As one of the world’s fastest growing market channels, particularly in developing economies, online marketing is an attractive prospect for many businesses. It gives them a chance to effectively overcome many of geographic limitations of physical markets, in a relatively cost-effective manner.
While it is true that there’s a lot of business to be capitalised on in online markets, if done haphazardly it can cost more time and money than it’s worth.
Below are some general tips on running a digital campaign.
Keep at It
When you enter the digital marketplace, it’s a commitment. It takes time to gain credibility, find the demographic sweet spot, tweak your website, optimise for search engines, etc. It should be viewed as a business venture with long term goals.
Commit to it all the resources you would a new branch of your business. Abandoning or just paying cursory attention to your digital campaign, with the speed at which the market changes and develops, ensures its failure.
Data Beats “Expertise”
Any business venture demands supporting data. The relevance of this common marketing principle is magnified in online markets where the trends are shorter, the consumer behaviour more volatile and the data shallower and less accessible.
Even the inventors of the internet have acknowledged its inherent mystery, so there’s no such thing as academic expert in it. One must rely on analytical data to shape one’s strategy. But more than that, you need to apply the data in meaningful way and test any big changes before implementation.
This isn’t to say data should replace judgement, just that reverse shouldn’t occur either.
Have an Integrated Plan Not an Activity
No single online activity will help achieve success in that market. They must be used in combination, and moderately at that. This is particularly important for maintaining your brand’s image and not allowing consumers to slip from your conversion funnel. For instance, a solid SEO and paid search strategy is worthless if your website looks substandard.
Congruity is important for a brand. If your website or social media campaign doesn’t match the level of quality or brand image people have of your company, it will negatively affect all the other elements. So always make sure your online activities are part of a larger integrated strategy that incorporates Online Relationship Management (ORM), so that they complement each other.
There is a Limit
Because of the broad range of online marketing options that don’t require as large a capital outlay as physical marketing activities, many marketers tend to overextend their resources on worthless channels.
Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity. Research the value of that channel to your specific industry and the level of saturation to avoid dedicating resources to pointless innovation.