A divided approach to digital marketing

February 13, 2023
B2B Consumer Marketing communications

There’s no doubt that digital is a powerful tool for brands, with many brand-building benefits: 

• It engages and drives word of mouth.
• It provides a medium for rich, relevant, deep content.
• It enables one-to-one targeting.
• It is often seen as more trustworthy, thanks to the authentic nature of consumer commentary and feedback.

As digital is now such an important part of the marketing mix, we investigated how digital marketing is viewed in organisations today as part of our Brand Leaders 2017 Report.

The landscape within which customers interact with businesses is experiencing rapid and constant change, and we found that senior marketers can sometimes be sandwiched between the strategic requirements of C-suite executives and junior marketers distracted by the latest and greatest digital channels and tools.

In addition, within some organisations, different teams hold very different views on the importance of digital marketing versus a more traditional, personal service model.

We found that, just like the attitude to brand varies across organisations, so does the approach to digital strategy, with two attitudes being prevalent: digital leads, or digital follows.

The two contrasting approaches

In this fast-changing marketing landscape, how do we ensure we don’t lose sight of the importance of brand?

How can we ensure that our brand and our digital platforms are interacting in a way that delivers the best outcome for our customers and our business?

Marketing effectively in a digital world

Diageo’s CEO, Ivan Menezes, articulated it well by saying: “It is not about ‘doing digital marketing’, it is about marketing effectively in a digital world.

Digital strategy should not replace, or operate separately from, the broader strategy of the brand. Rather, it should be treated as an important tool amongst the broader suite of communication tools.

Whilst digital campaigns, social media initiatives and compelling content are absolutely key in driving the growth of a business, these tactics have limitations in setting a long-term platform for the brand. However, when integrated into the business, brand and communications planning process, these critical tools communicate a brand’s positioning effectively.

The power of brand

Brands have the power to create meaningful connections between customers, employees and services/products.

Putting your brand strategy first will streamline your digital strategy and prevent your team from getting distracted by the latest and greatest.

No matter what the channel is, what’s most important is that your brand positioning shines through via consistent messaging and customer experience. An integrated, connected approach is key.

To download the Brand Leaders 2017 Report, register here.

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