Digital Marketing – Some Thoughts

There a comes a point in the time, for every blogger, when his/her frequency of blog posts start to dwindle. This is not that time for me! I’ve just been busy! 🙂

Actually, I have been thinking of expanding this blog’s topics to digital marketing in general. I have a lot to share on topics besides email marketing (topics like short fiction and poetry – but that’s for another blog!).

Recently the nice people at  Customer Research Frontiers got in touch with me for my thoughts on digital marketing.

Here is the gist of my  mantra for marketers:

1] Own the CRM

I keep saying this at forums, presentations and seminars. What is the heart of digital marketing? It is not your SEO, SEM teams, its not your Brand communication strategy not even the user interface or content.

The heart of marketing these days is your CRM. Till the time the marketing department does not have a handle on this typically IT owned and operated asset, you cannot bring the best of integrated marketing to your brand. I would say that this is the start of all the best practices.

Who is your customer? What is his email address? When was he online last on your website? Which channels did he come from? Has he ever responded via phone? What is his demographic data? How many times has he read the newsletter? Did he ever use the promo code in the store? Has he re-tweeted anything? Is he an FB fan?

In my personal experience, I have received a an email about a store opening in my locality, read an ad in the local daily, and also received a direct mail. I have gone and shopped with my loyalty card in that store. The only way any of these activities can be measured if they are all fed back to some CRM database that connects my email with my loyalty card and POS data to the overall spends on the PR and direct mail.

The data about the customers is so huge and evolving so fast that marketers, IT departments and CRM systems, all need to keep pace with the market. It’s not a small feat. Its easy to get lost in the data, but slicing and dicing the data, segmenting the customer is where the insights will come from. Owning the CRM is a start towards getting more insights.

2] Eat analytics

Another best practice is to eat and breath analytics. Even simple website analytics can give excellent insights.

Take a simple example. I did an analysis on who are the most engaged audience on Juvlon’s  website  (I work with them). I looked at the amount of pages a person viewed on the website and the time spent on the website. I compared this amount for visitors coming from various channels, from social media sites, from blogs, from email newsletters and from display ads.

The people who came from our newsletter spent the most amount on the website in fact they spent about 30% more. For a person to share his email address, open the email, read it and click and visit the website – is no small task. More marketers need to respect the amount of time a visitor gives to you via an email channel.

3] Put a content team in place.

If you don’t have one already, it’s time you had a website editor/chief editor/content editor role in your organization. If yours is a clothes or fashion selling website get someone who can write and edit and understands fashion. If you sell plumbing equipment online, get someone who understands that. If you sell Cruise vacations online, get someone to write about the experience of a cruise.

This may not seem like a very “Integrated Marketing” related best practice, but what’s important is that you need to have the right content for the right channel. Where are you most likely to find your audience? Is Email a better channel for you or Twitter? Are the book readers more likely to be on FB or on LinkedIn? Which channel reaches out to what type of audience and what the readers look for differs. A tweet needs a different voice a newsletter more content, while a blog is far more time consuming – hence the content team.

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