When you look at virtually any consumer based industry and you’ll see how changes in digital media are fundamentally changing the way that people engage with brands before, during, and after a purchase.
Today we expect to browse, research, provide and get feedback, evaluate, and push the ‘buy’ button at our own pace and place—and through the platform—of our choosing.
We continue to engage with brands online after a purchase and share our experiences with one another. Much of this behaviour is beyond the direct control of companies and marketers are sprinting just to keep pace with the ever adapting trends.
Professionals and consultants in Digital Marketing can mine the ‘big data’ stores and analyse consumer behaviour, the effectiveness of a campaign and also make pretty accurate assumptions on how improvements in approach and enhancements in design can deliver positive results, enabling the business to adapt with the customer.
Building a powerful and meaningful customer experience, sometimes requires a brand to operate outside their comfort zone. For example, a business must be agile and adapt within much shorter cycle times, with more rapid and frequent iterations, and through a broader ecosystem than the traditional advertising agency process.
Customers increasingly demand marketing offers to be highly personalised, relevant, and targeted. If a company misses the mark, they are at risk of losing them forever.
In this era, companies know they need new capabilities to succeed. In a recent USA survey with the Association of National Advertisers and Korn/Ferry, 72% of marketers said that building capabilities in the area of digital marketing is vital. Companies must identify what kind of marketing approach they need to make their strategy a success, choose a digital marketing model based on their strategic objectives, and then focus on developing a handful of marketing capabilities that will allow them to bring that model to life and consistently excel.
Digital marketing isn’t done in the dark. When a company sets out to enact a digital marketing strategy that leverages digital platforms to increase activity, brand awareness and revenue, there is almost always a business like Amplify who support in creating a road-map guiding those tactics and operations.
This road map is typically referred to as a marketing model, and it is far from throwing darts: most mainstream marketing models have been developed by experts and refined by research, case studies and real-world evidence that the components of the model are likely to generate success.
Digital marketing models can be broken down into four different stages:
• Digital Branding. This type of marketing model is all about developing and selling the brand, and particularly the brand-consumer relationship. Customer engagement and the customer experience are the primary focal points for this strategy, and companies investing in this type of marketing model typically target strong brand loyalty as a means of generating repeat business. Such companies are shifting their investment towards more immersive digital multimedia experiences that can connect consumers to the brand in new ways.
• Customer Experience Designers use customer data and insights to create a superior end-to-end brand experience for their customers. Typically, these companies—such as hotels, and retailers—build their business models around customer service. By reinventing how they interact with their customers, and wowing them at multiple touch points, these companies hope to create an ongoing dialogue and build a loyal customer base.
• Demand Generation. This approach primarily focuses on driving traffic to a business through any and all digital means. All elements of the digital marketing strategy—website design, search engine optimisation, mobile connected apps, and engagement in social communities—are tailored to boost sales and increase loyalty.
• Product Innovators use digital marketing to identify, develop, and roll out new digital products and services. Such companies employ digital interactions with consumers primarily to gather insights that can shape the innovation pipeline. By helping nurture new sources of revenue, the marketing group increases the value of the company.
It’s virtually impossible for most companies to be great at all of the digital marketing models mentioned above. That’s why each company must focus only on the capabilities that align best with its digital marketing model. There is a link that connects the company’s strategy, the digital marketing model it needs, and the marketing organisation and marketing capabilities required to succeed with that model.
The capabilities necessary to succeed as a ‘digital brander’ will be different from those required by a demand generator. This is not an ironclad relationship — there are multiple paths to success, and even companies pursuing the same demand generator model, for instance, may choose to emphasise different capabilities. But in general, certain models require that a business has to have a specific set of supporting capabilities.
Coca-Cola is a perfect example of a ‘digital brander’. Teens and young adults are its biggest consumer segments, and to keep its brand strong with these consumers, Coca-Cola is hyper-focused on finding ways to embed itself in popular culture. With this in mind, the company continues to invest in differentiated capabilities including ‘optimized content’, as well as ‘social influence and advocacy.’
This means that Coca-Cola identifies experiences that are consistent with its brand, creates content around those experiences, and then encourages its community of users to share additional content that they create via social engagement. Although not all of this material goes viral in the communities that Coca-Cola is targeting, the company is far more successful than others, thanks to the development of these specific capabilities.
Much of today’s customer journey happens in the digital realm — a place beyond the direct control of companies, but highly sensitive to efforts to provoke and amplify social engagement. As a result, marketers need to adopt digital marketing models to better engage customers before, during, and after the purchase. They need to ‘pull’ consumers into an ongoing conversation about the company’s products and services. There is no one right way to accomplish this engagement, and there are many possible pathways to succeed as a business. It’s critical that companies begin the digital journey as soon as possible to keep pace with shifting consumer expectations and behaviours.
Whether you seek a specific digital marketing model or simply want to figure out which one is best for your present needs, contact email@example.com and we’ll help you to build the right strategy to help your business thrive.