Cathy Winston is a facilitator and consultant in Strategic Marketing. She has worked with blue chip companies worldwide, companies looking to scale and start-ups to identify growth strategies, with a strong track record of commercial achievement. Cathy lectures on Innovation and Marketing and teaches on IMI’s Mini MBA.
Digital Marketing Communications….Spending more and more but have no idea if it’s working or not?
Chances are this statement is true for many companies, because they have failed to answer 3 key marketing questions before jumping right in.
- Who are your target customers?
- What message will be needed for you to engage them and convert them to your product or service?
- What media do they use to get information about or connect with, products like yours and where does digital fit within that?
I see too many incidences of businesses using digital marketing as their only marketing process and their main communications process, primarily because everyone else is or they think they will lose out if they don’t or worse still it is a cheap way to market the business.
But without clarity around the questions above, they are likely to lose out anyway, because they will not have relevant content for the relevant audience.
Without taking the time to do your marketing strategy before your communications plan, it is highly unlikely you will have an effective digital plan.
Marketing is about winning in your market space. This means providing products and services to your customers that are better and different than your competitors to make a profit. So while it may seem laborious, it is imperative that your business sets about identifying it’s key customers and understanding their needs. Next, make sure you are delighting them before shouting about it. Now, you can communicate to them. Only at that stage, decide if digital is part of their world when looking for your product.
Marketing asks you to look at exploring value, creating value and then delivering value. It is this that grows your business. It is this that grows your margins and profits and it is this that allows you to charge premium prices.
Yes, it does take time to get information about your customers and it takes time to think it through to your product or service, but that has to be better than just throwing money at SEO, PPC or e-marketing, hoping it will do the job for you. If that was the case, everyone would be just sitting back and counting the money.