The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data have changed the way we do things – exponentially. Cisco – the worldwide leader in IT and networking – says that by 2020 there will be approximately 30 million IoT-connected devices worldwide. (And that’s just in a year’s time…)
The implication of this, for digital marketing, is that as a lot more people have smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, they will prefer to use these to transact on as they are more accessible than their PCs. This means that retailers will need to ensure that they give consumers the ability to engage with them using their preferred means of communication.
Digital marketing has progressed from making your business present online. Now, it has the added complexity of making your business visible – in the best possible way – on mobile devices. However, although many are saying that they provide the consumer with this ability – and are proud of the experience that they are giving their end-users – not many of these consumers are 100% satisfied with the experience that they’re getting:
- When surveyed, a total of 85% of mobile advertisers feel that they are giving value to their customers but, on the other hand,
- Only 47% of these customers are 100% happy with their experience.
This means that there’s a gap in the market for mobile experiences that tick all the boxes for the consumer and which, ultimately, will make them convert into paying customers.
But how can this be done?
When digital marketers study their craft, they learn basic principles of marketing. These are tried and trusted because they have seen to work. Now, just because our IoT-enabled world has brought with it shiny new technology doesn’t mean that this gives licence to the digital marketer to get distracted and look focus more on what the technology does as opposed to how the technology can help to accomplish the aim of digital marketing – in other words, to sell a business’ product and/or service online.
Engage the customer
First and foremost, in order to market a company’s product and/or service correctly the digital marketer needs to engage the customer. They need to speak to the end-user, listen to them, hear what these customers want and provide it to them.
Before the dawn of the Internet, this task was more laborious and had to be done through methods such as focus groups where a group of a company’s target market would be gathered in a room and they would be asked questions on what they feel about the particular product or service. The information that would be gathered from this exercise would then be fed back to the company. When they had this information, they would use this in order to put together a marketing campaign.
However, now – with Google Analytics and various other analytics platforms that are available to monitor traffic on social media and other such sites – the task of finding out what engages customers has become a lot easier (and far more affordable) because it is possible to monitor your target audience’s behaviour without them being aware that you’re doing it (obviously, in keeping with data privacy laws).
Digital marketing is not that different from offline marketing (or, as others term it ‘traditional marketing’). With online marketing, the 4Ps still apply. In other words:
- You still need to figure out what PLACE you need to market your products in
- You need to figure out what PRICE your customers are willing to pay for your product
- Your PROMOTION needs to speak to your target audience
- You need to be very clear on the PRODUCT that you’re offering to the audience
Once you’ve got these aspects in place, you can figure out how to use digital marketing technology to get your product in from of the right people who will ultimately buy what you’re selling.
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