It’s Time To Change….or Is It?

If you take a minute to stop, listen and watch, it’s easy to hear the angst around change. The last several months have sped up our need to change and adapt and work under duress. Marketing has had to pivot and change strategies to focus on customer engagement and compliance. How was this communication handled? Both in traditional and digital capacities.


What is digital marketing? According to Dave Chaffey, author of Digital Marketing, “digital marketing focuses on managing different forms of online company presence, such as company websites, mobile apps, and social media company pages, integrated with online communications techniques.” Digital marketing to be successful there is still a need for integration of these techniques with traditional media such as print, TV, direct mail and human sales and support as part of multichannel marketing communications”


Traditional marketing uses channels like print, direct mail, billboards, radio, and tv to communicate to their audience. Whereas, digital marketing uses digital media such as websites, social media, display & social ads, email, mobile, and the internet to communicate with consumers. The main difference between the two is that with traditional methods, the conversation is one way – you are sending a message but you are doing all the talking and none of the listening. Digital media changed that. Communication on digital is a two-way conversation, you may do the talking but if you aren’t listening, then you are missing out on the conversation.


One way to make sure you are listening is to incorporate the RACE planning framework. The RACE framework is all about reach, act, convert and engage. Of course, you have to plan to RACE. The best laid strategic plans involve interaction and integration between digital and traditional channels.


What does that look like? Your strategy should be aligned with your business and overall marketing strategy. How do you do this? The first will be to use clear objectives for your business and brand development. Look at the contribution of online leads and sales. How impactful is digital? Have you defined a compelling value proposition? What makes you special? What benefit do you offer your customer? How do you make their life better, easier or more fulfilled? Make a list of every touchpoint your customer interacts with your company, both online and offline. Don’t think with just marketing, think about your customer’s interactions with you for customer service, accounting, distribution, sales, online, social media, your website, telephone, chat, email, in-person, etc. Document their journey through the buying process. How does that work? Do you know? How long do they interact, research or think about your company or category before they buy? How are you facilitating that journey? That is where planning your RACE is essential - Reach, act, convert, engage.



“Communications are facilitated through content and interactive services delivered by different digital technology platforms including the Internet, web, mobile phone, TV and digital signage.” ~ Dave Chaffey “Digital Marketing.”


A big part of the RACE framework and the influence of digital today involves communication. Communication is facilitated through content marketing strategies. And content marketing is distributed through paid, owned, and earned media and six different channel groups. The six groups of channels include search engine marketing, online PR, online partnerships, display ad, opt-in email marketing, and social media marketing. Each of these channels of communication is best used in combination by applying concepts of content, inbound, and permission marketing


“applications of digital marketing to support communications with customers across the purchase cycle from generating awareness, achieving direct response for lead generation or sale and supporting customer service and relationship marketing.” ~ Dave Chaffey. “Digital Marketing.”


It may seem like a lot, but today’s consumer expects a seamless experience. There are some great examples to help get you inspired. For example, Old Spice’s “Smell Like A Man” campaign, was a blend of online-social media, video, and advertising supported by off-line print ads, resulted in almost 105 million campaign YouTube views, 1.2 billion earned media impressions, 2700% increase in Twitter followers, 800% increase in Facebook fan interaction, 300% increase in traffic to http://oldspice.com, and Old Spice has become the #1 Most Viewed Sponsored YouTube Channel, 2010 Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix, an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Commercial, and millions of fans worldwide including Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres. Not bad for a campaign that launched with two commercials that took 3 days to film and was so successful it was followed by additional segments. Old Spice went viral online and used the hashtag #smelllikeaman to engage audiences with their stories. You could say, they were successful in their RACE – reaching 1.2 billion impressions, engaging with a 300% increase in website traffic, converting with sales of their new products growing, and engaging with an 800% increase in Facebook fan interaction.


So are you ready to join the RACE? Traditional marketing is still a vital part of the marketing mix but digital marketing is essential. Consumers are demanding to be heard and the only way to listen effectively and efficiently is online, real-time at the ready!

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