It is important for businesses to realize that integrated digital marketing is not just a fad, but rather an evolution in marketing. Sure, one-off ad campaigns still exist, but they are no longer the touchstone of ROI that they once were. To succeed in today's techonomy, businesses need to adopt sophisticated marketing strategies that would be unrecognizable to Don Draper and Peggy Olson.
Integrated digital marketing requires businesses to synergize their marketing efforts across various media in real-time. Campaigns can no longer be thought of as vaguely measureable units of marketing expenditure. Just like everyone else who is ever-present on the Internet, brands are too. Rather than just creating a presence, brands must be a presence. The best way to achieve this is to understand that integrated digital marketing, and the inbound marketing methodology that underpins it, are not only nice ideas, but the axels around which your brand revolves.
To get you thinking about how you can implement integrated digital marketing into your business strategy, here is a quick snapshot of 6 key elements that go into the IDM process.
DIGITAL PRESENCE MANAGEMENT
A business website is the cornerstone of your brand's online presence. By implementing Responsive Web Design (RWD), consumers will be able to access your website from whatever device they're using now and in the future. While the upfront costs may be more than what your spending at the moment, it will prove cost-efficient result in a lot less headaches in the long-term.
As the world moves online, content is king. Businesses are using content marketing convey their brand message to key tarket audience segments. The most important thing to keep in mind when content marketing is that the content you produce must not be salesy. Whatever blogs, videos, or eBooks you create must be sought after and the kind of stuff you might share with someone yourself, not forced upon your target audience.
This element of digital marketing is changing rapidly as mobile device usage and context-based content fragment and redefine search as we know it. The big players on the scene, Google and Facebook, are implementing sophisticated ad targeting serves operable over desktop and mobile devices. Further shattering our understanding of traditional SEO, Facebook has introduced a viable social search engine with Graph Search, while Google is expanding its Adwords to automatically include mobile.
Once you've set up shop on the relevant social media sites, it's important to use each of them in their unique capacities. Rather than just creating a brand presence, you want to be a presence. Use the different functions of social media to diversify the way you interact with consumers. Ask questions, take feedback, comment on what others are doing and learn from them.
SOCIAL LOCAL MOBILE
The beating heart of integrated digital marketing is social, local, mobile (SoLoMo). Now that smart phones have penetrated so deeply into our culture, it is important to be conscious of where buyers are when they reach out to you, and how they're doing it. Are they on a cell phone or a computer? Are they stationary or mobile? When are they most likely to need your brand's service or product? Use SoLoMo to make your business the most convenient option during high-relevance opportunities by enticing buyers with timely deals.
Before you even begin to implement all of these other aspects of your integrated digital marketing strategy, it is important to set up metrics by which you can measure their effectiveness. Although it may be difficult to measure the value of presence, it is important to monitor changes in consumer engagement so that you know what's working and what's not. Use digital marketing analytics data to inform ongoing marketing strategy and real-time interaction.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In 2013, if you don't have an integrated digital marketing plan, you don't have an edge. Brands that don't engage with their consumers via digital media will slowly die out, and the ones that do will win the awareness and loyalty of the mobile user. Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on marketing technologies such as ntegrated digital marketing audiences to keep up with the SoLoMo consumer. It's up to you, SMB, to jump on board and start forming the kinds of connections that matter in today's digital marketplace.