Digital marketing is young. If you plot this against a Product Lifecycle Stage, it will be in its early growth stage. Now, what does that mean for you as a marketer of today?
Since digital marketing is in its early growth stages, no one has that extensive research and data to say that a certain set of practices are, in fact, the best. However, if you are keeping track of the big players in the internet (in the likes of Google and Facebook) and where they are moving towards, you should have noticed that they give priority to searches or updates that is helpful to the user. Their algorithms have changed to only show those which are relevant to them, burying those they do not care about.
If you still do not get it, sorry to say but you are not cut out to be an effective marketer. But if you do, and want to know why your efforts do not bring in the numbers you think you should be getting, start by changing the way you use digital marketing.
Reason 1: You transferred your traditional activities to digital — literally
Don’t you hate it when you go to the malls and you see a group of people handing out flyers? They follow you, ask if you have credit cards already, or if you are looking for an investment, or what not. When I see them, I get so irritated. They are forceful, obtrusive, and you know they only want to get that sale.
There are two options for you at that point — either you want it or not. 99% of the time, you don’t want it. And because you are busy, you (1) go through the herd, appear busy and don’t mind them at all, or (2) go out of your way to avoid them altogether. And because Filipinos are such nice people, you fake a smile, take the flyer to not offend the person, then throw it in the trash at the next corner (of course, if you really want the flyer, you would go and get it).
Now you, the recipient, gets irritated. You go out of your way because of them. You’re busy. You have other things to do. Every second matters.
Imagine those efforts carried out digitally. You are browsing Facebook and you see tons of ads. You go through websites, you see popups. You check your email and see ones from people you don’t know or companies you don’t even recognize. Instead of handing out those flyers physically, you receive them via social media sites and your personal email. Yes, as the company, you cut down costs of printing and payroll. But at what expense? Irritating your market? Not a good return on investment.
Reason 2: Keep posting about your products, services, promos and discounts
People’s behaviors have changed. They are no longer swayed by your company’s efforts to make them buy. People buy when they want to buy, not when you want them to buy. If the only thing people see about your brand is promos and discounts, you will end up getting a dissatisfied audience. Your brand will be thought of as cheap and incapable of generating revenues without inducing a short-term demand. If this persists, you will not build any credibility. Your audience will not trust you. At some point, you will no longer be able to sell anything at a regular price. People will learn that every other week you are on sale so they will just wait for it. In turn, you get lower margins. Or worse, you will be known as a cheap brand that they no longer want to associate themselves with.
Reason 3: Not Being Personal
The internet has turned what used to be a one-way communication into a two-way street. Billboards, tv and radio ads are examples of the former. Social media, if done right, is a great example of the latter. People want to talk to people. B2B and B2C does not matter that much nowadays. The buzz now is P2P or person-to-person. If your email newsletters still come from [email protected] then you are way behind. When people asks you a question on Twitter or comments on your Facebook posts then your reply is “Thank you for your comment. Please send us an email so we can answer your questions” — OMG — you have so much to learn.
Stop acting behind the company name. Treat your audience the way you want to be treated. Engage with them by answering their questions directly by replying to them. That is the whole purpose of social media — ENGAGEMENT. Only discuss over email if the conversation demands private details like username and credentials.
Stop hurting your business’ digital marketing efforts. Understand that people behave differently online. Just like you, they like to be treated as humans. They love talking to other people. People are demanding. It’s time to change your marketing.