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Digital Marketing Tips That Even Novices Can Try

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Digital media pros offered tips at a recent conference with advice aimed at breaking through the clutter of “best practices” available at every turn in today’s saturated marketing world.

Big take-aways:

  • YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world — and growing in importance and influence. Product searches are now done on YouTube. An effective online strategy includes YouTube. Your product or organization should be on YouTube also.
  • By 2025, up to half of adults won’t be paying for TV.
  • Mobile accounts for 60 percent of online searches and is growing. The share of desktop use of online sites is diminishing rapidly.
  • Four keys to whatever your message is: Right content to the right people at the right time on the right channel.

The Digital Executive Summit, held at the Dallas Omni Hotel, was attended by representatives from companies as diverse as funeral homes, museums and car dealerships. Most of those in attendance realized they needed to be in the digital space but weren’t quite sure how to get there without a dedicated Web team.

Trends highlighted by digital pros:

  1. Brand control has shifted to the consumer. The most admired brands are those that have “turned the keys over to the customer” — such as Apple, Amazon and Google. These brand managers have studied consumer behavior and developed products to match behavior. For example: Amazon Prime (to get something right now — or as close to it as possible); Apple products that buyers can use right out of the box — they don’t need to read the instruction manuals; Google’s intuitive search words.
  2. Most top companies work hardest to stay relevant to the customers they already have.
  3. Shoot for projects/ideas/events/online campaigns that are a “10X proposition” rather than a “10 percent proposition.” Incremental changes — which are safe —– are probably not enough to keep abreast in marketing/online climate of today, the speakers advised.
  4. “Create a culture of freedom” that allows staff to come up with “big bets.” One suggestion was peeling off 20 percent of a staffer’s time to allow that person to develop “big bets.” A 10 percent (incremental) change also won’t motivate young staffers. Chances are you will lose them in the end to more dynamic work environments.
  5. Competition exists across categories. Do you want to go to a movie or go out to eat pizza? (A reason Alamo Draft House might be so successful, maybe?) Some other cross-category competition: “Do you want to get a master’s degree or buy a BMW?” “Do you want to go to a concert or go to the gym?”
  6. Successful companies incentivize a second visit/buy –— or even every visit after the first visit. This often relies on captured data. One example that was shared: Pizza Hut knows its delivery customers are more likely to order when it rains. The company has email/phone alerts that go out when it’s raining in certain ZIP codes. “Hey, don’t you want your lunch delivered today? Pizza Hut is there to help!”
  7. Only a very, very small percentage of customers complain. They just never show up again. It is important to be proactive in determining if you have met your customers’ expectations and/or needs.
  8. Personalized emails (name in subject line) increase opens by 40 percent.
  9. Message must be short and at the top of the email when it opens.

Like all pro-tip lists, implementing them all might be unrealistic. But implementing at least a few of them could mean the difference between a successful online strategy and one that won’t help you — or your customers — at all.

Jeanne Spreier

Jeanne is a writer and editor who has worked in JSOM's External Affairs for more than seven years. She is also mother of three college-age kids who were born and raised in Dallas, and gets a lot of her Dallas know-how from them. On any given day, she would rather be outside somewhere. She earned her communications degree from the University of Kentucky. Read more articles

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