by taking in into their own hands (FAQs, emailing support, online chat, etc.).
5. Broader Targeting & Mediums
Traditional marketing limits to your reach from one particular audience (perhaps only locally or for a certain period of time), to spread out to reach audiences across the globe 24/7. Additionally, campaigns can be tailored to reach a specific digital audience based on job title, age, gender, location, and more.
You may find that your digital marketing campaign reaches more people than you would have ever dreamed. Online, your social media posts, videos, blogs, GIFs or other types of content could go viral at any moment if enough people love it and want to share it. On the flip side, bad news can travel much quicker online as well, so make sure you have a risk management strategy deal with negative press as soon as it appears online.
Digital marketing also offers a broader range of mediums than traditional marketing. There are a few major channels for traditional marketing (television, print, radio, etc.), but there are thousands of digital channels. These channels help you reach potential leads where they’re already spending their time and in the ways that they prefer. Some people like to read articles on industry websites, while others enjoy watching videos on social media. With digital marketing, the options are endless.