Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Digital Marketing 1.1

I am writing this blogpost to provide a basic overview of the process involved in digital marketing, brand messaging and its delivery. Word of caution: I have kept it extremely simple by choice. If you want a detailed understanding, please feel free to reach out to me.  

Oftentimes I am approached by friends to help them with the 'digital marketing' for their start up. The rationale put forth is that digital marketing is 'free' or at best cheap and can help generate results almost immediately. Sorry, the premise is incorrect from every angle. Digital Marketing is still marketing with a slightly different set of tools at its disposal. It is not a magic wand and certainly not one which is 'free'.

Extremely simplistically put, digital marketing makes use of electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones to transmit brand messages electronically to a brand's target audience via social networks, emails, apps and other web based platforms.

To successfully market wares, marketers still need to identify who is most likely to buy the product, what is its purpose, why will consumers buy it over others in the market, what should you tell your consumers to make them think and feel a certain way about your product. This is the strategy part of the exercise and regardless of your choice of media, an inevitable part of the process.  

Secondly, consumers are continuously bombarded with brand messages. Why will they listen to, like, share or recommend yours? For the makers of a toilet roll, it is the most important thing in their life but not for its consumers. To make them remotely interested in what you have to say, the message has to be compelling, emotionally appealing and delivered creatively. This is what we call generation of a creative idea and execution. Irrespective of your medium of choice, your marketing message needs an idea. Unfortunately, we cannot skip this stage too when we are looking at marketing anything - toilet roll or automobiles - digitally or otherwise.

Finally comes the delivery part. Here's where the difference lies. If you choose to go digital instead of using traditional channels such as television, radio, print and billboards, you will select a channel which is web or mobile based. Digital medium is cheaper than traditional channels  in relative terms, but their roles also differ to a great extent. You should not supplement one for the other. They drive different objectives and should be selected basis your marketing need.

To cut a long story short, no, digital marketing is neither free nor one that can deliver immediate result. One has to go through the rigour if you want success, irrespective of your medium of choice.


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