When I teach digital marketing, I often begin by teaching what the digital mindset is first. Without updating traditional thinking and undoing the misunderstanding of what digital marketing really is, its hard for anyone to fully embrace all that digital marketing has to offer. So here you go, here are 6 mindset shifts I like you to take in order to fine tune your understanding and appreciation of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing is not IT
Digital marketing is about communications, not technology. Too often too many people get too caught up in the technical mumbo jumbo. The objective of communications has always been about generating awareness, creating engagement, driving action, and fostering loyalty. In a sense, nothing is new, and nothing has changed. So stop thinking you cannot understand digital marketing but its IT.
Digital marketing is not a cheap substitute
Digital marketing is not a cheaper alternative of traditional marketing. The cost of entry to start is much cheaper, but your total digital budget is not. In fact, “Hong Kong digital ad spend surpassed traditional” according to an SCMP article on Feb/2017 (that’s four years ago by the way). Digital product cost might look cheap as compared to traditional media item-by-item (e.g. a banner ad vs an OOH ad), but the sheer number of versions due to segmentation and optimisation can push the cost up. However, digital marketing is cost efficient, because the agility of the medium allows us to test & test and invest in success.
Digital marketing is not a niche channel
If you look at any media usage report from any developed country, the finding is consistent: across all demographics people spend the most time on the internet (google “media usage [your country]”, you’ll see what i mean). So digital is not an upcoming trend or the next big thing; digital is not a youth channel (though youth are more engaged online), and digital is certainly not a niche channel. It is actually your primary mass medium, your primary national medium.
Digital marketing is holistic
The cheaper cost of entry of digital allows us to think holistically across the entire buyer’s funnel, integrating all of forms of communications such as advertising (display ad), PR (social media), direct marketing (email marketing), retail marketing (eCommerce) to drive business results. These channels don’t work in silos and are interlinked, attracting prospects at the top of the funnel and converting them into customers at the bottom of the funnel.
Digital marketing is about the long-tail
The concept of the long-tail as applied to digital marketing is about targeting a smaller group of highly relevant people, as supposed to a broad audience of less relevance. We achieve this by paying attention to target audience persona and segmentation (more on this in subsequent newsletter), and by ongoing engagement with your highly relevant following. This is also why digital marketing is more cost effective, as there is less wastage.
Digital marketing is content marketing
We hear terms like content marketing, story telling, growth hacking, inbound marketing etc, and they are all simply a different way to say digital marketing. Digital marketing is indeed about creating ongoing evergreen content to engage with your audience, often content that solve some problems in their lives, may it be getting better sleep, or how to take picture of your pets. After all, search is the first action that people take when they are looking for a solution to a problem, so you want to be there in the search result with relevant content if you want to reach them.
As the first in a series of newsletter on digital marketing, I’ve touched on a broad set topics as I try to remind you of the necessary mindset shifts to properly embrace digital marketing. I will address big topics such as persona & segmentation, buyer’s journey, or content marketing in upcoming newsletters, so stay tuned.