Advertising and marketing have been consistently evolving, innovating and improving. New ideas, strategies, tools and choices of media are consistently being bloomed at a rapid pace – especially when it comes to digital. Gone are the days where mere impressions or social media likes determine the very success of a digital campaign. In other words, “popularity and awareness” does not translate to revenue – actual conversion does.
Very often, digital has been misperceived as an entirely new platform that generates “magical” instant results and is much superior compared with traditional media (that’s up for debate). Many marketers neglected marketing fundamentals entirely by adopting irrelevant digital trends and clichés, just because competitors and other brands seemed successful doing it. At the end of the day, digital is just another media, but a rather modern and advanced one which consists of tools that traditional media would like to have – but it is still media.
By neglecting marketing fundamentals, along with the core value of what their respective brand represents, mimicking “winning” trends just to drive unprofi table responses will only dilute the overall brand experience in the long run – and obviously, it will only contribute to low sales conversion rates. Instead, starting off with the right mindset is a great start to realise actual goals and identify specifi c responsibility for each digital media to refl ect the overall integrated marketing mix.
Regardless of the traditional push strategy or search marketing’s direct response pull strategy, each media must be pathed to be consistent and seamless across the entire consumer journey. The biggest mistake would be implementing standalone digital campaigns that are not consistent with offl ine campaigns, just to target audiences within the digital market share. This is a misconception that the digital target audiences much differs with the offline audiences. There are over 21 million internet users in Malaysia, 81% of which access the internet via smartphones daily – these are the very same audiences that access both offl ine and online media. In other words, they are the same group of people!
We all call it the digital era, but I call it the “transparent” era. In digital, every possible customer interaction, response and conversion are well recorded. For internet marketing agencies like us? There is nowhere to hide – data and fi gures will never lie. With the adoption of a data-driven focus, it enhances marketers’ commitment in delivering fi gures-based performances which translates to tangible results – revenue.
From a performance marketing point of view, marketers that are able to identify actual cost per-lead (CPL) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) have the edge to signifi cantly reduce marketing costs and realigned investments into profi table marketing efforts – conversion optimisation (CRO). The right critical marketing decisions will result in effi ciency and effectiveness, and it will subside the overall dependency of cost reductions in other internal departments –manufacturing, R&D, HR, logistics, etc. In a holistic sense, it will greatly position the importance and impact of marketing.
As we progress towards 2017, we tend to hunger for the latest digital offerings to stay competitive, and in the hope that implementing new innovations will bring drastic improvements. With such a constant shift of digital objectives, are we really meeting our goals? It’s best to take a wider view of past campaigns and optimise it to its fullest potential.
Digital rarely does mistakes, but humans do – who knows what we have missed? After all, digital is not a sprint, it’s an effort-driven marathon – just like traditional marketing.
The author of this article is Joseph Ting, CEO, Locus-T Online.