What Happened to the Marketing in Digital Marketing?

TechCrunch recently published an article in reaction to former HubSpot employee Dan Lyons’ book on the invention of the term “inbound marketing” and the software needed to perform it. In the article, Samuel Scott argues that the biggest problem in marketing these days is not the technology, but more that modern marketers just don’t know anything about marketing basics. He feels that digital marketing is just a whirlwind of meaningless buzzwords and advises marketers to read a good old fashioned “Marketing 101” textbook.

Do you think Samuel is onto something? We think this could very well be the case. So to save you the trouble of reading that textbook here is how you can put the marketing back in Digital Marketing.

Set a specific, measurable and attainable goal

Whether you want your business to grow; get more customers; blow away the competition; or maybe all three, starting with a clear goal will increase your chances of success. Build your strategy around the goal that you’ve set.

Don’t annoy your customers

When you produce too much content, people stop caring. Everyone’s attention is getting shorter and people are becoming fickle. So before Buzzfeed or Facebook distract you we thought we’d bring up this point early in the article. To keep your audience and attract new ones, keep your engagement simple and monitor what people are saying.

Make engagement obvious

Let your visitors immediately see and understand who you are and what you are offering. Don’t rely on them to finding things for themselves, guide them to what is expected: download, subscribe, schedule a demo? Whether you are providing information or promoting an offer, provide the experience they are hoping to receive. Make your calls-to-action (CTA’s) visible and easy to complete. For example, if you know something about the visitor then auto-populate fields in your registration forms. Or, instead of asking the new visitor to create an account, allow them the option to sign in via their social media profile. Social media channels are important for lead generation: they provide a growing opportunity to improve conversion rates.

Stick to your website

Not everyone wants an app. Make sure your main website is responsive and works in a mobile browser. Find ways to leverage existing platforms and apps where your users are already engaged with, like LinkedIn and Twitter. Make sure your social media badges are clearly visible and present around your website. Using pictures, video, and relevant media will help you get more engagement on social.

You can use Google Calendars or one of the many collaboration apps (Asana, Trello, etc.) to create a planning and campaign timeline and share it with your team. Make sure you highlight key campaigns and promotions and set timelines for each. Regularly review your campaign and adjust when needed. In order to do this, you’ll also need to make sure you perform measurements and monitor your results – we’re back to those goals again…

Refresh your knowledge

Dust up your knowledge on direct marketing, advertising, and online publicity. They are not quite as dead as some might proclaim. They are still part of the promotional mix and provide valuable alternative channels to reach your audience. Integrated marketing has always performed best, so bring together traditional and online marketing practices to ensure you deliver the most successful marketing campaigns possible.

Let automation help

But don’t rely solely on it. Marketing automation platforms are an easy and efficient way to run all your marketing campaigns from a single place. However, they are not the all-in-one solution to your marketing problems. You still need to use advertising and publicity campaigns – the algorithm to amaze visitors still hasn’t been invented. Technical people are great at analytics, but you still need the creative spark to get your visitors’ attention.

Stay together

If you have a huge marketing team, don’t try to separate traditional and digital marketing. The time is upon us where traditional has almost become digital and soon there will once again be JUST marketing. The tools and channels change, but the basic processes remain the same. A good marketer will have no troubles promoting a product/service on TV or Facebook.

Be bold

Direct marketing is lovely because platforms provide precise analytics and growth rates. Marketing channels today provide precise data that allows you to measure likes, clicks, shares, time spend on a website, conversions, downloads. Email, landing pages, Facebook: they all give you the chance to experiment and test what works best with your audience.  So don’t be afraid and try something different.

So that was our Marketing 101 guide. What do you remember from your marketing classes? Any pieces of advice that stayed with you that you want to share?


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