Become a Confident Digital Marketer

Become a Confident Digital Marketer
By Mark Cameron

Digital marketing has become a big headache for most marketing professionals. A recent study of over 1000 marketers conducted over August and September of 2013 claims that only 9% of total respondents said that they ‘know their digital marketing is working.’ Even worse, ‘66% of marketers feel digital is critical to their company’s success and yet less than half feel highly proficient in digital marketing.’

Commissioned by software company Adobe and produced by Edelman Berland, the report is called Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers up at Night. The reports states that the majority of marketers lack confidence in their digital proficiency and don’t believe their company’s marketing programs are effective.

If you can identify with the statistics above and know that digital marketing is important to your organization, but go into a cold sweat when someone mentions social media or big data, then the following simple ideas are for you:

It’s not about where your customers are—it’s about what they want

Your customers no longer have loyalty to a channel. This sounds obvious, and it is, but it’s amazing how many times it gets overlooked. Marketing used to be simple. Everyone read the paper and watched TV, so that’s where you put your messages. But today that has all changed. Your customers have endless choices when it comes to media consumption. Sure there are a billion people on Facebook, but that is in no way comparable to a billion people watching the Olympics on TV.

The consumer moves quickly through the digital space and only engages with what they deem to be valuable. So stop looking at audience numbers first. Relentlessly focus on what your customer wants. Design a reason for them to engage with your brand. Do more than just try to entertain them, provide real value.

If you start by saying, “I need to get a Facebook strategy because that’s where everybody is” then you have failed already. If you instead say, “I have a great value proposition for my market and now I need to work out how to make it work on Facebook,” then you are on the path to success.

Completely ignore technology

For the technologically terrified out there, this will come as a great relief. The best thing you can do to make sure your digital marketing efforts work for you is to ignore technology altogether and focus on what you do best and think about the customer.

There are hundreds of products on the market for you to spend your budget on, and some very talented sales people willing to help you spend on their product. The best advice I can give is to ignore them. There is no magic bullet, no piece of software that will fix your problems. The only thing that works is spending as much time as possible getting in sync with your customers.

Digital marketing isn’t about social media, big data or marketing automation. By themselves, they’re just smarter spam. It’s about how your customers interact with every digital touchpoint. So focus on your market. Understand what they want. And design experiences that will delight.

Mark Cameron is CEO and lead strategist of social media conversion and commercialization agency Working Three. While his agency is based in Melbourne, Australia, he works for some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking brands. As a regular speaker and writer on social media and digital strategy, Mark stays focused on customers and outcomes, not the technology, leading to simple strategic conclusions.