We spend more time consuming digital content over TV, Radio and Print. This is an absolute fact, yet we often see Advertising investments weighted more towards more traditional media.
If our target customers spend more time online then where should we advertise to them most?
You guessed it, online.
Many companies I work with start by viewing digital in the following way:
We’ve heard we need it, we know it’s big but what we are doing has worked for years so let’s give digital a small part of the budget and see what happens.
The problem with this approach is not giving digital the budget it SHOULD have or needs. It’s fine to tip your toe in the water, but you have to have realistic expectations: You’re going to get poorer returns until you make digital a major part of your strategy.
It’s also important to remember that Digital Marketing isn’t just running an AdWords or SEO campaign. While these areas form part of it, they are often run independently to the firm’s overall marketing activities. A full digital strategy is so much more; it should be integrated into every facet of your marketing activities.
Remember: Most of your customers spend the majority of their time online. They don’t consume print media, radio or TV as often as in the past. If you’ve not adapted, then you’re simply not hitting the same level of potential customer.
Digital should not “fit in” it should be integrated into your entire marketing strategy. Digital isn’t a total replacement for all of your marketing activities, but it should form part of one cohesive strategy. Having an offline and online strategy will be less effective and restrict your marketing effectiveness.
The above diagram shows how offline activities integrate with online. I knocked this up for a recent talk I gave at Bournemouth’sCoastal Bid AGM, but it applies to most situations.
Example: A visitor becomes engaged with your brand via your offline PR or marketing activities. They turn to the Internet and search for information about your business.
On arriving at your website, they leave and look at competitor sites or consider your offerings for a while.
Meanwhile, you are re-targeting the visitor with ads designed around the product or service they were interested in. These highly relevant ads “Follow” them in a measured and sensible way and appear on other websites they visit.
The re-targeting ads also appear on social media where the potential visitors become engaged with your brand once more by seeing a sponsored tweet. At this stage, they may ask a question on social media or they’ll follow a link back to your website.
At this point, you’ve re-enforced your message over multiple platforms, offline and online and the visitor feels comfortable to convert (call you or buy from you for example).
It sounds obvious, but if you invest a token amount into digital, you’ll get a token amount of ROI.
I’ve worked with many firms who’ve expressed confusion that digital hasn’t given huge returns when in fact, it represents a small proportion of the marketing budget. It’s almost like digital is expected to work harder than traditional media!
Digital can work harder, and it’s more accountable, easier to optimise and gives better returns than traditional media, but budgets have to be weighted correctly, if 80% of your marketing budget goes on print media, then it’s likely you’ll see the most returns from print media.
We build this very business on a marketing strategy conferred around digital. 90% of our budget goes online (as you’d expect given we’re a digital marketing agency!). Because of this, we know that for every £X spent, we’ll get a new customer. We know the exact ROI from a client to the PENNY, and we know when and where to spend our budget.
With traditional media, we have little idea. We have brochures we give out at seminars and trade shows, we’ve had newspaper ads, magazine ads, and we have a PR campaign- we know we get a return, and we know it works, but it’s a fraction of what digital gives us. We still do it because it is profitable, but we’d be years behind if this was the only focus of our marketing activities.
One of the biggest obstacles is getting stakeholders to “buy in” to digital. Ask any digital marketer, it’s the most frustrating process imaginable.
Here we are with a platform to demonstrate ROI in near real time, we can track ROI for phone calls, emails, web purchases but we have to fight to steal budget from traditional media – which is almost impossible to measure the ROI from with any accuracy.
If this sounds familiar then there’s one absolute fact you should be aware of: Your customers have already been won over. They spend more time online than anywhere else – fact.
If you’re not planning on making digital a BIG part of your marketing NOW, then you’re missing out on engaging with the majority of your target market.