Internet Marketing August 8th, 2011
Imagine driving home from work and every billboard you viewed had a direct connection to what you were looking to buy, and made the buying process easier and more convenient. This is the awesome power of SEM (search engine marketing), SEO (search engine optimization) and re-marketing. It’s easy for marketers to overlook the basic fundamentals of online marketing. Many companies cautiously dip their toes in the water, but who is actually doing it well? The answer: not many! As the marketing landscape continues to transfer power from the once mighty offline collateral (such as flyers, pop cards, and newspaper ads) to the new age of digital; many marketers have been slow to adapt to these changing tides. What might have worked for direct mail pieces, billboards, TV and radio is being undermined by the new digital alternative. From SEO to SEM, YouTube, and predictive remarketing, it’s becoming abundantly clear that it’s time for marketers to get in with the new, and out with the old! There are three main points of consideration that support this argument.
One trend that is becoming evident to even the oldest school, cost conscious decision maker, is that in real terms, the true costs of advertising in the digital space is unmatched. Of course you need to have a well-developed and optimized campaign to feel the impact of a lower cost to conversion. For example, with Google AdWords (paid search) companies can potentially see cost to conversions range from as low as fifty cents to a dollar. Rarely do offline pieces produce a cost per conversion that low, let alone provide marketers insight into the effectiveness of these campaigns, not to mention a better understanding of the ROI at the end of the day.
To the above point, the real advantage to digital marketing is that there is an infinitely better understanding of the data that can be attributed back to these marketing efforts. It’s hard to imagine that for decades companies have dumped huge marketing budgets into traditional campaigns; where as in the past they really couldn’t measure the effects these channels had to their bottom line, at least without incorporating a coupon code or other limited identifiers. Welcome to the age of real time reporting and analytics. Now eMarketers have the ability to track spend, conversions, and lead generation to better understand and dissect this info into usable segmentation that can be reengineered to optimize and improve a given campaign.
The final point regarding the evolution of digital marketing is the ability to attract new acquisitions. Arguably, there is no better marketing medium out there that has the potential to keep the flow of net new customers coming. Where traditional marketing sees limited acquisition rates, digital marketing avenues have the ability to reach a larger, more targeted audience, for a fraction of the cost. Generally, the quality of a customer that has been acquired from a remarketing campaign is far more likely to repurchase and to be retained as a customer for the long haul, compared to bargain and coupon hunters only looking to their mail box for the latest coupon or discount. Exposing customers to relevant targeted messages is the only true way for buyers to tune in to marketing messages consistently.
Final thought, as the cost of producing traditional marketing media inevitably continues to rise and its returns diminish, juxtaposed with the public’s increasing reliance on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile tech devices, those who have embraced the digital age will find themselves light years ahead. While the late adopters, naysayers, and unbelievers will be left dumbfounded, wondering what happened to their profitability and how small players have leveraged their competitive advantage against them.