Even though the usage of Digital Marketing is increasing year by year, there are still some vital challenges that marketers must leverage to overcome in the future. The following sentences are the main challenges that I found are very critical:
- Budget allocation: More and more marketers are making the transition to digital and allocating more spend to digital. However, many brands are still struggling with getting enough funds allocated to digital due to the lack of a clear path from dollar invested to sales. In traditional media, there is precedent that suggests spending this much extra should lead to this much lift in sales. In digital, few such precedents exist yet. So it’s even more important that the brand manager needs to articulate a clear path to sales growth.
- Measurement & Performance: In digital world, the new metrics to measure performance is based on actual users’ actions, such as cost per thousand (CPM) or cost per click (CPC), rather than the actual audience sizes. Namely, marketers are using circulation, impression, visitor, and Likes on pages as well as response rate, email leads and conversion rate to estimate consumers’ actions. However, what’s a good CPM or CPC? What kind of return should we be expecting and what should we do if we are not getting it? It’s one of the toughest questions while doing digital marketing.
- Integration old and new media: How do we unify and integrate within digital and also with traditional media channels. Marketers are looking for ways to make digital and traditional marketing tactics work better together and drive real and longer business return.
We still can overcome these challenges or at least relieve the uncertainties by using some tools and processes:
- Creating lasting impact: All advertising campaigns are over once you turn them off. The large spike in traffic to the website evaporates once the media supporting the campaign is stopped. In digital and social media, however, brands must think of building relationships with customers. This is centered on earning their trust; and this takes time. So companies that used to think in terms of ad campaigns need to now think about digital and social media commitments – long term. When you build a dialog and relationships with customers you can’t just turn it off. One way of building lasting value while still on campaign-based budgets is by spending the money to simulate the desirable social actions like “sharing” or “discussing” or “reviewing” instead of just buying “likes” where the users never come back after the campaign is over.
- Speed and innovation: In digital channels, marketing can happen in real time. Once you put a campaign in market, you can immediately see user actions and reactions to it. No longer does it take months to compile data and write performance reports. With this comes the ability to optimize in real time as well. But too often, the companies don’t have processes in place to enable the quick reaction to problems or opportunities. A way to address this is to identify a few scenarios of how customers may react and then pre-plan actions to respond. This will allow the company to innovate the message, the marketing, or even the product or service in question to take advantage of the speed of feedback.
- Integrated Marketing Mix: In order to make the employees, consumers, and clients believe what digital marketing is doing to result in the right direction, we can share the information or files with them by using, collaboration tools, like dropbox, digital asset management tools, as well as Presentation Artifacts, such as Wireframes, Featuresets, and Mockups. Moreover, finding the right marketing mix to allocate budget across channels. Historically, if the brand has been TV advertising-driven, the main metrics had to do with reach and frequency, which drove awareness of the product and therefore sales.
Generally, the real challenge is more organizational within companies, as many are still siloed between channels. Leaders at the top of marketing organizations want to see the holistic picture and ultimately need to organize internally to align goals.
Brands that can create engagement experiences are incredibly powerful. However, equal effort needs to be applied to minimizing brands getting the experience wrong. An untargeted, unsolicited message can ultimately really damage a brand. The use of data and real-time optimization can help mitigate this risk.
With a continuous focus on business impact and ROI, you can and should always ask the hard questions when something new and shiny gets pitched at you. And you should test and learn to quickly figure out what works best for your brand, product, company, and industry.
Hope you like my sharing, see you soon.
Y.C. Nov.26, 2012