The internet is filled with “digital marketing specialists” but they don’t even know what marketing is
The internet is a baby universe. It changes too fast for book authors to explain it and we have little control or prevision over it – in five years, everything can change (again!). Ten years ago we had a different environment:
- Bad smartphones in customer’s hands (iPhone was just getting started);
- Scarce amount of apps to download;
- Low mobile connectivity;
- Email was the biggest thing in smartphones (or PDAs, we forgot about that term);
- Online shopping existed, of course, but 99% of it was through computers using a now obsolete infrastructure (the UX was effective at that time, but today it wouldn’t be attractive or useful at all – just to explain that almost everything changes in terms of design).
Today, online retail is five or six times bigger. We can do it from our mobiles or even smart watches. Amazon’s 1-click ordering can get a product shipped in our homes in thirty minutes – it is handled through robots across the warehouse to a drone that will land in our yard.
Traditional Marketing is not dead
And it won’t be.
Digital Marketing is Traditional Marketing applied to the digital environment. The internet brought little transformation to the essence of marketing, but digital marketing specialists and gurus tell you that digital marketing is brand new and you can throw away all your old marketing books. They’re talking bullshit. Run from them if you want the real thing to your business. Their thirty-dollar e-book is filled with motivational advice, communication tips (poorly developed) and more bullshit – it won’t make your business grow from advertisement.
The internet changed the way we communicate and we’re sharing more. You are constantly looking for human recommendations of products, so you can make a better decision. That’s why you go to TripAdvisor and Yelp! to learn about hotels and restaurants. In this new environment, personal decisions are essentially social decisions.
In early stage of interaction between companies and customers, traditional marketing plays a major role in building awareness and interest. If the interaction grows, customers demand closer relationships with companies – digital marketing rises in importance. Driving action and advocacy are big roles of digital marketing.
Loyalty to your brand is the most significant status you can have, even if a non-buyer advocates your brand – and this is possible. Tesla electric cars are well respected and advocated even by non-buyers. We have a new customer path and it is not necessarily a fixed customer funnel.
Most digital marketers are only communicators
And most of them are amateurs.
Marketing requires metrics and effective plans to sell your product. This is the essence of advertisement – to sell your product and, if it’s good enough, have a loyal customer that will advocate your brand.
David Ogilvy stated in his Confessions that good advertisement could sell bad products – but only once. Back in the 1960’s, Ogilvy knew exactly what is still happening nowadays. Creative geniuses arise from scratch with $100 on Google Ads, redirecting you to their template page. There, you will find some killer advanced marketing techniques like:
- How to get 100 k followers on Instagram;
- Learn my killer marketing approach;
- Subscribe to my mailing list and get my e-book about the killer push strategy…
99% of those geniuses have no intrinsic value. They’re not real marketers. You can buy 100 k or more followers in any media you want, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to sell. Your organic rate will be zero – and good sales come from organic people that follow you.
Communication by itself is not marketing. Tips on how to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is communication – there’s no consistent path to have customers, keep them loyal and expand profits. Offer, demand and sales process – this is marketing.
Traditional + Digital: the Real Thing
The integration between both is the real differential – some businesses can even disappear or build no visibility if they don’t integrate.
Marketing always starts with segmentation. Companies divide the market into homogeneous groups according to their demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral profiles. Segmentation is followed by targeting – selection of segments that the brand is engaged to pursue based on their fit with the brand [targets].
Segmentation and targeting are from traditional marketing and it doesn’t change on digital.
Here’s what the traditional marketing approach help us on:
- Segmentation and Targeting
- Brand positioning and differentiation
- Strategic Marketing and Selling Approach
- Value-creating services and processes.
Here’s what digital marketing help us on:
- Customer community satisfaction
- Brand awareness and clarification among community
- Co-Creation from customers and communal activation
- Collaborative Customer Care
Remember when you had a problem on your iPhone or Mac, you googled about it and ended up reading a forum page from Apple? That’s collaborative customer care – a cheap but valuable approach that companies can have. Loyal customers get engaged by helping others and also help on co-creation: Apple knows what’s wrong with their products and can have a glimpse on what customers really want.
Brands that really have value deeply understand online + offline interaction among customers.