Digital Marketing is a huge opportunity. But how huge you can leverage is dependent on your digital strategy. Either you build a phenomenal brand or you just use it to generate leads. Google ad words, FB ad words, PPC, SEO, and various other similar means adopted by most of the companies indicate, they are missing the big opportunity.
Marketing Vs Permission Marketing
The world of marketing has changed. The Internet has transformed the world of marketing. What used to be a monologue has now become a dialogue. What used to be an information overload is now customized, contextual, and useful content.
However, the most marketers haven’t realized this big change. They think the Internet as only a means to reach out to the target audience. Capture the attention of the target audience while they are busy with their social media activities. A kind of fishing expedition.
Marketers are neither educating the Fish about the benefits of the good food nor helping them in evaluating the options. They have only opened the digital outlets to capture their attention and generate leads.
“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value.” Philip Kotler
Their digital marketing strategy and actions are neither adding any value to the target audience’s life nor enhance their own brand image.
In the book Permission Marketing, Seth Godin draws a distinction between “permission” and “interruption,” arguing that most marketing falls into the latter category.
Interruption marketing is called such because it is based on inserting itself into the target audience’s life. A person doesn’t choose to watch an ad on television—the ad interrupts the show they are watching. A person doesn’t choose to see a banner ad—it pops up on a website or promoted content elsewhere.
Permission marketing, in contrast, is defined by audience interest. Permission marketing is marketing that an audience seeks out and chooses to consume. Because it is opt-in and based on audience interest, Godin argues that it is far more effective than interruption marketing.
It is about two decades and yet most Digital Marketers are doing the same interruption marketing. All are fighting in the red ocean.
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Digital Marketing sans Content Marketing:
Content Marketing is a part of the overall Digital Marketing. However, Digital Marketing without the use of Content Marketing principles is shallow. Digital Marketing without Content Marketing is;
- not adding value to target audience ‘s life
- not making the brand popular
- not concerned about the buyers’ journey stages
- not concerned with buyers’ challenges
- not concerned with buyers goal
- not sharing customer success stories
- not concerned with customer experience
- not building the long-term relationship with the customers
It is just like in the physical world, standing with a signboard on the street from where your target audience passes. & then trying to lure them.
Digital in that sense is different from the Physical. Digital offers an opportunity to do all the things mentioned above. & yet if you behave like the same way you behave in the physical world, your brand image will be the casualty.
Exception: In the physical world also the Content Marketing existed. The oldest example one can find is from John Deere. Unlike brochures or catalogs common at the time, The Furrow was a full-blown, educational publication. With contributions from journalists and subject matter experts, the magazine helped farmers farm better. Although its principal goal was to provide value to farmers, The Furrow proved a success—such a success that it is still distributed today.
What Marketing actually is?
Marketing means education and help to the target audience. This is ignored by Digital Marketers sans Content Marketing.
“The difference between marketing and selling is more than semantic.
Selling focuses on the needs of the seller, marketing on the needs of the buyer.
Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.” Theodore Levitt
Digital Marketing just remains focussed on lead generation only. It misses the opportunity of educating and helping the target audience in their buying journey. Digital Marketers appear only at the time of knowing the stage of the buyers’ journey. They don’t add any value. They just focus on their product and services. They are not doing anything which makes the target audience like them and trusts them.
The Content Marketers are with the target audience from the beginning of their buyers’ journey. They build relations in the process much before than Digital Marketers appear before the target audience.
Before opening the digital outlets to generate leads, Content Marketers are educating the Fish about the benefits of the good food, helping them in evaluating the options.
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” Tom Fishburne
The Content Marketers appear in the search of the target audience while they are looking to solve their problem.ie. the first time they start their online search for a particular need.
Out of the total digital presence and marketing initiatives, Content Marketing impacts following aspects of Digital Marketing. It improves and strengthens these aspects.
In addition, Content Marketing drive also enhances the brand image and customer engagement.
How to make your Digital Marketing effective?
Before we discuss how to approach the digital marketing, a para from the book Experiences, the 7th era of Marketing is an essential read; “We can’t restrict our efforts to what drives immediate sales leads, because that limits what we can do. Don’t focus on persuading and promoting in order to sell. Rather, think about enabling and empowering experiences.”
Ten points to consider to make your Digital Marketing strategy Effective:
- Think like a Visionary: Aspire to be a thought leader
- Think Empathy: Purpose above the profit
- Think Wider: How far can you go on the buyers’ journey
- Think Deeper: What expertise can you demonstrate
- Think Long-term: What is enduring and sustainable
- Think Brand building: What will make the brand loveable
- Think Educating: How to be a mentor
- Think Helping: How to be a friend
- Think Easing: How to make it easy
- Think Out of the box: How to be different
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.” Jim Collins – Author of Good to Great and Built to Last.
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Mere SEO or Ad words or PPC or promoted content will fail on all the above aspects. Content marketing approach with the intention to educate, help and ease the life of the target audience will make the brand loveable and the company achieves the sustainable competitive advantage.
There is a thinking that there is a deluge of Content and people have a low attention span. So most contents are not consumed and go waste. On the contrary, because there is a deluge of content and attention span is low, people will consume only very relevant content. Therefore, don’t ignore the Content but improve the relevance and quality of the Content.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories, you tell. ” Seth Godin
The irony is, most Digital Marketers focus only on the stuff they make !!