Digital Marketing Strategy: Integration is the need of the hour

By Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury,VP Marketing

The pace with which new technologies are emerging has opened up a host of opportunities and challenges for digital marketers. The primary challenge is to keep up with the fast evolving marketing space and technology while the opportunity being the availability of this numerous channels that offers the marketers a chance to pull off an array of creative strategies.

 While digital marketers have been pretty crafty at using channels like search, display, social, emails etcin isolation, the need of the hour however is to integrate them in your strategy to get the maximum benefits in respect to branding and ROI.
Digital marketers have found search to be one of the most effective ROI focused channel, however, now that Google is acting pretty erratic with a new update every other day, its too risky to bet all your eggs on SEO; paid search is becoming competitive by days and unless you have bottomless purse, there’s no option but to continuously work on innovation and creative strategies to survive the competition.

The increasing influence of social media seems to be a savior at this point. Social, isn’t just influential by itself but if we are to rely on industry assumptions, the major engines are increasingly integrating / leveraging social data to improve on their algorithm. Another reason for you to tighten up your social presence!

Content marketing has been flourishing increasingly, with the social channels playing a key role towards content syndication and adding virality. Display media is also getting increased mileage with more and more creative, interactive application as well as retargeting doing wonders in pushing up conversion rates for display banners higher than ever.
While all this has been working perfectly fine, the increasing penetration of smart phones have opened up a completely new channel for marketers – a channel that is much more personalized, that is always connected in more ways than one and in the pocket of your prospect.

So with all these channels working for you it looks like a pretty easy task, right? Well, not really, if you are managing all of them and also, it becomes a little challenging ( to put it in the easiest way) to make sure that your brand messaging is consistent across all these channels. Also, you need to think and watch all of them – are they all effective? Are they generating ROI? Is there some cannibalization between channels? This is just the beginning of where marketers start to think about an integrated strategy.

Now the question is why is an integrated strategy necessary? Well it has been proven beyond doubt that a large section of your customers do not convert on their first contact with your brand. Also, for most online purchase or transaction, the customer would typically do a lot more research about your brand and business before making any decision. So a prospect will have multiple point of contact and interact with your brand through different channels before turning into a customer.
If you are using multiple channels you will definitely connect with your prospect multiple times during the buying cycle, however, having an integrated strategy actually helps you to deliver the right type of messaging at different points of their interaction with the brand.

Brand building and lead/business generation has often been looked at in isolation from a digital marketers perspective but it is no longer so. Having integrated campaigns spread across channels with planned uniform messaging helps marketers generate leads/business while ensuring consistency in brand messaging.
If you are seriously considering the possibilities of bringing together your various digital channels for your next campaign here are few pointers that might help.

1.Align branding initiative with your CRM and lead generation activities:Align yourbrand and community building on social media and other channels with the CRM of the organization that handles email marketing and other lead generation activities;a definitive way to increase your ROI.

2.Cross channel tracking and reporting :Campaigns, when integrated, make it important for marketers to gauge the consumer behavior across channels. The activity and engagement on one channel can have a significant impact on the response received in other channels. For example, a well-targeted email/display campaign in a particular geographic region can suddenly increase the click through rate on the search results for the brand originating from the same region.It is essential for the marketer to understand the impact of the marketing initiatives by keeping track of the attributes of a particular campaign and cross- channel interaction.

3.Promoting offers across channels :While certain deals and offers work better on certain channels compared to others, it is often found more beneficial to promote offers across channels.It not only increases the number of people who see the deal but can also help convert a large chunk of those users who might have managed to defy the allure of the deal on their first interaction but falls for it the next time.

4.Use Remarketing : Well, may be I am biased but I just love remarketing and the power it brings with it. Tightly tie in your messaging across channels, set up your landing pages and the conversion path you want your prospects to follow. Now keep a close watch and use the power of retargeting to bring them back whenever they fall off your conversion track.

5.Let one channel benefit the other. Play your cardswell so that each channel benefits other. For example, have your email campaign talk about that special deal you are offering, let the user come to the landing page and find the deal and also some amazing fun fact about the products – accompanied by the ever-so-appealing social sharing buttons. Have your retargeting campaigns set up to bring back the users that get diverted by the allure of Facebook (or whatever his social poison is). You will see how each one adds up and helps each other

Digital marketers today are leveraging all possible channels and besides continuous innovation and creativity, integrating your campaigns across channels can actually give you an edge against your competitor. Also to survive the ever-reducing attention span of users and the attraction ofendless content on the web that keeps your prospect moving from one point to another, integrating your campaign across all channels is very soon going to be a “must” to get the best ROI for your digital campaigns.

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