Have you wondered how digital marketing is carried out in big companies? From outside it might look like they have the perfect digital marketing strategy. But they do a lot of mistakes and leave out a lot of opportunities along the way. We worked with a lot of organizations as a Digital Marketing Company, and as a digital marketing agency, we have a lot of clients.
And in almost all the big companies, we see some big digital marketing mistakes that are being repeated time and time again. And our work in all these companies is to get them to have a good digital marketing strategy that works in the 21st century. Learn about these mistakes, so that you don't do it for your business. Or you can help other companies as digital marketer to help them overcome these mistakes.
- Mistake 1: The internet is another advertising medium
A lot of companies think that the internet is just another advertising medium. They think that just like there are eyeballs in other mediums, there are eyeballs on the internet also. But they are wrong. They used to advertise in Newspapers, TV, Radio, and Magazines. Now they are advertising on the internet, and they are treating it like other channels.
But there is a huge difference between the other mediums and the internet. You see, all the other mediums are a one-way communication medium. They are broadcast mediums.
There is no way to interact with the ads on TV, Newspaper, and Magazines. You just see them and ignore them. But the internet is not a broadcast/advertising medium.
Internet is a two-way communication medium. (We are posting a blog in our site, and you can also reply and comment to this blog). But companies continue to treat the internet like a billboard.
Print ads in newspapers have become banner ads on websites. Video ads on TV have become YouTube ads. Radio ads have become podcast ads. But such blind advertising is not going to work anymore. In other mediums, people had no option but to consume the ad.
The best they could do is change the TV channel, and they still had to pay attention to the ads - because almost all channels keep running ads.
But now, people have a lot of distractions online, and a lot of options. People on the internet have 10 browser tabs open on their laptop. 10 apps open on their mobile phone. As soon as we get a Whatsapp message, we check it. We ignore banner ads (No wonder banner ad click-throughs are as low as 0.2%).
We use popup blockers. We do EVERYTHING possible to ignore commercial messages and brand's advertising on our faces.
But brands are just trying harder. They are jumping into our screens with video ads, banner ads, HTML emails, Instagram ads, and even popups.
You cannot cut through the clutter by adding more to the clutter. You cannot be heard in a room full of noisy people shouting their brand message - and you cannot (and should not) try to shout louder.
So if this is the mistake that brands do, what is the correct way?
The correct way is to treat the internet as a two-way communication medium. You see, the internet is a place where two people can connect with each other, through the constraints time and space. You are sitting in your home or office. You are probably reading this on a mobile phone or a laptop. We are separated by space.
We are also not communicating in real time. You are probably reading this blog at a different time than we wrote it. We are separated by time. We are still communicating. The internet makes it possible for us to have a conversation. It is not just one-way communication. You can also reply to this blog and we would read it.
This is the power of the internet. Brands have to use the internet as it is meant to be used. Leverage 1-to-1 and 1-to-many communication. We also call this concept "Deep Marketing".
On the internet, people pay attention when other people communicate. On the internet, people ignore messages from a brand.
Now you get the idea? Imagine all the emails that you have got in your inbox. Most of the messages from brands - are irritating, adds no value, wastes your time, and you just ignore them.
Imagine how many people pay attention to their mail. Have you ever spent so much time reading an email from a brand? We don't think so. If your friend writes you an email, this is how he/she would write it. No fancy graphics, no HTML emails, no brand logos, and no registered trademarks. Personal brands are very powerful, and in the age of the internet, people want to hear from other people, not brands. So we think that's what companies should do. They should leverage their personal brands.
A brand like Mercedes-Benz can advertise all over the world. They can get their brand out.
But on the internet, someone would pay more attention to the CEO of Mercedes-Benz who talks about the plans he has for the next year...
...than an email for a Mercedes test drive, or a YouTube ad which shows a fake actor having a jolly good time with his brand new Mercedes-Benz model.
A blog post from Nikon's CEO about the history of the Nikon brand would get far more attention than a page listing all Nikon's products.
Did you know that Nikon is a global player with spectacle lenses?
Did you know that when Nikon started with their company more than 100 years back, they started with lenses for people's specs than with cameras? But no one talks about that.
They just slap ads of the latest products where-ever they can - because that's what they have done for more than 100 years.
They never told a story, because there was no channel to tell a story before the advent of the internet.
We are not saying that one should not advertise on the internet. They can. People need to know about the catalog of products that a company has.
But we are saying that the conversation should be initiated by a person, rather than a logo.
Because when a person talks, people listen. When a logo talks, people ignore.
Companies and brands somehow know that you need a face. That's why they hire brand ambassadors to endorse them.
Like BYJU's has SRK as their brand ambassador.
Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Priyanka Chopra - all these people take the money and endorse brands. And they get into trouble when the brand fails the people.
And everyone knows that these celebrities are paid for their endorsements.
There is no trust and no authenticity.
Imagine how funny it would be if we hired a hot actress to promote our digital marketing services.
It might look interesting, but everyone knows that it is fake.
Authenticity, 1-to-1 communication, and personal branding through value creation are the future of marketing on the internet and other digital mediums.
So that's mistake No.1. Whenever you see a brand trying to sell you something, think about how it can be done better with a story, coming from a human being.
Mistake 2: It's all about Reach and Frequency
You don't need an MBA in marketing to understand reach and frequency. It's pretty simple actually. When you drive down the road, what do you see on the divider of the road? Airtel, Airtel, Airtel, Airtel, Airtel, Airtel. It's there on the signboards in the middle of the divider. Then maybe...Hyundai, Hyundai, Hyundai, Hyundai, Hyundai. Then you switch on the TV. Colgate Ad, Then...Maruti Suzuki Super Awesome Car that will make you happy forever. Some content. And then the same ads again.
What are they trying to do?
Everyone knows that people don't remember something if it is shown only once.
People remember something only if they come across it multiple times. Even when we learned things in school, we had to repeat our learning several times before we could write an exam.
So that repetition is Frequency.
If our target audience is 100,000 people and if it costs me ₹10,000 to show an ad for 10 seconds to all the 100,000 people, I cannot spend that 10k and expect any returns. If people see the ad only once, they will forget about it. Our investment in 10k would be wasted.
We have to show the ad at least 10 times for people to remember the brand.
So we have to spend ₹1,00,000 to show the ad 10 times for 10 seconds to all the 100,000 people. And I have to pay media channel owners to reach these people. They are the middlemen between our products and the customers.
So here, the reach is 100,000 and the frequency is 10.
If I want a frequency of 20, I can reach only 50,000 people with the same budget.
Brands usually have an optimum level of frequency vs. reach and they try to get the maximum ROI from their spend. So big brands with big budgets always aimed for more reach, and more frequency.
But there is a problem here. Because showing the ad to many people, many times is not how normal relationships work. And this day and age, there are just too many brands trying to slap their products and services on our face. Relationship building takes time, and it cannot be always based on frequency.
Imagine you are looking for a partner in marriage. How would you approach it? You will first connect with them online or offline, and exchange contact details. Then you will meet and have a conversation. Then you will know and trust each other. You let the relationship build over time by adding value to each other. And then one day, maybe, you can propose for marriage.
Imagine how stupid and idiotic it would be if you ask for a marriage to 1000 people, in the very first conversation. That's a lot of reaches.
Imagine how even more stupid it would be if you asked the same 1000 people, 10 times if they would be ready to marry you. A lot of reaches, a lot of frequency, but probably zero conversions.
Brands aim to reach and frequency because there was no way to build a communication sequence with traditional marketing. A brand cannot identify a single user on TV or newspapers. A brand doesn't know if they are seeing the message for the 1st time or the 7th time.
So all they did was reach and frequency. Buy our stuff, Buy our stuff, Buy our stuff, Buy our stuff, Buy our stuff, and Buy our stuff. This is what they always do.
They used to do it with traditional marketing, and now they are doing it with digital marketing.
But now with digital marketing, there is a better way to do marketing. Just like normal human relationships, you can have a sequence of messages which delivers value and builds trust over time. Combine it with the power of personal branding, and natural communication, you would get the attention of people, without having to pay a huge sum for it.
Digital marketing gives the power to set up messages in a sequence. With ads, you now have the power of sequential advertising. With funnels, you can build a customer journey. With emails, you can have drip marketing sequences which deliver messages in a period of time.
With Facebook Messenger, you can have a sequence of messages. You can also set up a sequence of messages with SMS. But a very few digital marketers are using this power. Most brands are still not using the power of sequential communication. And that's the second biggest mistake they are doing.
Mistake 3: Keep pumping money into ads as long as sales are coming
In traditional advertising, it was very difficult to measure the performance of communication.
If you run an ad in a local newspaper, you have no idea how many people saw the ad, and how many people bought your products because of the ad. You had the problem with the TV, Hoardings, Magazine ads, and almost every channel pre-digital era. People allocated a specific budget for marketing. Like 10% of revenue or 20% of revenue.
People were afraid to scale their marketing spend to something like 50% of revenue because they did not know if it will give an ROI in the future. With digital marketing, you have data to work with. You can split test ads, email subject lines, landing page headlines, and almost every part of the communication online.
You can also personalize and customize the ads based on who is seeing your ad. You see, we can never tell based on intuition which messaging will work. People are varied, and their choices are complex.
We need to test, test, test.
A marketer who doesn't experiment is not a marketer; he is just a campaign manager. Have an intuition, and test it out with experiments. Intuition cannot be a replacement for data.
And that's the third mistake brands are doing. They are not data-driven, and they are not experimenting all the time.
If there are 10 stages of the funnel, and if you improve the conversion on each stage of the funnel by 10%, your results would 2.6x of your original result because of the compounding effect.
And that's what we are doing with Rhobos IT Solutions.
1. We build communication focused on personal brands than logos.
2. We set up communication in a sequence.
3. We are data driven.
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