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Updated: Oct 7, 2020

It is fundamental that a digital campaign puts the customer at the heart of the process. This quote by Drucker encapsulates that marketers need to understand all aspects of their customers so well that engaging them becomes a relatively easy endeavor.

Digital enables marketers to gain unprecedented amounts of insights on their customers. This in turn allows them to develop much more relevant and personalised campaigns based on individual preferences.Unlike traditional communications, digital comms has a greater ability to track customers through the journey enabling organisations to truly understand how, what, when, and where customers are engaging with them on an individual level. This can then help at each stage of the customer lifecycle from purchase through to attrition. It helps to make marketers make better decisions about where to put their money and what customers to go after to maximize their return.

The definition of digital communications planning:“The process of defining your objectives, strategy, tactics, target audience, and channels for sharing information through online and mobile. Through digital media both companies and customers have a new level of power because of the ability to access information anywhere and at any time.

Below are the six key stages when planning your digital communications.

1. Goal setting and tracking – which specific goals should be set for online campaigns and how do we measure success? What response mechanisms will be most effective?

2. Campaign insight – which data about customer and competitor behavior is available to inform our decision?

3. Segmentation and targeting – how can we target and reach our different audiences?

4. Offer and message development – how do we specify our offer and key messages?

5. Budgeting and selecting the digital media mix – how should we set the budget and invest in different forms of digital media?

6. Integration into overall media schedule or plan – how should we plan the media schedule which incorporates different waves of online and offline communications?

Remember that different audiences have different ways they want to interact with online channels. When constructing a digital campaign it is essential to know the target and then build the campaign in a way that appeals to them. Note that for certain audiences Gen X and below, offline channels still play a dominant role. However, this clearly is evolving as you go through the generations.

Opportunities in digital media in contrast to traditional media:

1. Clear measurement of campaign effectiveness – Ability to track at an individual customer level and attribute channel success more accurately.

2. Quicker conversions and greater engagement with target audience – Purchasing cycle more will be streamlined; ability to have a 2- way dialogue with customers will increase engagement.

3. Ability to reach niche audiences – Gain access to new audiences that were untapped by traditional communication methods.

4. Ability to test and adapt campaigns to maximise budget – Create more a more robust test and learn environment thereby increasing ROI.

5. Greater shareability – Ability for greater reach due to sharing of content from customer to customer.

6. Potential for user-generated content – Ability for user-generated content that can enhance campaign efforts and engagement.

7. Identification of key influencers to further develop campaigns – Target highly engaged user groups more effectively.

The key to consumer engagement is driving an emotional connection. The use of digital media enables more targeted approaches such as personalisation which in turn increases personal and emotive appeal. In addition, given the proliferation of digital channels utilising this medium, reach and touchpoints will increase, thereby enhancing its effectiveness.

The 5S's of digital marketing to remember are Sell, Serve, Speak, Save, and Sizzle

Employ an omni-channel approach.

If organised correctly and done effectively, integrated traditional and digital communications should enhance and support one another. Using a blend of traditional and digital channels will accelerate an organisation's objectives.

Outbound Marketing:

Outbound marketing includes trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising. These methods are referred to as "outbound marketing" because marketers push their message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack.

Inbound Marketing:

Inbound marketing is the promotion of a company or other organisation through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel. It is the process of helping yourself "get found" by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.

A successful digital marketing strategy requires three key components: time, money, and people. This means an organisation needs the correct timeframe with adequate resources. Digital marketing is often so complex due to the fact that it is constantly evolving and at an extremely fast pace. This means that in order to remain relevant, it is important that an organisation enables marketing personnel to stay abreast of new developments.

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