“Going digital” with your marketing mix has never been more essential. Most advertisers continue to increase their digital marketing spend in 2019 as billions of consumers are using online social media as a jumping off point into purchase decisions.
With more money flowing into digital marketing, the digital channel mix continues to grow in complexity. Though search marketing, display advertising, social media, and mobile remain the mainstays of a digital advertising footprint, each has its role in supporting a particular business objective. When integrated properly, they maximize how we attract consumers, and turn visits into revenue.
But before you leap into the digital marketing fray, it’s critical to understand your enterprise’s goals and objectives: Are you seeking to simply educate the public about an innovative offer (market education)? Do you want a target audience to gain greater awareness of your offering as a viable alternative (Brand Awareness)? Are you simply looking for more people to buy your product (raw traffic)? Or, do you want to motivate your current consumers to buy more of your product (higher net per sales)?
As you might imagine, determining the appropriate goals and objectives for your digital marketing mix takes a fair amount of insight. Let’s look at questions to ask to determine the right approach for each of the four examples above:
To ensure potential consumers have the right visibility into the innovative offer you are seeking to deliver, you must find a way to awaken latent demand. Do you know your target audience well enough to fully understand the problem, and how your product delivers the right solution?
The next question you must ask in order to determine your standing in the mindshare of the consumer is, “does the market have enough understanding, trust and affinity with my brand that if I make them aware of me, they will visit, interact and purchase?”
Paid advertising can be expensive, and if not optimized, the spend can quickly outweigh profit. Are you using the right search terms to garner attention organically?
Do you know everything there is to understand about your customers’ buying habits? Are you following them through every step of the customer journey? Do you know how to intervene at the moment they are most likely to make a purchase?
In order to match the best Digital Marketing Channel Mix to your business objectives, it is important to have a good understanding of each of the channels available, how they work, and how to best leverage them. So, let's go back to basics, shall we?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM can be split into two search strategies:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC): This refers to how your company bids on keywords that represent the intent of what the customer is looking for, leveraging marketing spend to gain visibility by securing placement at the highest ranks within the search engines. PPC can be expensive, as you typically pay every time the target clicks on your link (whether or not it turns into a sale). However, for young eCommerce engines, where site content is still being built, PPC is often a necessary go-to-market step.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the utilization of a content strategy that allows you to organically gain visibility in the highest ranks of the search engines. SEO can help to demonstrate that your site:
- Is trusted, by having well-known sources linking back to your site as a further source of information;
- Is popular, by helping to flow traffic into, and through, your site and its myriad pages;
- Has authority, through a combination of the first two bullets: and
- Delivers high quality information to the target audience while fostering an efficient user experience (ease of navigation, fast loading times, etc.).
Search engines typically analyze these factors when determining the organic rank of competitive sites.
The main objectives of PPC and SEO strategies are to attract the consumer at the time when they have high interest/intent with regard to your offering, and then to help close the sale by bringing them to our site and enticing them with a relevant offer.
Also known as banner ads, display advertising features units of promotional content showcased on websites where the target audience is known to frequent. By leveraging insights you have gleaned bout your target, then by segmented them geographically and behaviorally, display advertising allows us to “disrupt” the audience with information about our product that we believe is most relevant to them. When this type of advertising is automated to deliver messages according to defined parameters of location and behavior, then it is called Programmatic advertising. As mobile devices have become more ubiquitous, programmatic advertising has increased in efficacy since it can deliver location-based advertising.
When a customer visits your site but does not buy your product, he/she has established the interest, so by serving up display ads at the right moment, your chances of closing the sale increase dramatically.
Mobile marketing, as hinted above, allows us to interact with the target audience unceasingly, since mobile devices are always within reach. By assuring that our site is built with a “mobile first” posture – meaning, navigation, screen size and direction are optimized for the mobile experience -- PPC and SEO efforts are rewarded, and relevant programmatic advertising can be served in real time.
Social Marketing is the leveraging of the power of social media platforms to reach “like” consumers by understanding the affiliations, likes, wants, and needs—then leveraging their network to attract new customers. Through a practice called Network Targeting, we can use social networks to serve up programmatic advertising showing their friends’ endorsements of our product. Also, Viral Marketing gives us the ability to leverage social networks by offering individuals an incentive to refer family and friends to our business.
Combining these different channels will greatly increase your chance to achieve your business objectives which, combined with your budget and human resources, should guide which channel mix is most relevant.
As the CEO, its imperative that you set clear business goals around these digital channels, and communicate them across the organization. This clarity will guide your digital team on the best selections to grow top line, and protect your bottom line.
How are you ensuring your team is maximizing the digital channels available?