Many analysts and marketers are suggesting that we’ve entered the post-digital age. While it sounds ominous, what this really means is that digital marketing is no longer a fringe consideration or something that needs to be added to an existing campaign. At this stage in the game, any mainstream marketing push is going to include a mix of brick-and-mortar and digital techniques.
To that end, this is a good opportunity to re-evaluate how well-tuned our marketing strategies are to our target audience’s habits and lifestyle. Beyond that, it’s also time to come to grips with the modern reality: if your company’s marketing campaigns don’t include a strong digital component, then it’s probably on the proverbial endangered species list.
This is actually good news for most companies, as a post-digital age promises fresh and exciting ways to reach and out connect with consumers. Read on for a few examples of how an integrated approach to marketing can enhance your company’s reach and conversion rates:
• Integrated campaigns can be more affordable.
Marketing campaigns are expensive to begin with, though digital marketing has the potential to cost less. Specific findings vary, but there’s no question that multichannel marketing drives higher returns on investment. Compare the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency versus that of taking out space in a major newspaper or running a television advert, and it’s difficult to imagine why you wouldn’t add a digital component to an existing marketing campaign.
• Digital campaigns dramatically extend your potential reach.
Marketing is all about targeting. Television ads only air at certain times and in certain regions; billboards only reach out to drivers and passengers; and magazine ads only connect with readers. While the same principles are certainly true of online and social media marketing, the sheer size and volume of the Internet, as well as the precision with which online campaigns can target specific users, mean that digital marketing is able to tap into a much broader and international audience.
• Integrated campaigns offer ways to go deeper.
One of the great advantages of digital marketing is the chance to offer additional (optional) information. Combine this with traditional display systems, and you end up with hot spots of information fronting a veritable rabbit hole. Many products on store shelves come complete with a QR code that passersby can scan (with a smart phone) to be directed to a landing page or social media profile. Connections don’t even have to be as direct as that. For example, a company can sponsor a Wi-Fi hotspot in a public place, and every device that logs on to the service is initially directed to a landing page with a specific marketing message. Even television programme producers realise that there’s more to marketing than TV adverts, with many broadcasting ‘webisodes’ to reach out to a broader audience and boost viewership.
• Integrated campaigns forge stronger connections with consumers.
Digital campaigns make use of location data, streaming Internet access and users daily habits to create value for consumers. Point in case: the Nike+ FuelBand. This wristband is, in essence, an activity monitor that tracks users’ movements and uploads ‘fuel points’ (i.e. energy expenditure data) to an app. Wearers can set fitness goals, monitor progress and compete (or at least compare) with others. Sure, this is a device that consumers purchase. But it’s also a constant wearable reminder that Nike is concerned about your fitness level. Beyond that, it motivates wearers to use their Nike+ app frequently, in turn exposing them to further marketing campaigns and promotions. This is an ingenious way to enter consumers’ lives without being obtrusive or annoying, and it’s generating major awards buzz for Nike’s marketing division.