Unfortunately, the previous post on Digital Privacy marked the end of this blog. Over the last month, I’ve covered a variety of topics, including Viral Marketing, Social Media, Affiliate Marketing, and Digital Privacy. Through my research finding, examples, personal knowledge, and class learning, I hope that I’ve presented some interesting posts about various aspects of Digital Marketing, and how they all fit together.
In this one week course, we covered an overwhelming (in a good way!) amount of information and I can definitely say that I’ve learned many new things about Digital Marketing. It would take pages and pages to summarize all that we’ve covered throughout the course, so I’ve instead decided to share some of my favorite takeaways. So, without further ado, here are the top seven things I’ve learned from this course:
- Hard selling doesn’t work for digital marketing: Unlike traditional marketing, in which sales plays a significant role, digital marketing focuses on establishing a connection with customers so that your brand resonates with them. For this reason, trying to sell your product through digital techniques like viral ads seems awkward and won’t be effective. To utilize digital marketing to your advantage, ensure that you’re not simply trying to sell your good or service. Instead, play on consumers’ emotions, engage them, educate them, and talk to them. It will make them remember your brand and communicate the brand image you’re looking to put out. Once you achieve this, your sales will increase because your product will be more than just an item for customers. They’ll be buying into an experience, a story, and a lifestyle.
- You find what you’re looking for in the last place you’ve looked: Today, we turn to Google for any question we have. Whether we’re looking for a restaurant, a particular video, or information to write an essay, a quick search on Google is almost guaranteed to give us what we want. As a company, you’re trying to get more people to click on your site, as opposed to those of your competitors. However, the key thing to remember is that people stop looking once they’ve found what they’re looking for. Therefore, to get that increase in online traffic and sales, you need to get your website as high up in the search results as possible. This can be done through Search Engine Optomization, a topic we covered extensively in class. What’s important is that companies are aware of this, and continuously improve their online sites to increase their search ranking.
- Holding a customer for life may not be an advantage: Firstly, it’s important to know how your target consumer group is and how you can appeal to them. However, it’s also critical to keep in mind that customers evolve over time, and the people you were targeting 10 years ago may no longer be part of your intended group. Establishing who you want to market to, and tracking how these consumers are changing, ensures that. An example we discussed that resonated with me is that of clothing brands. A teenager in the 80’s may have been part of Hollister’s target group , but these people are now way beyond the targeted age, and trying to retain them would mean losing out on sales from current teens. It’s therefore logical for companies like Hollister to drop customers once they no longer fit into their target group, and focus on new ones that fit their brand image.
- Don’t target a consumer type, but instead a specific consumer: While targeting a group of customers is the traditional method for segmentation, it may not be the best because it puts people into generic groups. Instead, consider defining individual profiles for your customers, so that you can better understand and target customers on a one-by-one basis. Defining their age, preferences, and hobbies will help you market your product to them, as opposed to a generic person that doesn’t really exist.
- Design your site for someone who’s blind: Since the spiders that search your site can only see text, it’s important that you write descriptively to optimize your search engine ranking. For instance, including text under images is critical because the spider won’t be able to detect the image itself. This analogy is crucial to understand if you wish to optimize your search engine ranking because it increases the number of key words that will link people to your page.
- Google knows everything: This is one that some people may know about, but I don;t think most of us understand the extent to which this is true. After we were asked to examine our Google history, I was surprised by how well integrated all my accounts and devices were. Though we can opt out of some of these data tracking features, it’s doubtful that Google is actually complying with our request. It’s slightly frightening to think where all this data collection is headed, and if it falls into the wrong hands, the results are unpredictable. However, because there’s nothing we can do to change this, the most important thing is to be aware of what we’re putting online and how it could affect us in the future.
- Digital marketing success can be measured: Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to track the success of your digital marketing campaign. While this is admittedly not as obvious as a hard selling technique (such as putting an info booth inside a store and seeing how many more products you sell), you can use key metrics to track how your digital campaign is doing. By establishing what these metrics are early on, and constantly tracking them, marketers can show the concrete results of their digital marketing strategies.
And with that, we’ve reached the end of this blog. Thank you so much for an exciting, informative, and engaging course. As I hope you’ve seen through these posts, I’ve learned a great deal from this course and I look forward to seeing how what we’ve seen in class is applied by marketers in the real world (and maybe even by me one day).
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it!