Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble.
Digital marketing strategy is not about gaining better measurement than offline channels or seeking the best clicks or even social media engagements. Those are the mini-goals, tools and tactics. The strategy is so fundamental that many people miss it.
First, Three Key Numbers
The first – the percent of all U.S. car buyers who research new and used car purchases online, an average of 18 hours per person (source: Polk).
The second – percent of people who trust recommendations over advertising in deciding what to purchase (source: Nielsen).
The third – the number of sites that result from a Google search on “toothbrush prices.”
Your Industry’s Business Model is Changing
It’s changing because of digital marketing. Professional services firms are losing clients to swift competitors who are outflanking and out-networking them via LinkedIn and Twitter.
Traditional manufacturers who used to rely upon distributors to handle customer communication, now must take the lead on combating negative reviews and dealing with competitors talking directly to consumers.
National restaurant chains have to fight for new franchises and lunch visits every single day, every single minute on search engines and in social media.
Retail businesses are gaining customers via daily deals sites but still cannot translate the investments into long-term customers. B2B, B2C industries alike are facing great opportunity OR peril to fundamentally change how they market and communicate with their customers.
There is No Single Silver Bullet
There are MILLIONS of them.
Yep, every business and industry has unique factors, assets and liabilities that will present revolutionary opportunities in different ways. Barry Diller’s IAC bought coupon giant Entertainment Publications over 10 years ago and could never figure out how to sell coupons online. A tiny startup called Groupon figured it out in under a year.
Curiosity and Rigorous Exploration
The only path to your silver bullets is through thinking and testing. Someone has to ask the right questions. And then ask them again. Here are top 5 questions to reveal how you might be able to take advantage of your industry’s revolution.
- What are your sales, distributor, customer service or other customer facing teams experiencing and recognizing that’s different than 5-10 years ago?
- How is new media impacting price transparency and price competition and what impact is this having on your business?
- What new competitors are emerging or old competitors who are changing in the face of technology?
- Without action today, what’s the worst case scenario you face in 3-5 years?
- What capabilities does your team have and what fluency do you need from an outside partner in order to succeed in this new world order?
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
-Alan Kay, inventor of the graphical user interface (GUI)