I totally agree with this statement from Mark Cameron:
Digital marketing isn’t about social media, ‘big data’ or marketing automation. By themselves these things are just smarter spam.
Rather it’s about understanding how your customers interact with every digital touchpoint. So focus on your market. Understand what your customers want. And design experiences that will delight.
This is why I think dealing with a “digital strategy” firm or a “social media consultant” is a mistake UNLESS your company already has a very comprehensive marketing strategy already in place (and most small-medium sized firms do not). This morning I was talking to one of my client’s clients, a marketing manager in a huge Australian publicly-listed company. We were talking about their experiments with mobile apps and I asked if her company has a formal section of their marketing strategy dedicated to how to leverage mobiles. She said they don’t. How can you expect to maximise your ROI on a mobile app (or a Facebook page) if you don’t have a strategy in place?
It reminds me of something Bill Gates once said: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
If your marketing is broken, applying a mobile app or a Facebook page to it will make it even more broken.
The other interesting takeaway from Mark’s article:
A recent study of over 1000 marketers conducted over August and September this year claims that only 9% of total respondents said that they ‘know their digital marketing is working.’ The study also noted that “66% of marketers feel digital is critical to their company’s success and yet less than half feel highly proficient in digital marketing.”
Is it any wonder that digital marketing isn’t working if they don’t have a marketing strategy in place first? Understand your customers first. Work out what their problems are and how you can make their lives better. Once you deeply understand those questions, you will stand a much better chance applying that knowledge across all marketing channels, offline as well as digital.