The digital developments are transforming and re-configuring the overall marketing ecosystem. Today, brands operate in an environment that is completely different from the traditional advertising in terms of technology, content, user experiences etc.
So in a world full of choices, where exactly do the marketers focus their time, energy and resources so that they can engage their target users most efficiently and effectively?
A Marketer’s Dilemma:
Present day marketing campaigns involve – Digital video. Social media. Native advertising. In-app advertising. Messenger advertising etc. giving more options to a marketer to reach its target audience but in real terms, it has never been more difficult to earn the engagement and attention of the users. This is what a marketer’s dilemma is all about and is becoming more and more acute because of the three major developments that are reshaping the capability requirements of marketers, media publishers, and marketing service providers:
- Massive move in content consumption on the small screen.
- The new digital generation which relates less to traditional sources of marketing and identifies social media channels such as YouTube far more intensely than the movie stars or television actors.
- Consumers are less willing to pay attention to traditional advertising messages. With the increasing amount of engaging content being offered, there is little doubt that the new approaches of marketing are a necessity.
Today, marketers understand that they need different skills and mediums to catch up to the changing pattern of media consumption by the users. They need various channels for designing and distributing content to engage their target audience. Media companies today need to rethink and rework on their content distribution strategies as digital era sets in.
Marketing players need to shift their focus on content and intellectual property development and evolve to a strategic business advisor from a services supplier.
Marketing as a quantitative business unit:
Since long, Marketing has been a qualitative business unit, one based on intuition and instincts. That was because; it was difficult to measure the financial impact of mass media such as newspaper and TV ads.
But with the advent of digital marketing, those days are over. Today marketers can play with numbers and relate it to their profits and ROI.
Apart from that most marketers are still stuck in the past, and are struggling to make a leap into the future and focus on quantitative profit. Why? Below are some of the reasons:
- Too much information (TMI): Many marketers are capturing far more information than required and are getting overwhelmed by the data that is available. As a result, too much focus gets shifted to secondary metrics like clicks and impressions.
- Too many tools: With just a 100 tools/solutions available a decade ago, the marketing tools and technology solutions is nearing 1000 today. As a result what tool to use to measure metrics is really becoming challenging. It’s best to consolidate the number of tools and focus on those that measure the key metrics.
- Marketing RoI: In the years to come, marketing RoI will become the most important measure of success thus enabling marketers to measure how much profit they are delivering to the enterprise as a whole.
- Financial KPIs for Marketing: The days of qualitative marketing are over. Marketers should be able to measure and report their contribution as per the financial KPIs.
For winning the “flow”, where any brand is just a user interaction away from purchase, does require new strategies and approaches for execution. The formula for success will no doubt differ from industry to industry and from player to player, the winning direction is becoming clearer with each passing day.
Marketers will bring more capabilities in-house and will prioritize their spending with the providers (publishers, agencies, technology companies, consultancies etc) that deliver the most effective solutions and bring the necessary creativity in user engagement and overall experience, thus cutting through the clutter with the least execution complexity.
As per the famous Latin proverb –“Fortune does favor the bold”, the winners will view the change as a strategic opportunity to strengthen their overall business and gain advantage over their competitors than those who hesitate and want to cling to the outdated approaches.