What’s Your Digital Strategy?
By Beverly A. Rubio – President of AMA-IE
If last year is any indicator, 2010 will see rapid change in the digital landscape. Marketing is currently full of disruption. From digital platforms to social media and mobile apps, where are things going next?
The American Marketing Association recently published a comprehensive survey of digital media in Marketing News (vol. 43, no. 7). I’ve listed some highlights and best practices for the key media and what to expect in the year ahead.
Blogs are becoming more important and have surpassed email as an effective communication tool. Some of the best ways to leverage your blog:
- Determine your objectives and build the strategy around them. Consistency counts above all.
- Set up a schedule and commit to posting, at least once a month.
- Contributors to your blog must reflect your original goals. Every contributor and discussion should revolve around the blog’s objectives.
- Blogging is interactive and should reflect brand personality.
- Build your following by linking to similar blogs and posting comments.
Watch For: Microblogging, probably through Twitter, to become more prevalent. Dell Computers has successfully used @DellOutlet to notify its followers of the latest products for sale. Best Buy uses Twitter to help customers resolve product questions and issues.
Email, while still an effective communication tool, must be fully leveraged by the following practices:
- Think of the subject line as a headline. Make sure yours is catchy, attracting readers to your content.
- Content must be engaging and relevant. The most important information should be “above the fold”, the amount of screen space you can see without opening the email.
- Design counts. Emails using HTML have higher response rates.
Watch For: Increasing customer interaction with companies in real time. Once critical mass is reached, the transition to Twitter and microblogging will be precipitous. Be ready for it.
Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, et al.)
The savviest marketers understand the operative word in these media: social. Use these networks to build brand loyalty, generate word of mouth, and further brand interaction.
Watch For: Tying social media to ROI. Now that marketers understand the power of social networks, the current focus is on how to measure – and therefore monetize – success.
Apps gained wide popularity when Apple launched the iPhone and subsequently added an application store. Apps could be developed by third party vendors and sold by Apple. Even Apple didn’t know how big a deal the apps would become. The App Store opened in July 2008 with approximately 500 apps. By November 2009, John Paczowski of Digital Daily noted that Apple now has over 100,000 apps available!
Watch For: Other players to enter this lucrative market. Expect to see apps from Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Google’s Android.
Viral Videos (YouTube)
Viral videos are posted online and, like a virus, passed along from person to person. They’re typically short and educational, funny or creative enough that people share it with their friends. Viral videos are used as a way to pass along a marketing message and build strong word of mouth about a product.
Watch For: More companies to include viral videos as part of their digital strategies. Forrester Research predicts that spending on viral videos will grow 72% to $71 billion by 2012.
While the rapid evolution of digital media can be overwhelming, it is imperative to stay abreast of the latest developments. The rise of Web 2.0 has accelerated the rate of change and the lack of a fully integrated digital marketing strategy is the surest route to failure.
Beverly A. Rubio is a business strategist and president of BAR Consulting, located in the Inland Empire. She is also President-Elect of the American Marketing Association-Inland Empire chapter (www.ama-ie.net). Contact her at: email@example.com