Is there still a disconnect between brands and their digital marketing strategies?
When it comes to clearly defining brand, its purpose and which digital tactics are being used to meet objectives, the answer for many companies is still a resounding ‘yes’.
There are a few important factors creating this divide, some of which have only been enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
The pace of change. In a rapidly evolving business landscape, some brands have struggled to keep up – particularly in serving an increasingly ‘digital’ customer base.
Great expectations. As budgets continue to move from offline to online channels, pressure mounts to deliver new and innovative revenue streams.
Channel hopping. Brands are moving from one new social channel to another in a bid to retain their relevance, without necessarily thinking about how these connect to brand purpose or end goals.
Let’s address the real issue here: it’s not that vast digital opportunities aren’t sitting out there just waiting for you to tap in to their benefits, it’s that your digital strategy shouldn’t be treated like the new kid in class – it’s actually the teacher.
To stay connected to the purpose behind ‘why your brand exists’, your digital operations and marketing tactics need to be operated and managed at the centre of your organisation, not left in a silo.
Knowing your why
Recent strategies have seen more brands willing to look beyond what they do and how they do it, to consider why they do it?
However, this ‘outside to in’ approach could be a key reason behind the lingering gap between digital tactics and brand purpose.
Ideally, you want to be listening and building relationships with your users from the start of the digital journey, getting to know your customers and through that, gaining real insights into ‘why you exist’.
This means having quantitative data to analyse is only one part of the equation.
Great digital strategies are centred on understanding how people are interacting with your brand, including their behaviours and underlying motivations.
Companies spend a lot of time building insights and data modelling, but this information works best when it’s combined with qualitative information – together, these help to create a true picture of your brand’s role.
Why does any of that matter?
Arguably, with digital rapidly changing how brands educate, entertain or inform their users, customers have never had more choice.
With brand interactions now taking place in more immediate and complex ways, the ‘customer experience’ carries huge power – it is shaping modern business strategies.
What’s the takeaway? Don’t let your digital marketing strategy become about obsessing over new channels and distractions, without any purpose or ‘behavioural’ data to back up this plan.
Beyond that, don’t let it be boiled down to just a simple mix of ‘cover all bases’ tactics (from content to PPC, or social).
Instead, let digital be a central part of everything your company does; and when you’re next creating content, be sure to ask yourself ‘What’s the point of this?’