Mad Men era is over. The Digital Marketing Era is here
Advertising industry’s golden age in the 1960s had its focal point on Madison Avenue in New York. Here the so-called “Mad Men” were hatching creative advertising campaigns to newspapers, TV and radio. All efforts and effects occurred in the mass media. It had been like this up until around 2004 when the Facebook generation was born. This generation is increasingly ignoring traditional advertising – and that’s a fact we as marketers can no longer ignore in the era of Digital Marketing.
In the last few years, digital technology on the marketing front has evolved with such leaps and bounds that it has completely changed the way we practice marketing – even though the principles of market strategy has not changed.
The digital marketing era is here
These two points can summarise some of the Key characteristics of this new Digital Marketing era:
- Customer has taken power
The internet has turned the purchase process on its head. Earlier you had to seek out a salesperson to obtain information about a product or service. Today consumers can find this information by themselves – through search engines like Google and Bing. The consequence of this trend is that the company and seller have got much less power and they are not required until the end of the buying process. An example of an industry that has noticed this is the car dealers, where earlier last year it was reported that the number of visits in store ahead of a car purchase has dropped from 4 to 1.5.
- Attention is scarce
Increased globalisation and competition have resulted in that consumers are bombarded with advertising messages all day long, from all angles and in all channels. This has resulted in consumers have started to protect themselves, by installing ad-blocking software on their browsers and by blocking direct mail and telemarketing. And when the commercials are on TV, we usually have a tablet or a smartphone to watch and check. Even 15 seconds video advertising on YouTube clips is too much. Today you cannot hijack the attention, and you have to earn it.
How to survive as a business in the digital marketing era?
Here are four tips to any marketers who want to grow their businesses, by taking advantage of opportunities and adapt to how customers in 2016 are handling their buying process:
- Think BUYING PROCESS, not sales process
Realise that the roles have been switched. Customers have you in their sights long before you have discovered them. So it is important that you make sure you are visible on Google for most of your target audience. This requires that you know what keywords they are using and you base this knowledge to produce content that attracts the right customers. These keywords will answer the questions they may have on their journey from a recognised need – to purchase.
(If you don’t do this, you can be sure that your competitors will do it!)
- Be helpful, not troublesome
You need to realise that traditional advertising (the type of unwanted messaging that interrupts you when you are doing something else) is troublesome and is, therefore, less and less effective. It costs a lot to be annoying! So instead, invest in digital marketing that is helpful – with content that is free of sales chat. This is in itself is perceived as more valuable by the people in your target market than traditional advertising.
- It’s better to own it than rent it
Advertising is really just renting space in someone else’s media for a limited time. When the week you paid for is over, then your expensive and a great ad will disappear. Think like a media company, and invest in establishing your own channel. All content you publish will remain there forever and will provide you with growing traffic – much like compound interest, or what my colleague call market capitalization.
- Take CHARGE, do not wait for the competition to beat you
Realise that something must be done with the three points above – and do something now before your competitors get the better of you. Being a leader in your category is not just about being first and passionate, but also about being smart. There are marketing automation technologies that could revolutionise the way you do marketing and sales, which MUST be part of your digital marketing strategy.
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