The true potential of digital marketing is yet to be tapped


For many years now, we have read statistics on how marketers are spending less on traditional marketing channels and diverting that money to digital platform spending.

And why not? Digital is effective, cheap and the things that we can do on it are simply unbelievable, unlike print, TV and out-of-home (OOH) advertising. But we have a long way to go before we tap the true potential of digital marketing.

The Indian market is still trying to trend hashtags and is paying random influencers to write about them. While this was okay in 2012-13, it is time we evolved to ideas that make business sense and not just 'likes' and 'RTs'.

Focus on sales, not noise

People aren’t coming on Facebook to buy your product, which makes sales a difficult proposition. But is it impossible? No!

Social media ads might not be as effective as Google Adwords, but because it has a wider reach it can do a great job of building awareness and creating a demand for your products and services. While your ad can be compelling, it is your targeting that can make or break your ad campaign.

The good thing is, social media networks already know a lot about users. The countless hours we spend on them is monitored and then sold to the advertisers. So you have the option to target people by their work titles, the devices they use, their travel habits etc.

A better use of these targeting options will surely yield positive results for your business.

Data is God

If your agency pitches a new campaign and says “We feel…”, stop them right there. Digital has ensured that your gut needs to be supported with insights derived from data. Every page visit, every social interaction, every click is giving you insights on how your digital marketing channels are performing for you.

As a marketer, your creativity should be closely linked to your analytical abilities.

So, immerse yourself in Google Analytics and try to understand how each penny of your marketing budget is earning for you. Study how people are responding to your content so that you can improve it. There is so much amount of data generated every day that you need to stay on top of everything in order to keep doing better than the day before.

Agencies need to be more accountable

An agency’s job is not to post 10 updates a week and rest. The role should be much more broader. Merely engaging the audience with social media updates is not going to help the brand. Nor is it helpful if you just share the reach and impression in the monthly reports. This was okay in 2012, but not in 2016.

The results need to be more tangible and linked to the revenue.

If you're a client who is only looking for an agency that can handle your social media content, then you should look at broadening the scope and making your agency more accountable. Digital agencies should look after the digital media spends, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), analytics, landing page performance etc.

Marketers need to innovate

I would love to see hashtag campaigns retiring in 2016. I think we’ve had enough of it. And while we are at it, let’s get rid of influencer campaigns as well. They are no good either.

I think it is pure laziness on the part of marketers to go with such campaigns instead of trying to think out of the box. Otherwise, what stops them from trying out artificial reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)? Why nobody wants to use radio-frequency identification (RFID) in their online-offline campaigns?

Your consumers are evolving faster and as marketers, you need to keep innovating.


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