This guest column is by Rajiv Kumar, Founder and CEO, StoreHippo
“It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out-of-date.” – Roger von Oech
The famous American author, speaker and inventor of creative toys Roger von Oech; couldn’t have summed up the importance of creativity and new ideas in a better way. This statements holds true for every creative field and more so for the creative and ever evolving field of online marketing. The advent and rise of social media has forced the marketing gurus to rethink and improvise their long proven advertising practices and tactics.
The Changes in Marketing Tactics: 1980’s to 2016 and beyond
The basics of marketing still remain the same over the decades – work to get memorable branding by playing with human psychology and create an urgent need that pushes the customer towards finally purchasing the targeted product.
However, over the years the channels that used to hook mass audiences have changed. From the 1980’s to the early years of the new millennium watching TV was another name for having quality family time together. The products that were advertised during the prime time used to be the bestsellers. Cut to the latter half of the first decade of new millennium, where everything changed thanks to the stupendous growth of digital media and social web. Fast forward to 2016, every member of the family has a personal TV in form of various mobile devices. We still sit together as a family in the same room but, each family member is subscribing and watching their favorite channel on YouTube or engaged in exploring various social networks depending on their personal preferences.
The new technology has understood the demand for personal gratification. Extreme personalization and customization has arrived and is here to stay!
Polishing and Refining the proven way to success
For many years, digital media thrived on direct email marketing using creative, engaging and catchy content. E-mail marketing still remains one of the best channels for connecting with your audience but rapid technological advances have brought many new channels to the fore which promise better results in terms of audience attention and conversion. Marketers are reinventing their ideas every day to reach, connect and convert the demanding audiences into buyers. The concepts that were working 2 years ago have to be polished and refined to get better traction today. New skills, technologies and automated tools are increasingly being used to maximize the benefits of digital media. Marketing gurus are letting go of what worked earlier and planning new strategies to capture the market.
How and what to do to overcome the challenges of new age digital marketing?
If you have been around in the online marketing arena for a while you must be aware with the paradigm shift in SEO techniques, choice of keywords, focus on natural language searches, link building, optimization, conversion, retargeting, Google AdWords, Webmaster Tools and many other terms and tools that form the core of online digital marketing. All the strategies build using these tools have changed rapidly with the change in technology and a smarter Google has started penalizing many of the oft used SEO practices.
Technology has changed rapidly and poses the biggest challenge for every digital marketing manager. To give the best results and convince their employers and clients these managers literally need to be on their toes and keep questioning and seeking new answers to come up with a tactical strategy that gives best ROI. To survive and grow in the highly competitive field of digital marketing the professionals should keep honing their skills.
Following are 5 traits golden rules which every Digital marketing guru should follow:
1. Be Flexible and Embrace Change
SEO was all about technical knowledge not very long ago but now its encompasses content creation and marketing and managing social media for better link building. Be open to change and adapt it rapidly to stay ahead of the competition. Try out different advertising plans and use every channel available within the social web to get maximum traction and visibility for your products.
2. Explore and Uncover
The modern digital marketer is like an investigator who picks up various pieces of clues and joins them to solve the mystery. The same curiosity zeal for exploring, learning and piecing together various clues to solve the mystery of successful branding and capturing the market should be there within every digital marketing professional. Try to add a new dimension to your advertising campaigns by pulling in closely associated business verticals and upselling additional products. For e.g., if you are selling ladies apparel always selling the complete look for the given dress is a sure shot way of increasing your reach and upselling without much effort.
3. Devour Knowledge
A good digital marketing professional should always be hungry to learn and use his knowledge to gain expertise in his field of interest. Learning is always easier if you try to specialize and learn new things about something you are passionate about. Digital marketing is a vast playfield and while one must be keep the knowledge updated on every aspect it is advisable to achieve mastery in a couple of aspects. If ads marketing is your passion try to devour all the knowledge about pay per click marketing which drives instant traffic and conversions through various social media and online channels.
4. Analyze data to come up with Customized Marketing
This is the era of personalization. Big data and various other tools and techniques help you to collect enormous volume of data which if used properly can give detailed insight into consumer behavior and buying habits. To crunch all this data and come up with actionable solutions for selling products or services is should be the aim of a successful digital marketer. Try to analyze the trends in traffic based on location, buying time, Google Analytics and various other tools to come up with personalized follow up and remarketing plans.
5. Be Creative and Improvise
Thinking out of the box does not necessarily mean thinking and coming up with disruptive innovation and solutions each time. Thinking creatively and approaching the problem with a fresh perspective often gives you new ideas and improvised solutions which work better. Always try to approach any given marketing strategy with more than one ways. Gather and evaluate data and results by dividing your email and other advertising campaigns in 2 or more sets targeted at various groups. This not only minimizes losses if the overall strategy is not good but also gives better insights into what worked better, how, why and when.
The rule has always been “survival of the fittest” and fit is one who is always ready to adapt, evolve, let go and use new skills and tools to be the winner! So, let go, learn afresh, experiment and WIN!