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The Digital Marketing Revolution, Part III

Evaluate the pros and cons

Implement the basics first –

A recent survey conducted by Forrester Research found that 82 percent of buyers research products and services online before making a purchase. Clearly, any viable enterprise needs to use digital marketing tools to assess specifically what is attracting and deterring their potential customers.

The first, easiest assessment of the effectiveness of your online brand is to apply a series of A/B tests with different marketing/branding content options. This gives you an upfront understanding of your bounce and conversion rates.

Other easy-to-manage strategies include –

  • Again, join customer forums, blogs and groups to monitor customer feedback to evaluate what your competitors are doing to attract online visitors.
  • Identify your new competitors. Small size can give them a competitive advantage. Are you responding to such challenges? Also what’ss different about your old competitors’ strategies today compared with 2 years ago?
  • Diversify your marketing talent away from surveys and towards data mining, social media, and knowledge management.
  • Take advantage of free online tools, the most prominent of which is alexa.com, that reveal information about where competitors’ website visitors are coming from.
  • Use Google Analytics to track visitors from all sources. It’s free and used by a majority of companies.
  • Address the new reality of price transparency. If your product is more expensive, then make a pitch for its greater quality, reliability, and your superior customer service.

More demanding, but essential –

  • Zero in on Internet channels that are most likely to reach your customer. First, determine what channels your customers are using and which ones your competitors aren’t yet taking advantage of. For example, you may not want to start a new blog if a competitor has already created a successful one, and you not need to launch a Twitter campaign if only 2% your customers use that social media platform
  • Regularly monitor social media so you can make adjustments during marketing campaigns to recalibrate the sweet spot of customer engagement.
  • Invest in technology and analytics to support seamless customer mobile, social, and e-commerce experiences.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of focusing on a small, healthy market segment where your firm can dominate. If successful, you can then expand your offerings within that niche.
  • Continually enrich/expand your customer profile. Do you know their across-the-board buying habits? What is their standard / modal personality profile? Why might they NOT buy your product? What are their problems? How can you address them?

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