by Alexis Karlin
In today’s digital marketing world, savvy companies realize success by employing a variety of marketing strategies. However, not just any strategy will work. To showcase the digital marketing “fundamentals” will help drive success and ROI, we’ll offer up our own Late Show Top Ten List a la David Letterman:
- Customer service is always #1
This involves more than just making sure you have “traditional” customer service (call centers, email) in place. In the digital world, brands and consumers are always connected via social media. With engagement enabled with the click of a button, the customer experience becomes that much more important. As this blog post explains, companies ought to focus on customer service before they even start thinking about social strategy.
- Believe in your brand
Brand advocacy should do more than just promote your product: It should promote positive word-of-mouth messaging by customers. In other words, the best way to sell your customers on your product is for them to hear about it from other customers, preferably those with a positive experience to report. So be your biggest brand advocate; doing so will encourage others to follow suit.
- Keep it simple, Stupid! (K-I-S-S)
Kelly Johnson’s KISS principle states that simple strategies work best. Too often, brands go too far with efforts. Rather than over-complicating your marketing strategy, stick with simple, to the point messaging. The majority of customers will only give you a few moments of their time, so use it wisely.
- Understand your customer
Always know your customer. A lack of understanding will almost always turn a customer away from a brand. Gathering information to better provide your customer with relevant messaging is well worth the effort. As in the Facebook example below, an untargeted message can strain a customer relationship or even cause a company to lose a customer altogether:
- Build relationships
Building relationships has become easier than ever in today’s multi-channel environment. Whether it’s being professional in person or fostering a relationship through Twitter, the important thing is to sustain relationships with your customers. But don’t just stop there: Be consistently thinking of ways to strengthen existing and future relationships.
- Tell the story
Whether a message is being delivered through email, direct mail, or social media outlets, make sure to tell your story, explain what your brand has to offer, and demonstrate why it’s a good fit for the prospect or existing customer. As Volkswagen’s 2012 Game Day commercial illustrates, “selling” your customer on a concept without linking it to the brand isn’t an effective marketing strategy. To keep from ending up in a customer’s spam folder, always be sure to link your story to your brand or product.
- Make sure your customers can find you
Internet users span all media channels, including countless social sites, communities, and forums where people go to communicate and to receive information. While it’s important to explore all options, be sure pick and choose the most effective social channels for your brand. Otherwise, you may risk losing customers by stretching yourself thin across channels.
- Consistency, consistency, consistency
Don’t try to make your brand something it isn’t; find your niche and embrace it. Apple, for example, has built up its brand consistency across a series of products that reinforce the company’s central identity—sleek, elegant products that push the boundaries of innovation. By establishing your own “sweet spot” and getting customers to embrace it you will ensure brand recognition in the long run.
- Make it fresh
This isn’t to say your content always needs to be 100 percent original. Oftentimes, it makes sense to re-create or refurbish and older piece of content to make it relevant to the current market. But one thing is clear: Keeping your content fresh will allow for more exposure to your brand through relevance and accuracy.
- Crunch the numbers
When all is said and done, the only way to determine whether your efforts have been successful is to run the reports and measure your individual strategies. By crunching the numbers, you can evaluate which strategies have worked in your favor as well as identify the areas in need of additional attention.
To position yourself for success, always keep a core set of strategies in your marketing arsenal. While it’s important to keep up with the constantly-evolving digital landscape, don’t ignore tried and true methods that have worked well for you in the past. The key is to pick and choose the right strategies for your brand and focus your efforts accordingly.