History Repeats Itself, Even in Marketing
“Hyper-personalization.” “Hyper-connectivity.” As marketers, it is a bit staggering to watch the continued growth of communication across so many different digital locations. Touches from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, websites, mobile phones, apps, and more are not something of the coming future anymore, they are becoming the present-day reality. While digital marketing through an ever-growing number of channels can seem daunting, previous successes and experience developing multi-channel marketing strategies is a core strength that holds value over time.
In this blog, I’ll describe three historic marketing concepts that are vital even in the context of the current digital environment. It may be surprising to see that regardless of your technical prowess, these core principles still apply to modern digital marketing. When planning out campaigns, make sure to reference these ideas within your design to deliver reliable and measurable results.
Define Your Audience
The Who, The What, The When, and The Where—that is essentially what a lot of marketing boils down to. While acknowledging that there is certainly a science to the art, digital marketing often appears intimidating simply because it is new. A return to what we already know well may be the best start to embracing the digital age.
Much of campaign strategy and even the value of marketers is identifying “who” we want to communicate with, “what” they are interested in discussing, and “why” they are motivated to connect with our brand to fill a particular need. This is something that we excel at as marketers, and digital strategies need audience definition as much today as in the past.
Without a clear understanding of your audience, it is impossible to develop personalized communication, which is a crucial driver of modern marketing results. The more appropriately an audience is defined, including their interests and preferences, the more accurately messaging can be aligned. In the age of “hyper-personalization,” where audiences desire that messages tightly align to personal interests, it is more important than ever to know who is being targeted so that communication has the highest potential for generating responses.
Feeling a little overwhelmed with the rollout of your new digital strategy? Start with your audience. Focus on defining the “who” during your strategy sessions, and this can significantly improve your ability to impact the direction of campaigns as well as your contributions to digital strategy meetings.
Identify Your Channels
Fundamental marketing practices focus on aligning your audience with the appropriate medium of communication. Also known as “reach,” channel management is a crucial part of defining a winning marketing strategy. Demonstrated skills identifying the preferred channels for consuming targeted messaging still apply to a digital strategy.
Closely related to channel definition is the concept of “impressions.” When planning your marketing strategy, it is essential to consider how many times an audience may need to see your messaging before they are likely to take action. This concept has long been a central part of planning go-to-market strategies. The medium of communication may have shifted. Still, the process and analytical skills for developing a channel strategy remain very valuable.
In the age of “hyper-connectivity” where consumers communicate across channels and expect brands to be able to mirror personal communication preferences, it is vital to plan out a channel strategy that can adapt and mirror preferred styles for engagement. With the right marketing engagement platform, it is possible to coordinate communication and impressions across a wider variety of channels within a shorter period of time.
Feeling overwhelmed with the idea of digital communication? Leverage planning approaches that include previous successes in channel management to help focus the marketing strategy and optimize spend while maximizing impact.
Track Your Conversions
Correlated to audience and channel management is the concept of conversion tracking. Marketing initiatives must move audiences along towards a result. Consistently targeting a specific call-to-action (CTA) within campaigns continues to be vital for producing marketing impact—the great news is that modern digital marketing makes it easier to track performance.
When managing modern marketing approaches, it is easy to lose sight of the objective while developing the experience. Senior marketers know that the absence of a clear CTA within a campaign can lead audiences to abandon the campaign and become disengaged.
Feeling overwhelmed with the number of places to communicate with audiences? Focus on helping the team identify the right call-to-action, then reuse this CTA at critical points within the customer journey. Standard approaches for monitoring conversions and impressions can indicate if programs are having the desired impact or if customers are choosing a different path for evaluating what your company has to offer.
One Import Adaptation—Engagement
While we’ve highlighted the consistent values that carry over from traditional marketing to digital marketing, it is important to note that digital audiences want to be communicated with as individuals. Audiences are interacting with brands across an ever-expanding number of digital touchpoints. Being able to mirror-and-match communication style and channel preferences is important.
To match expectations and ensure that your CTAs are everywhere your target customer is at, marketers must turn the typical “interaction” into an “ongoing experience.” This includes listening, learning, and engaging with audiences using relevant messaging that matches their personal interests. Strengths in multi-channel marketing can elevate such approaches to drive a connected experience and make historic marketing backgrounds that much more valuable to defining a connected digital strategy.
Closing Thoughts—Use What is Known, Grow into What is New
“Hyper-personalization” and “hyper-connectivity” make our jobs as marketers that much more valuable, though we do need the right platforms to deliver campaigns at scale. Given everything that has been highlighted, this is why it is essential to have a marketing engagement platform that reduces your dependence on learning new technology and frees up your marketing team to continue leveraging their demonstrated skills in identifying audiences, aligning communication channels, tracking conversions, and developing compelling messaging. The right platform can help turn individual messages into experiences over time that build rapport, learn from interactions, and engage people as individuals.
As a marketer that has lived through the digital transformation, the core approaches and principles of multi-channel marketing still steer the vast majority of planning conversations that I have on a daily basis. I’m sure there are many others that we could point out as having equal value to the three that are described in this post. Please feel free to add your comments and the principles you use for guiding your marketing strategies below.