It seems like just yesterday when the goal of a social media marketing campaign was simple: to find a new way to get a client’s message in front of potential customers. Now, social media is interwoven with the fabric of our daily lives in ways that seemed far-fetched just a few years ago. And marketers have to offer much more than novelty to get and keep customers’ attention.
If you haven’t taken a close look at how the digital world has changed in the past few years, it’s definitely time to update your digital marketing strategy. The reason is simple: what worked last year probably won’t be enough this year.
The Four-Screen Generation
Moira Davis, Vice President of Marketing at ESPN, describes the four-screen generation this way in an informative video that is part of Google’s “Think with Google” series: “Google research shows that the average consumer spends about 4.4 hours per day consuming content across four screens – computer, television, smart phone, and tablet. There’s a whole generation of consumers out there who consider the four screens interchangeable when it comes to entertainment and information. If you aren’t reaching them across all four screens, you’re not really reaching them.”
A study conducted by CBS at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas showed consumers interesting content on a PC, a tablet, a smartphone, and a TV screen. All of the consumers were shown an ad about a luxury sedan on at least one screen, while some viewed the ad on more than one. Not surprisingly, considering Davis’ statement, regardless of age or demographic, consumers who saw the ad on all four screens had a more favorable impression of the brand at the end than those who saw the ad on fewer screens.
So what are you doing to reach your audience on all four screens? If the answer is “we’re focusing on the Web”, then you may be missing some cost effective tools that have the potential to pay big dividends.
The Zen of Digital Marketing
As you might expect from a company called The Marketing Zen Group, around here we’re big on making sure that everything works in harmony. When it comes to digital marketing, that means helping our clients generate the biggest returns possible within their budget. For us, that usually means helping them find the right mix of digital marketing tools to create a strategy that delivers the best ROI.
What kind of tools? That depends on the client, of course, and their specific needs and target audience. But it will probably include:
- Brand Leadership (content marketing through various channels)
- Paid Search, Pay-Per-Click and SEO
- Public Relations
- Social Media
- Collateral (digital or print)
Multi-channel communications isn’t an option in today’s digital communications environment – it’s a requirement. Depending on a client’s needs, we may recommend a variety of other tools such as email marketing or eNewsletters, localized coupon and advertising campaigns, and special events. The fact is that the key to a successful digital marketing campaign is to deliver your message in the right place, at the right time, to reach your specific audience – and that time and place will vary from business to business.
How to Get It Right
The difference between the kind of integrated, multi-channel digital marketing program that’s required today and the siloed, disconnected campaigns of yesterday is simple. In the post-recession economy, no marketer can afford to spend their budget on disconnected campaigns. Everything has to work together toward a common goal.
Online marketing must complement offline marketing. Social media and PR have to be working together with content marketing and advertising. If they’re not, you’re wasting time and money. For full-service agencies like The Marketing Zen Group, that means helping our clients look at the big picture – even if they are only ready to work with us on one part of their overall marketing strategy.
For marketers, it means developing a marketing mix that is truly integrated, and carefully planned to reach current and potential customers in the communications channel they prefer, via the communications tool (video, audio, print, Web, etc.) they prefer. How do you get the mix right? Through careful planning and research, and constant testing.
By testing, we mean more than A/B testing a particular message (though that’s an important part of a strategy, too). We mean making sure that your messages are designed for mobile screens, that they’re written to get attention – and that they’re continuing to generate results. No single channel will deliver the results you need – and neither will any single campaign.
Build measurement metrics in from the beginning, so that you can track every touch point with your customers. Then, as you build your four-screen strategy and your relationship with your customer, it’s easier to tweak your message to follow your customer through the sales cycle as they progress from casual content consumer to loyal customer.
We can help – but whether you call us or not, let 2013 be the year when you rethink your digital marketing strategy. It’s time!