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Digital Marketing Trends


A lot of the talk in marketing lately revolves around the shift from traditional to digital marketing, a factor that sustains the sector’s growth. In fact, if you look at leading marketing publications like Ad Age and Ad Week, most of the articles these days either feature digital marketing initiatives or include significant references to digital.

This is not a one-to-one shift in spending (e.g. for every $100 in traditional before, $100 has moved to digital), rather budgets are being reallocated to include digital. I recently heard one marketer say that the problem is that companies think they should be able to spend less on digital than on traditional because digital is more efficient. Actually, that’s not the case.

Digital can be more efficient but it is much more complex than traditional marketing and thus requires a new, more sophisticated approach to budgeting. On the other hand, digital is so much more targeted that the relevance is higher and returns are better because targeted, more relevant marketing generates more results. It's not a shotgun approach. So marketers and advertisers should keep an open mind on the budget question because it’s no longer about impressions-- it’s about actions.

Here are some of my observations on trends in digital marketing as we enter the new decade:

  • E-mail remains the killer app: it still has a 10:1 advantage vs. social networking in terms of getting consumers to engage. Even social networking sites like Facebook use e-mail to notify you of your friends’ posts...
  • Social marketing is like focus groups on steroids. It’s not always the best way to make a sales pitch (usually not). It can yield innovation, feedback and loyalty.
    Note: Make sure you involve customer service in your efforts.
  • Consumers expect openness. You need to listen, then respond fast. Iterate and optimize, discover and analyze your audience. Be honest, transparent and true to your brand.
  • Social marketing is most effective in conjunction with other elements of the marketing mix.
  • Branding works online but is difficult to quantify. Metrics are a trap. If you focus on just measuring you limit yourself on how you can use social media and you’ll miss big opportunities.
  • Comscore studies have shown that online advertising drove offline sales in over 80% of all campaigns studied. Nielsen analyses support this, with significant sales lifts correlated to online branding campaigns.

If you need help mapping out your digital strategy or designing and executing one, contact us.