Should we be cloning the marketing directors?
Rapidly someone found out that retail is a business that works on the net. And then, classified, or was that the other way around? In any event, not much changed. Maybe Social media will ?
I’m not going into traditional Campaigns, commercials, ads, banners and so forth. What they all have in common is that they are “old style push advertisements” and function as such. I’m not sure what effect they have (less, similar or better than in the traditional advertisement world of radio, TV and print media) but I would expect that traditional measurements would tell. The “new” in the digital world is that you can measure “exact” by web statistics, click rates and so forth. And we got SEO, SEM and more…
I’m not going into online retail-, travel- /booking- or various sorts of classified of solutions either. There are many well proven concepts of how to bring products to market and make revenues. Amazon.com is one of the oldest “best practice”. The gain these businesses have had “going digital” is mainly in the speed up of decision making and transaction solution enabling a sale there and then, with less hassle than having to get the customer from an advert to the shop. Further developments have been to interact with the customer by polls, evaluations, suggestions and recommendations. We have also seen new businesses comparing products and prices and offered customers a “product search” and businesses traffic.
The usage of interactivity in marketing isn’t new, but the options provided by new digital tools and/or channels/ media are interesting.
Some have taken the campaign strategies a step further by establishing communities like Libresse or Nike. The interactivity, discussions and so forth help building a stronger relationship between the brand and the customers. It’s a kind of concept that also is used for product development, support improvements and so forth. Some others have gone into the gaming business and used campaign where virtual /role-play games are combined with introducing a product e.g. a new film, book and so forth
Usage of YouTube is interesting because anyone can post a video promoting, in some manner, products or services. So far this is a pure Push commercial, nevertheless we have seen viral activity, where people start making their response by own versions, as an ironic (or sarcastic), comical or plain commenting videos. Some companies have understood this and taken advantages of it and used it in their overall campaigns.
There are a lot of other examples that mostly have made concepts that are more or less the same as always (read print and push mechanisms) with some digital add on functionality. Some of the “new” thoughts have been: “Don’t try to attract the audience to you – go to where your customers are” And now companies are pouring into Facebook, Twitter and so forth, and what happens? Too much push mentality, to little new concepts or too little reflection on what to do in these social media.
A marketing strategy in the digital world will have to look into all of these options and make use of the, in order to reduce cost and/or increase sales. More important in the coming years will be to implement multichannel strategies that includes the real world, and make some work flows of; where, what, how, why and when the company and their customers are interacting and conducting the purchase process.
Another aspect is that it seems absent for the moment that I believe will become very central is not to have everyone in your company going into social media by “cloning” them into many” small marketing directors” doing the same as usual; spamming the audiences with commercial messages in every channel possible. I believe that a key to success is to listen and engage within the frame of the profession and tasks people have in their organization and use the gained knowledge to develop the company, its products and services. That means that product development dep. Listen to trends, engage in how a great product should be. Designers looks into design and discuss function and aesthetics, the support division listen to what people have of trouble and provide answers and so forth.
And I’d like to see more of Business intelligence, structured data, tagging and semantic web strategies put into effect and combined with solutions of providing the motivated customer with the wanted offers. This will enable a whole new way of not doing factual measuring by looking backwards, but rather forward. If you know what your audience/ customer wants you can give it to them, instead of looking at history and try to figure what you did wrong.
If you want you can look at a PPT presentation about this subject at slideshare.net