Fact: Every business needs customers. That goes undisputed. Generating qualified leads should be in the fore mind of every person working in the digital marketing sphere. This circle continues to expand as traditional marketing disciplines finally shuck their aversion to going all-in with digital services.
“By 2019, 35% of ad spending will be online. Digital marketing is getting to be a bigger piece of the pie — and that means that traditional marketing and advertising agencies are moving into the digital space in a big way.”
Changing of the Guard
This is so true. Many old-school PR and advertising agencies have struggled to embrace the online marketplace. I remember in the mid-1990’s when most companies thought “this whole having-a-website thing” was a passing fad. Furthermore, popular sentiment back then was businesses that included a URL in their marketing materials or ads were thought to be pandering to a silly trend.
My, how things have changed! Marketing and advertising are the latest industries to fall prey to the “how-the-heck-do-we-go-digital” trap, but these industries are certainly not alone in their battle to stay relevant.
Print media (book, magazines, and other periodicals) and entertainment (traditional television, the entire distribution system of both music and film) have struggled with this evolution for the last 20 years, with no end in sight.
These industries, and many others, have to continually reinvent themselves. The threat of becoming obsolete has proved to be a real one. Trying to compete with the constant barrage of new ideas and platforms is tough. Staunchly holding on to outdated, conventional methods and hoping the “trend” will pass isn’t a recommended strategy.
So, what are the recommended strategies then? With all the online chatter, what’s the best way to stand out from the crowd? What does a thorough marketing plan really need?
The Multi-Pronged Approach
Luckily, the best marketing strategy is a comprehensive one: a plan that includes both modern marketing methods and long-established promotional techniques. There are plenty of ways to spread the word online: SEO, pay-per-call/click, mobile promotions, link building, social media advertising, PR campaigns, pre-video snippets, native or sponsored content, banner ads… The list goes on.
The goal is to get your brand or message in front of the right set of eyes. The goal is to target consumers who are already actively interested in your product or service. But this must be done in a natural way.
We live in a consumer culture. Some people get squeamish when human beings are referred to as “consumers”. But hey – I buy things. I’m a customer, a purchaser, a user of services. I consume, therefore, I’m a consumer. I’m fine with that. It’s far preferable to legislators referring their constituents as “taxpayers”. But I digress.
Furthermore, I don’t mind being “targeted” when I’m actually on the hunt for something – whether that be granite countertops, red cowboy boots, or a refinance on my mortgage. The objective of any marketing company is bringing together those who provide, and those in need – regardless of specific industry.
Make your marketing/advertising campaigns count. If you put the needs and desires of people in the forefront of your mind, qualified leads and conversions will follow.