As I assist my agency to migrate from a traditional one-stop-shop over to a viable digital player, I felt it important to commit to paper my take on what is at the heart of digital marketing, what we are trying to achieve with it and how it differs from our “traditional” marketing approach. Traditional marketing was always suppose to start with the target customer, digital appears to start with “data” – however, they are the same thing. Mind you, what follows is by no means new, the ideas have been around for years, but now the technology has developed so far that it is almost getting out of the way of implementation AND most importantly, our clients are finally now asking for this. So, once and for all, I sum up digital marketing like this…
All “digital” is data, and all data is people, so any digital marketing plan should be truly customer centric – which means we must base our marketing strategies, tactics/messaging around understanding our client’s customers as well as around understanding the unique consumer journeys they take when making their purchase decisions. Tactics should affect consumer behavior around certain points along their journeys ad our marketing goals should really be designed to fill gaps along the journey, encourage next steps through it and ultimately make sales (or attain other business goals) by being relevant and engaging. This is accomplished by seeding the purchase path with valuable, personalized content that is enriching, valuable to consumers, and “on-brand”.
Why is this important? Well, for the first time, we have incredible tools at our disposal to truly understand who our client’s customers are. By simply adding a bit of computer code onto our client’s websites, we can identify the actual target segments who are actively interested in learning more or buying their products and services. From this information we can build buyer persona profiles of their customers which we would then use to determine the context of our messages, understand their buyer journeys as well as design appropriate strategies and tactics to reach them. This ability is really a marketer’s dream come true. Once we know who we are trying to reach, we can build lists of actual site visitors, create “look-a-like” lists of potential customers who share their characteristics and even use this information to build custom lists of potential customers. Then we can reach them via targeted emails, ads across Google’s Ad Network of sites and even while they are on Facebook. Best of all, with every interaction these targets have with our client’s web site, landing pages and Facebook pages, we learn more and can modify our messages accordingly – increasing their relevancy and effectiveness.
This is truly a golden age of marketing.
Steve is a seasoned Brand Strategist and serves a strategic advisory role for many existing agency accounts at Davis Advertising, located in Worcester, MA. From market research, to brand positioning and account planning, he’s recently completed naming projects for Cornerstone Bank and Coastal Heritage Bank, brand positioning projects for Service Credit Union, the Yesway Convenience Store chain and the Wayback Burgers franchise.
Over the past 13 years at Davis Advertising, he was the Account Supervisor on the Charter Communications account – a Fortune 500 company, and has worked on a wide array of brands from the higher education, franchising, business-to-business, telecommunications, healthcare, financial and retail categories.
Having worked at RDW Group and Donovan Group Integrated Marketing, he has an extensive background in marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, and media. While there he managed such notable accounts as Fallon Community Health Plan, UMass Memorial Healthcare, HealthAlliance, HarborONE Bank (formerly Brockton Credit Union/HarborONE Credit Union), Markem, Stratus Computer and Simplex Manufacturing.
Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration in Advertising/PR from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.