In May 2019 the chief digital officer at PVH’s made a bold statement on Google Marketing Live, it is the end of digital marketing. Marie Gulin-Merle made this bold statement and went on to explain that digital marketing can’t be looked at by itself, marketing is just marketing.
The consumer journey has changed so much and we now live in a world where people are getting more of their information online than ever before. Data by Retail Times in 2018 indicated that 76% of consumers pre-research their purchase online before they buy. The percentage does increase or decrease, depending on the value of the product, for example, 95% of consumers pre-research before purchasing electronics. This shows that digital is now embedded into our everyday lives as consumers. It also shows how more of the consumer’s journey is spent online than ever before, whether we are physically stood in a shop preparing to make an offline purchase or doing online shopping while travelling or sat at home, we access the internet to support our decision making.
Could you be potentially damaging your brand if you remain in the purist digital marketing mindset?
Understanding Digital Marketing
So, why is digital marketing dead? To understand that, we need to grasp the concept of digital marketing, current digital marketing benefits and what it means for your brand.
Digital Marketing is the promotion of brands, services or products through electronic devices or the internet, as defined by SAS. This term encompasses everything digital, from text messages to the apps on your phone and even podcasts. Adding to this, digital marketing refers to the delivery of marketing material through digital channels, such as websites, social media and mobile apps. The marketing activities that are carried out are what we all see day to day on our phones, laptops and other electronic devices.
When we scroll on social media, adverts will be there and when you open your inbox you might have received a targeted email. Marketo highlights the most common types of marketing activities, some of which include:
- Mobile Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
With all of these marketing activities it is no wonder that the amount of touchpoints in a consumer’s journey has increased dramatically.
Thanks to the digital world, there are many more touchpoints in the buying journey for brands to adapt their marketing strategy to meet the needs of the customers in their funnel. Using marketing to create positive consumer experiences with their brand means companies are helping the customer as well as promoting what they do and how they do it. Going back to what Marie Gulin-Merle mentioned during her Google Marketing Live Q&A, she said how the digital world has created three main connection opportunities.
- Peer-to-peer advocacy
- Buy anywhere and everywhere
From blog posts to social media, consumers now research a product, service or brand before making a purchase. Consumers look for reviews on the brand’s website or even follow them on social media. 80% of shoppers even admit to using their mobile phone in a physical store to compare prices of a product they might have found, and they even use it to browse through product reviews. Consumers can now see both the positive and negative side to your brand, they can read about the experiences other consumers have had with you and they can even see if a competitor is cheaper than you. So being able to communicate value, brand personality and what it feels like to be a customer with your brand is vital to reach consumers at this stage.
Customer’s no longer need to ‘take a risk’ buying your product because digital marketing creates endless opportunities for potential buyers to read all about your products before they buy. Most importantly they are also able to read about what your current customers think about using the product, what the reality is like after purchasing and how much it has benefitted them.
The brand awareness pyramid is something to consider as your consumer goes through a process of awareness, consideration, purchase and repeat before reaching the advocacy level. If we create great experiences online and offline for our customers they are more likely to feel highly satisfied with their purchase and recommend you to others.
Peer-to-peer advocacy can come in many forms, from social media posts to interacting with your potential customers. Advocates encourage others to shop with you and add an authentic voice to your brand. The volume of customer opinion of brands online, keeps companies honest and helps them all to improve and continue to delight their customers over time.
Buy anywhere and everywhere
Not only do consumers want information at their fingertips, but they also want the ability to buy anywhere and everywhere. Focusing on mobile phones, 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase using this device. As a society, we seek out a quick, efficient and effortless transaction now, and technology has given us this. Customers continue to expect your company to have a modern online experience, even if the majority of your sales are offline.
This allows businesses to keep their marketing efforts front of mind, whenever a user has an experience with your brand the journey from discovery to purchase should be simple, that means clicking on an ad that takes them to the product page rather than the home page as well as making items easy to find in your physical location and not being confused by your store layout as they struggle to find the checkout.
Brands must make investments into marketing their brand, business and product in a way that helps the consumer along their buying journey, allowing for more conversions. This is why so many brands are choosing growth marketing over traditional marketing. Growth Marketing encompasses everything involved in traditional marketing to create a stronger consumer experience rather than treating each marketing tool as its own silo. Growth marketing puts the consumer front and centre rather than the product.
As Marie Gulin-Merle mentioned, in order to keep up with digital content optimization, businesses need to be constantly creating new content. The information hungry consumer demands to be kept up to date and wants to connect with brands on a deeper level than a simple transaction. Research from HubSpot suggests that websites that generate more than 11 blogs per month see a 3X increase in traffic and a 4X increase in leads – the equation is simple: invest in a growth marketing strategy and see the results. This is the single biggest growth area for businesses with a digital presence to create a competitive advantage.
If reaching your growth goals with the latest marketing strategies seems daunting, then we exist to help you see through the sea of options. If you need help moving your brand from a digital marketing mindset to a growth marketing one, we are on hand to assist. Reach out today so we can help you to attract, engage, convert and delight your customers and website visitors.