Digital Marketing - Changing the Face of Communication for Brands Today
Digital marketing has transformed the face of communication for brands today. Traditionally broadcast was used as medium for brands. As a result of which brands had to develop communication and content unified for the masses well in advance. Through digital marketing, the brands can target micro segment and even individuals today in order to have a more personalized communication. In a digital world today, brands can now track consumer behavior through digital footprints and customize their message. Mass marketing approach which was the reality of traditional brand communication plan earlier gave way to advanced digital marketing strategy. The one to one marketing has now become reality through digital marketing that helps brand to target the micro-segments and plan content for their consumers based on their individual interest.
Brands can market their products or services digitally on two mediums; one being the owned property and the second is the paid property. While it is known that paid media, that includes platforms such as Youtube and Facebook allows tracking of individual browsing behaviour such as gender, interests, etc. Consumer tracking can now be done even in owned platforms such as websites, mobile apps, email channel, SMS channel, etc. through digital marketing intelligence. This digital trail helps brand to capture a lot of data, and by analyzing the data brands are able to derive better communication strategy.
There has been immense adaptation of advanced technology on both ends – consumers and brands. Consumers now prefer to communicate even with brands through smartphones and tablets. Digital technology marketing infrastructure for the marketers has majorly risen in the last 4 to 5 years. The benefit for marketers in an advanced digital world is that they can own engagement management tool for their customers through Marketing Technology. Marketing Technology tools such as BNP, Campaign Management, Marketing Automation, etc are a few advancements in this space.
Chatbots, yet another tool in digital marketing have emerged to be breakthrough technology advancement from a customer’s point of view for large B2C brands. That is, customer can interact live with brands by just adding a channel of their preferred brand on their social media handles such as Whats app or Facebook profiles. Through chatbots consumers are able to access information on a convenient platform without having to download any App on their mobile. Chatbots which is yet to gain momentum in India promises to open various possibilities
Digital Marketing has become more of in-the-moment marketing that is consumer engagement on-time and real-time. Let us take an example of a customer traveling to a city to watch a cricket match live - in a scenario where the team he supports wins, he may be willing to extend his stay in that particular situation. Through Marketing Technology brands can engage with their consumers real-time by sending offers on hotels to that particular customer capitalizing on in-the-moment marketing.
Digital media and technology in marketing has become omnipresent and there is no longer complete divide in perception amongst digital marketing activities and is simply considered as part of marketing. This thinking is partially driven by changes in consumer media consumption where they continue to consume content in different formats such as mobile, web, social media, etc. based on their preferences without consciously thinking about the channels. Data Analytics has emerged to be one of the important tool to be able to track customer records in a more synchronized and effective approach.
Offline engagement is yet another trend witnessed in digital marketing space. For example when a customer walks in a retail store, marketing automation can help brands engage with consumers real-time by tracking location. Through marketing automation brands can send offers and content to the customer while he/she is shopping in that retail store. Thus marketing automation gives the benefit of both online and offline that further helps brands to derive better sales in terms of ROI. The tool helps to reduce the cost of customer acquisition as well as nurture the existing lead.
Marketing technology helps brands to communicate and engage with consumer in 3 Stages – acquiring lead, real-time engagement and onboarding. While the first two points have been covered, customer onboarding is the process of engagement with customer even after the sales. That is, through marketing technology tool, marketers can send personalized messages about the product and also gauge feedback of their customer. This helps brands for continuity of engagement to take place with their customers by cross selling and up-selling. In case of customer lapse, reviving customer lead is also possible through MarTech tools.
While we have benefits in place of digital marketing and its various tools, one of the biggest challenges in this space is the ability to capture all data and its storage. The data are in ‘Silos’ which is huge and fragmented. Therefore it is essential for CIO’s to assemble the silos and assimilate data for unified consumer identity.