As the line begins to blur between our online and offline environment, so too does the line between brand awareness. Modern consumers have come to expect a seamless brand experience, where digital marketing merges faultlessly with expectations created by traditional marketing. Digital is no longer an add-on – it’s a necessity.
Digital marketing has evolved to the point where customers believe it to be more credible and trustworthy than traditional channels such as TV, radio or newspaper. This is, in turn, changing the B2B perspective within the marketing industry. A recent Google survey of B2B marketers found that 80% of most effective B2B marketing channels are digital.
Digital is efficient because it’s measurable. While traditional media can give you a rough guide as to how many people might have seen your ad, digital can give you definitive results: open rates, click-throughs, registrations, social media mentions. Media channels now allow brands to open up and have a conversation with their customers, driving new product development and innovation as well as building brand equity.
These days almost every business engages in some sort of digital marketing – a website, sponsored search on Google or Facebook, and the occasional eNewsletter.
What’s often missing is the thing that ties it all together, a cohesive plan where customers come first, stay connected and share the journey with you.
To achieve such a result ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your digital strategy connect with customers on both emotional and rational levels?
- Does your digital strategy take into account the decision journey of your customers?
- Does your digital strategy cover all your paid, owned and earned media bases?
The fact remains that people are driven by emotions first and then by logic. Whether you are selling software, delivering professional services or toys, you must engage with your audience in a memorable, authentic fashion.
Your company value proposition always matters, but it’s emotional engagement that creates a lasting impact and builds relationships in the digital world. Gone are the old days where companies made marketing decisions based on rational, logical factors such as cost implications – rather we’re now sparking conversations.
Digital marketing has reshaped the old thinking, bending a horizontal flat line approach into a cyclical journey that no longer ends with just a purchase. It is an ongoing customer experience that leads to advocacy, turning passive customers into active users.
While the new model creates boundless brand advocates, it also creates brand assailants, whose negative experiences can dissuade potential customers. The Internet has handed both advocates and assailants a megaphone and an audience. 58% of social media users write negative product reviews – while 25% say they broadcast their negative experiences to punish companies.
Digital credibility is everything. It’s a delicate ecosystem that must be managed and nurtured with a digital strategy, where owned and earned media become paramount in building trust and loyalty with customers. While this is crucial, keep in mind that no one form of media can be used in isolation. A social media post or an article won’t be as effective without a website that provides more information and social media that validates those claims.
An industry leader, an author and a speaker with more than 30 years of client management, marketing and consulting experience. He is the author of "Courage to Change," which aims to help readers improve both their professional and personal lives, and serves as a council member advisor for Gerson Lehrman Group.
As a brand strategist, Aris works on creating valuable consumer relationships to promote engagement. By utilizing the popularity of digital & mobile media, along with the social web, Aris helps companies understand the power of controlling their brand.