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Not long ago, digital marketing was viewed as a discrete, independent element of a company’s brand management strategy. “Create a Facebook page” or “tweet more” might have once been line items in a larger marketing plan, but the landscape has changed.
Marketers agree that there is no such thing as a “digital marketing strategy” anymore. Rather than using disparate digital elements in an ad hoc way, marketers recognize digital should be woven into a brand’s overall marketing strategy.
Targeting Consumer Behavior
This shift in strategy reflects the growing importance of digital in consumers’ lives. Eighty percent of U.S. Internet users participate in social networks; more than half of Americans have made online purchases, and more than 80 percent watch and share digital videos. Marketers need to make communicating through these channels as important as their traditional marketing channels.
Brands are taking advantage of digital in increasingly sophisticated ways. With the growth of paid and owned media channels, marketers are looking for ways to engage their customers wherever they are. Marketers now have the tools to analyze customer behavior in all areas of the digital space, then customize their campaigns accordingly. They can react quickly to develop personalized offers and messages in real time.
The next horizon for marketers is mobile. As digital once was, mobile is sometimes treated as separate. That, too, is changing. Smartphones, with their array of mobile ads and targeted apps, are increasingly becoming a part of a blended consumer experience.
The task for marketers, with assistance from their IT colleagues, is to combine traditional paid digital media (such as online display advertising) with owned channels (brand web sites). By bringing insights together in a single technology platform, marketers can focus not just on one slice of the marketing pie, but on the creation of smart, holistic campaigns with digital at their core.
Brands who execute synthesized marketing strategies will be more successful in creating the kinds of engagements their customers expect in the multichannel digital world.
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