Published on 21st November 2016
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, in a desert, a long, long way away from civilisation (and WiFi) then you have no excuse for not being up to speed on our global digital revolution.
After all, it has been gathering pace for some time, and here, now, in 2016 we are firmly in the cold embrace of bits and bytes, of teraflops and analytics. If that sounds painful then you’re probably not what U.S. author Marc Prensky in 2001, described as the post-millennial "digital native." His now commonly referenced phrase was a hint to the distinction between those older generations (digital immigrants) who have had to adapt to the pacy growth of technology in their lives and those who have been born into this world and have never known anything different. Take a look again at when Marc made his observation, 2001, that’s a long time ago in tech development time!
So to the new world and more particularly to the burgeoning space of digital marketing.
For some time now talk of digital marketing has been largely pinned (perhaps to the uninitiated at least) to the context of social media and more specifically to the management of web pages, Facebook, LinkedIn and other such online channels. In some cases, this management is sophisticated and automated whilst others rely on the occasional refresh and a very limited source of content creation.
But what do you need to know?
Digital marketing relates to the production of materials, and the promotion of products, services and/or brands through electronic tools. It importantly doesn’t stop with the push and pull of content creation, rather it creates a continuous circle of analysis, insight formation and then refinement and further content creation. Oh, and did I forget to say that most of what is undertaken is real-time too.
Why is it important?
It’s all about the data. Everything we do; everything we buy, everywhere we go, every choice we make. Data drives our world and whereas once upon a time it was written or spoken in a very ‘hard format’, often along singular lines of communication and with a limited lifespan, today it’s digital content and it’s communicated rapidly, disseminated broadly and refreshed, copied, downloaded, filtered, clipped and chopped. If you want to know about a product or service, about a movie or book, about a restaurant or a holiday destination, then there are countless sources of information being captured that will offer everything from pictures to reviews to virtual experiences. Data is therefore not only being captured about our lives but unequivocally driving the direction of our lives, and for this reason, digital marketing is now at the centre of identifying who’s winning and who’s losing.
What are digital marketers doing that’s different?
Marketing is about making a connection between your product or service and an intended audience. Given that today most people are operating a large part of their lives online, marketers have had to take their connection techniques to the internet too. With the sophistication and breadth of tools available to make that connection, a large part of the new world strategy is in analysing data, drawing insights from that data and then adopting changes to your strategies to get better results for your efforts. You might think that sounds easy but the pace of change and development has meant that digital marketing can indeed be a complex domain in which to operate. Search engine optimisation (SEO), content asset generation, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), marketing automation, campaign management and electronic direct mail (EDM) are just a few of the different strategies that digital marketers need to be aware of and arguably comfortable in building into their overall marketing plan.
Where do you begin if you know the buzz but haven’t a dedicated team?
One of the many benefits of society's current appetite for disruption and change is that there are now many ways to skin a cat. The plethora of tools and applications, not to mention the availability of pay-as-you-go or software as a service (SAS), means that you don’t have to be a data scientist to come up with some pretty clever strategies that will help you build upon your audience connection in a meaningful (and measurable) way. The first step is still to sit down with your business leaders and to understand your actual and potential audience and the channels available to reach that audience, then jump in. You’re no longer risking big dollars on a print campaign or a PR exercise that may or may not deliver results. Instead, you are increasingly spreading your spend across a number of approaches that minimise risk whilst (ideally), maximising potential return.
What are you waiting for?
Ambition recruits across all areas of digital marketing including but not limited to, Head of Digital Strategy, User Experience Designer, SEO Account Manager and Digital Project Manager. Our dedicated Consultant, Fraser Rix, joined us from the UK earlier this year and brings his experience working in the European market to our Australian customer base, sharing insights on best practice and talent pooling some of the hottest and most in-demand candidates available now or soon to be. If you want to have a chat with someone who’s passionate about this growing space, drop him a line or reach out to his network, you might find it’s the best strategic move you make this year!