Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Digital Marketing Operating Models

Rapid changes in technology are changing the way that consumer industries Define, Discover, Acquire and Retain customers.

In this article I will present a number of options that marketers can pursue in order to succeed in the 
digital market. The consumer is now expecting to obtain access to brands and products through the digital channel of their choice and to be able to engage with, influence and provide feedback on the experience throughout the entire lifecycle of their experience from discovery through to purchase and after sales service.

Many business leaders believe that the transition to the digital market is happening at such a rapid pace that they are scrambling to keep up. Whilst this may sound like a death blow for many typically intransigent organisations, those that are prepared to embrace the change will provide themselves with a distinct competitive advantage that others will follow.

The opportunity lies in the fact that through digital marketing, companies can gain access to detailed data on the consumer and consumer behavior and provide detailed feedback on the degree of success of a marketing campaign that was simply not available to them in the past.

The digital market allows a marketing department to not only gather data on their products and consumers, but it also allows them to obtain feedback through a number of channels at a fraction of the cost. Merely looking at the potential ROI on advertising expenditure through channels where access to data is almost unlimited must be appealing to even the most cost conscious businesses. Imagine a scenario where you can not only market and sell a product through multiple channels, but you can constantly evolve and refine the quality of the products and your sales process through the feedback that the consumer provides to you at a fraction of the cost.

The distinct advantages that come through embracing the digital channel also comes with an expectation that organisations can identify the correct channel to engage with their consumers, respond rapidly to the information that they gain as a result of it and be prepared to build the lessons learnt into all aspects of their business operating model.

There are essentially three digital marketing models Digitizers,Customizers and Product Leaders that will ensure success in the digital market and organisations may utilise elements that are present in each of the models in their total marketing expenditure.

Digitizers  consumer products companies that focus on brand equity and the strength of an existing brand. They want to continue to increase the level of engagement with their customers through an existing brand with a renowned presence in the market. They will focus on all available digital channels in order to identify new customers and interact with them in a number of ways, they not only use the maximum available digital channels to acquire customers but to retain their existing customer base. Specifically these companies leverage the power of social media to promote their products via the social media network of their existing customer base.

Customizers – Use customer data and patterns of behaviour to identify customer needs and respond to them when and where the customer need arises. They offer tailored solutions before the customer feels like shopping around. These companies build their business based on strong relationships with their customers. They have outstanding customer service and pride themselves on it. (Financial Services, Retailing, Entertainment, Travel and Transportation) They focus on website optimisation, search engine optimisation, social media optimisation and mobile applications. Specifically these companies leverage the full spectrum of digital media channels in order generate new demand and maintain their existing customer base. The power of geo fencing which will enable companies to promote their products when customers enter a defined geographical area will be of specific significance to them.

Product Leaders – Use customer data and digital marketing channels to roll out new products and services. They use interactive digital media to design, sell and market new products and services, the market perceives their brand as having the cutting-edge products with superior features – justifying premium prices. . (Luxury Brands and Consumer based Technology companies) They will leverage the power of social and digital media to develop innovative new products and enhance existing products based on the feedback that they receive from their customers. The marketing department is effectively growing the value of the company by providing superior products.

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