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Why “Digital Marketing” Should Just Be Called Marketing.

August 22, 2017

Digital marketing refers to reaching your customers on digital channels. These channels include, but are certainly not limited to, websites, apps, mobile devices, social networks, game consoles, podcasts, video portals and VR/AR immersive environments.

 

But here’s the thing: if you’re not active on at least a few of these channels, you’re not really marketing because you’re not promoting your brand where your customers are spending their time - Online.

  • 90% of Canadians have internet access at home*

  • 18- to 34-year-old Canadians are online at least five hours a day*

  • 3/4 of Canadians over 65 use the internet regularly* 

  • 2/3 of Canadians own a smartphone**

  • 50% of Canadians own a tablet**

  • 54% of Canadians go on Facebook at least once a day***

*CTV News **Pew ***InsightsWest

 

So what does marketing look like today?

In many ways, it’s not that different from how the marketers of yesteryear used to evaluate consumers’ media habits. In the earlier days of marketing, marketers wanted column inches in the Sunday paper because more people read the paper on Sundays; they wanted radio time during rush hour because people listened to the radio in their cars; they wanted TV time during prime time because people liked to watch TV after dinner.

 

In today’s marketing world, we’re still focused on reaching the audience, but HOW customers are interacting with brands has certainly changed.

 

The basic marketing objectives of “being visible to consumers”, “power of reviews”, and “telling instead of selling” are the same as 50 years ago, but the strategies of obtaining these objectives is immensely different in today’s digital age.

 

 

1) Marketing is being visible to consumers

In the past, brands were visible to consumers through mass media. Now, consumers have the power to make the first move ¾ and they’re taking full advantage through search engines and social networks.

 

What’s more, unlike brands of the past that didn't expect a response other than a purchase, consumers today demand that brands respond to them either directly or by giving them exactly what they're looking for.

 

Today’s smart marketers do this with targeted landing pages that correspond to exactly what their customers want and consistent monitoring of their social platforms to reach back when customers reach out.

 

2) Marketing is understanding the power of reviews

Word of mouth has always been the most effective form of advertising, and it’s no different today. Ninety-two percent of people trust brand referrals from people they know* and more than half of consumers will ask their friends about their experiences with a brand.** The difference is that marketers can now see these recommendations because they're out in the open: on social networks and on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp! and Amazon.

 

Today's smart marketers are paying attention to what people are saying about them everywhere. They’re taking a proactive approach to negative reviews and doing what they can to change people’s poor opinions. And they’re actively encouraging (or incentivizing) their customers to talk about their experiences.

* Neilson  **SDL

 

3) Marketing is telling instead of selling

In the past, there was an unwritten contract we all entered into with advertisers. We would get our fill of news, sports, entertainment and commentary for well below its actual value, in exchange for letting brands sell us on their products. But those days are long gone. Today, those brands have become media companies of their own and must now follow the basic supply/demand rule of media: interest people and they'll stick around, don’t and they won’t.

 

People want to be informed, entertained and engaged. Smart marketers are putting out that kind of content. They realize that how someone feels about them will inform purchase decisions more than price ever could. Because any brand can appeal to a wallet, but a precious few can do the same to a heart and a head.

 

 

The best way to succeed in digital marketing is to stop thinking of it as such.

The term “digital marketing” is intimidating (especially to the technologically challenged) – but it doesn’t have to be. Digital Marketing has the same components and objective as traditional marketing, so thinking of them as one and the same, it might be easier to tackle.

 

And of course, if you have any concerns about your (digital) marketing strategy, we’re here for you! All you need to do is ask.

 

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