October 12, 2009

Is Digital Marketing the “CD” of the 21st Century?

How many of you are still playing your 33’s or 45’s? Not many I expect! While the appeal of the old has some nostalgic charm, embracing newer more effective technologies is a trend for most people, and with good reason.

The same applies to marketing and advertising, which is seeing an increased shift toward digital as a cost effective preference for many businesses, replacing budgets assigned to TV, radio and print.

PricewaterhouseCoopers & IAB just released their internet ad spending update. While results showed ad revenue down -5.3% in first half of 2009, Internet advertising revenue in the U.S. was still a robust $5.4 billion.

What does this mean to me? The recession exacerbates a shift that was naturally occurring from traditional to digital. David Silverman, partner at PWC, sums it up nicely. "While the overall advertising market has continued to be impacted by current economic conditions, marketers are allocating more of their dollars to digital media for its accountability and because consumers are spending more of their leisure time online."

Just as the music industry's shift from records to CD’s occurred due to tangible benefits of the new technology, the same applies to the patterns now being seen in marketing spend changes.

Digital marketing approaches are proving themselves “winners", as they provide measurable ROI, have a vast and continually growing audience and can more readily be ‘tracked’ from inception to success (or failure!). Not enough reasons to leap into digital marketing? Then consider this… why does digital marketing work well?

The consumer has been trained to consume online media because online is where they spend their time working and playing. CLICK HERE to download the complete report. It’s loaded with great charts and figures.

One word (okay, maybe a few) of warning! Don’t think that you can just leap into digital marketing and guarantee sales successful. Digital does not equal a winning lottery ticket!! The ever growing levels of competition mean it’s more important than ever to "get it right".

Below are 5 quick tips to help ensure your business doesn't go the way of the 8-track, or worse, the gramophone!

1) Identify and allocate your digital marketing budget. Review how much money you can afford to allocate and where you plan to apply it (options include: SEO activities, social media marketing and PPC campaigns, to name a few!)

2) Plan your digital marketing dashboard. Outline digital marketing activities your business will consistently carry out to improve your online presence over time. Be sure to update your dashboard monthly to reflect the changed metrics you are tracking, and the traction obtained (this might include items like # of inbound site links, google page rank, # of indexed pages with google, # of delicious bookmarks etc)

3) Clarify team responsibilities and frequency of activities. Include "preparatory" work such as article writing, newsletter development or blog planning, as well as other activities including regular online postings to sites such as twitter, delicious and facebook.

4) Make it fun. Mastering digital and internet marketing is all about relationship building to create dedicated "fans". To do this, make sure your online presence is both engaging and stimulating. Humor is often injected into online postings and articles to emotionally involve your audience.

5) One Step At A Time. Do not expect instant results. Careful planning and consistent application of digital and internet media marketing can and should yield good results for your business. If you are looking for more instant results, then focus initially on onsite SEO followed by PPC campaigns - but beware - a good PPC campaign typically costs more per lead than social media and offsite SEO activities, so make sure you consider this when budgeting for your online marketing efforts.

To your digital success!!

No comments: