Quite a while ago, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feeds, a video from Tech Insider caught my attention. While I was enjoying my guilty pleasure of watching Facebook videos, I was interrupted by an ad.
“What the hell?” I blurted.
Since when did Facebook start giving ads on its videos! I was so put off!
As a Digital Marketer for years, I am immersed head to toe in the glory of Digital Marketing, and I genuinely admire how smart it is to market your product while also entertaining or educating your audience.
The new wave of genuinely helping the users while marketing has been tremendously positive for me because I have seen marketing since the time people deployed strategies that are now considered black hat!
There is a better understanding of audience, and brands are interested in building a two-way dialogue rather than just selling.
But the interruptive video I just saw the other week has made me ponder. How far are we going in order to marry information and entertainment with sales pitches?
Till when can we slyly put brand names in our content and sell them as information?
Seems like, not too long!
Heaven forbid, if your website is hit by the latest Google update and you try to recover from this latest Fred update, you will realize where Google wants to take us all. Talk about Fred, Mobilegeddon or several other Google updates, they all focus on one thing- improving the user experience. And such ads, my friend, are not user-friendly. Facebook might not be affected by these updates, but the point here is- What is the ideal approach?
The ideal approach, undoubtedly, is making yourself user-friendly.
Digital Marketing is sure to be counting its days if it is confined to deceiving users to believe they are getting information, while what they are actually getting is a tactically veiled sales pitch.
In a world where the Internet is telling you what to think, the time is not too far when the digital user-force will be clever enough to not fall into this trap.
Digital Marketing is nearing its end if we, the marketers, do not decode the signs before it’s too late.
First of all, we have to realize that the lines between the real and the digital world is blurring.
According to Christopher S Penn, with Google Lens real-world camera search, YouTube location-based extensions and many such announcements, “the real world is slowly becoming a searchable digital world in every domain, from consumer shopping to healthcare to conversation.”
That implies that it wouldn’t be digital marketing anymore because there wouldn’t be a distinction between the real and the digital.
Calling it Digital Marketing would be more or less similar to singling out some models as Plus Size Models! Models are models. We need to stop referring them as plus-size models.
Coming back to my point, Digital Marketing will demand to be called Marketing because Digital wouldn’t be exclusive.
Marketers need to gear up for the future- the future of integrated marketing.
Since traditional marketing is going to get digitized and all of it is going to be called marketing that is not bifurcated under different umbrellas of traditional and digital, what is really at risk?
The titles of Chief Digital Officers!
Is there any way we can avoid this upcoming threat?
Integrated Marketing is the answer. Being a Digital Marketer, restricting ourselves to a limited skill set will only threaten our very existence. The need of the hour is to broaden our horizons and be able to devise an integrated marketing strategy that covers all possible channels. Brands will no longer have the time to work on different platforms independently. Integrated Marketing will be the only solution for brands and agencies alike. While outsourcing their marketing needs, brands will look for agencies that can take over all the marketing channels and deliver responsible results.
However, the challenge will always be conceiving new ways to make genuine information available while making our brands stand out.
Integrated Marketing with a priority of user-friendliness is a winning combination. In our real lives, we tend to listen to genuine advice rather than falling for fake and pretentious ones. So is the case with your audience. They are humans with a life and a discerning capability of identifying genuineness from pretentiousness.
Keeping the interest of users as the top priority, go ahead and experiment. Don’t be afraid of comparing yourself with your competitors. Do not shy away from laying bare your product’s pros and cons. If your product has value, which I am sure does, it will attract buyers. All you have to do is, take the real picture to the world and let them decide.