No, really. It’s a GOOD thing!
Embracing the Shift from Traditional to Digital Marketing
The role of marketing is now (as it has always been) to perform the critical functions of generating sales opportunities, educating potential customers, and building brand equity. However, over the past several years the diversity of communications media, their influence on consumer trends, and the metrics used for measuring marketing performance have changed significantly.
Advances in technology now enable prospects to perform their own research, compare solutions, and review independent opinions prior to first sales contact. This shift in culture and access has resulted in huge amounts of “big data,” including user-generated opinions, reviews, graphics, and videos. This newly-accessible content has resulted in the adoption and growth of social networks and thought-leadership blogs, empowering prospects in search of knowledge, and dramatically shifting the traditional sales-cycle dynamics. Providing insightful content and direction to these prospects during their research now helps to establish industry leadership, enabling companies to articulate early on why their solution is best in class. Creating meaningful buying experiences to convey real thought-leadership provides the most positive impact on the success of an organization’s digital marketing efforts.
Traditional marketing and promotional efforts are typically (1) designed to quickly communicate brand messages, (2) developed by advertising agencies, and (3) distributed via long-established media channels to audiences as one-way communications. Advertising is focused primarily on paid content media services, such as television, radio, print publications, and the Internet.
Both cultural changes and technological advances have had a resounding effect on traditional marketing, displacing it with new and innovative approaches for rapidly converting interested prospects into satisfied customers. Now, for a marketing strategy to be effective, organizations must research ways to be actively engaged in multiple digital conversations through non-traditional efforts, with ever-shifting technical requirements and expectations of their prospects.
Not quite in step with traditional marketing strategies…
Digital Marketing is the practice of providing insightful content to leverage the results of this research, driven by automated lead scoring and nurturing models designed to convert prospects into clients. Merely posting traditional marketing materials on digital platforms is simply not strategic enough. It’s critical that content be tactically designed, buyer-centric, buying-stage-specific, measured for performance, tested and improved as part of a regular, on-going best practice.
The shift to this new digital marketing model is most effectively realized by the adoption of an automated marketing platform. These platforms include points of integration for most CRMs, and are designed to provide organizations with the ability to (1) create and promote highly impactful, well-staged content, (2) test and improve prospect-to-client conversion rates, and (3) measure marketing’s overall ROI performance as a whole, or on a channel-by-channel basis. These analytics-driven marketing engines increase the quantity of content touches, shorten sales cycles, and provide real insights into making informed adjustments and improvements, resulting in highly accurate revenue projections.