Digital marketing is becoming a much more crucial aspect of the marketing and branding for companies from any and every industry. With search engines taking the place of phone books, and social media profiles influencing more people than a news paper, 2014 should be considered by marketers to be the year that marketing moves digital, if in fact it isn’t already.
Why, oh why, are things the way they are?
When looking at the allotted marketing budget, how much of it is placed into digital marketing? Generally, the answer is, not enough. With marketing being a fairly difficult thing to measure in regards to effectiveness, digital marketing is becoming one of the most measurable ways to conduct marketing schemes which on the surface, seems great, but it can be a double edged sword.
So why are companies not committing more resources to digital marketing? Well, Ian Lurie from protent.com says it very well, when he says that “digital feels neither safe nor creative. Transparency isn’t so great when ‘measurable’ means that failure is immediately and painfully apparent. And it’s hard to be creative when your entire marketing plan is a spreadsheet.
“In traditional media, your client can’t dissect the 50% that fails. In digital, one look at the data can drive months of second-guessing: Why did you buy the display ad that generated -5% ROI, when this other one generated +200% ROI?
“The answer, of course, is that you didn’t know. You couldn’t know, until you tested. Testing means you get some wrong. Getting some wrong means you’re fallible. But the data that comes with digital creates an aura of infallibility.”
This year, I hope to see things change. I believe that in 2014, companies that desire to be on the cutting edge of marketing while maintaining a certain level of safety will pursue digital marketing in a way that we have never seen before. From increased website content, to videos becoming the norm, I believe that these types of marketing schemes will be what we see when we look at the marketing leaders.
I don’t mean to say all of this like it is something that is unheard of or topsy-turvy-revolutionary, but for reasons that Lurie pointed out, many companies have hesitated to jump onto the digital marketing wave.
We spend so much time creating marketing strategies, but are we marketing in a way that is most effective? One major snag that Lurie alludes to when looking at digital marketing is the ability to view the positive or negative data instantly, and whenever we see immediate negative data we are afraid to continue. And if the data is positive, many companies hesitate to trust it long term. But as many marketers know, the data isn’t everything. Yes, data is a crucial element of what we do, especially those of us working in the digital marketing realm, but the it isn’t everything. We cannot simply point to a spreadsheet of algorithmic data in order to determine the effectiveness of marketing.
Content is King
Often times we determine our content based on all of the data that we have, but things like target phrases are not always the most important things to focus on because the audience that you really want to impress is made up of people looking for you to prove yourself to them. The internet is a vast sea of information and available vendors looking for their attention, and so it is important to focus on creating content that is not just passable, but content that is great.
So in conclusion, it may seem like I made a few bold statements, but I truly believe that the businesses that will have the most effective marketing will make digital marketing a greater focus that we have grown accustom to.