Digital marketing has literally exploded over the past two decades, especially in the context of the post-health crisis, where customers have massively turned to the Internet.
But what is digital marketing strategy? Which disciplines are involved? What are the benefits of maximizing your investments in digital marketing?
Digital marketing activates all digital levers
Digital marketing is often confused with Web marketing because it relies mainly on the web, but not only.
Digital marketing actually refers to all the practices whose purpose is to promote a company, to capture leads and win new customers via various digital media:
- The web: corporate sites and commercial sites, blogs.
- The social networks.
- the SEO: natural referencing on search engines.
- the SMO: natural referencing on social media platforms.
- Inbound marketing: content marketing, newsletters…
- Mobile marketing: applications, m-couponing, geolocated push notifications…
- Countrisides of emailing’s.
- Big Data: the use of Internet user data.
- Local marketing: geolocated advertisements on search engines, social networks…
In digital marketing , therefore, all digital levers are activated in order to:
- Acquire new customers.
- Detect leads.
- Give visibility and credibility to the company.
- Promote an offer to a wider audience.
- Make the most of markets that have become increasingly competitive.
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The advantages and strengths of digital marketing
Digital marketing has established itself as THE current discipline for companies of all sizes and all branches of activity because real advantages are to be drawn from it.
1. Connecting with customers: relationship marketing
Discipline makes it possible to stick as closely as possible to the habits and requirements of current consumers by creating a relationship of proximity and trust with them .
The customer can interact with the brand at any time and the brand holds a wealth of information about him and can adapt its offer to offer him the product or service that corresponds exactly to him, everywhere and all the time.
The customer relationship is completely transformed and digitized: companies know their consumers in detail and thus build a lasting and quality relationship with them. Loyalty and satisfaction rates are improved, as is the conversion rate of a merchant site. We are now talking about predictive marketing : that is to say the ability of brands to anticipate the needs of their customers and to offer them exactly the products that correspond to them, even before having expressed the need.
2. Controlled costs: the ROI of digital marketing is anticipated, more certain and higher than with more traditional strategies
Digital marketing is also particularly accessible in terms of budget because the costs are much better controlled than on traditional media. It thus gives SMEs and VSEs the opportunity to be competitive and play on equal terms with large groups with colossal financial capacities (disclaimer: go read the following paragraph anyway to temper this assertion ;-).The ROI (return on investment) of the actions carried out is thus more interesting.
3. Digital marketing gives you the gift of ubiquity
Thanks to digital marketing, the Larzac farmer can potentially sell his cheeses as far away as China. Digital is an open door to the whole world. E-commerce sites, for example, operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are aimed at local, national and international customers . The web being the vector of choice for digital, this form of marketing therefore knows no borders.
Thanks to digital marketing, all brands can give an unparalleled scale to their image. They can quickly boost their visibility both on social networks and on search engines in particular.
4. You can potentially go much faster with digital marketing
Many are the success stories of unicorns (companies with a valuation of more than a billion dollars) which have built an empire in just a few years, very often thanks to massive investments in hyper-sharp digital marketing strategies .
Digital brings a lot of flexibility and agility to companies . Launching a new product on the web, for example, is done much faster than in physical distribution networks and again at controlled costs. But internally too, digital is changing the game. Employees of a company can work remotely, anywhere, anytime. Solutions in SAAS mode are an example of this radical change: a simple connection is enough to collaborate remotely. The recent health crisis is the perfect example of this acceleration.
5. Reduced barriers to entry
In many markets, before the advent of digital, it was necessary to be established in a sector, a technology, an existing park (…). Barriers to entry, beyond technological barriers, were commercial, relational, advertising. Significant resources were needed to conquer a new market or shake up existing competition.
Digital marketing offers start-ups and SMEs the opportunity to compete directly with larger, more powerful companies. These start-ups and SMEs, with agility, creativity and simplicity, can carve out the lion’s share, in particular by exploiting’s-called growth hacking techniques.
The myths and mirages of digital marketing
The previous paragraph is a somewhat simplistic reading of the advantages of digital marketing. We need to temper these assertions with a bit of realism. The risk is great if not for you to come up against bitter failures.
1. Ranking first on Google is expensive
It’s not for nothing that Google is now one of the biggest valuations in the world: it’s because all the companies around the world are paying tens of billions to rank first in paid ads. In many already hyper-competitive markets, you will have to spend tens of thousands of Euros monthly to arrive at the top of a few queries typed by Internet users. the paid referencing (SEA)potentially very expensive.
And if you are looking to reach the first position in so-called “natural” SEO (without paying for ads with Google), you will also have to invest a lot of time and money if the target market is already occupied.
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3. Make a website that converts, it’s not that simple…
I often hear requests like: “how much does it cost to make an Ecommerce site?”.
You can go read tips for choosing the best digital agency, you can launch a consultation to choose a service provider… Be sure of one thing, you will potentially obtain prices between 3,000€uros and several hundred thousand €uros.
The digital professions are becoming more complex, special lising, and gaining a few points of margin or growth in a hyper-competitive sector requires permanent optimizations which are expensive, both in terms of investment and operating costs.
Also, to face a Leroy Merlin in the DIY sector, Mano Mano thus raised 355 million Euros in 2021, according to its CEO: “this will allow us to increase our marketing”.
On good terms…
4. In SEO (natural referencing), it takes time (sometimes a lot)
Need to generate leads for the next month? Do your salespeople urgently need to be fed? Do not expect to obtain significant results before 6 months if you launch an SEO optimization/performance strategy. You will first have to go through many complex steps, requiring rigor and precision, mobilizing many technical and editorial skills.
Successful SEO strategy requires time, hyper-targeted skills, resources (proportional to the level of competition in the targeted market) and therefore money. And ideally, you should be accompanied by an expert agency.
5. Email marketing is no longer a panacea
How many emails do you receive per day? Do you have a dedicated mailbox for all those “junk” emails that you use to avoid being spammed? (and which therefore you never read). You may conduct marketing automation campaigns, spend time writing content, … it is not certain that your targets will read them. In these times of infobesity, it becomes increasingly difficult to reach your target, that they read you and that your message emerges from others. We are talking here then about slow marketing : by slowing down the quantity and frequency, but by working on the quality and the added value of the messages , we are working on long-term loyalty.
6. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) in digital marketing is a little more complex than expected
Recent figures indicate that a customer, before buying, will have had 13 points of contact with your company before buying. 13 points of contact which can be: the website, an Adwords advertisement, a message on a social network, an exchange with a chatbot, …
How to determine the lever that triggers the sale? We are talking here about attribution models , that is, the ability to measure the impact on the final sale of each touchpoint.
In current digital practices, these attribution models are becoming more and more complex, and it is becoming more and more difficult to accurately measure the impact of a given action or campaign. Therefore, it is complicated to arbitrate, to decide to change leverage or simply to make the right investment choices.
This reflection should not, however, prevent you from continuing to accurately measure your KPIs, an essential tool for your continuous improvement strategy.
And you? what benefits have you gained from your digital marketing practices? What disadvantages/advantages can you identify?