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Digital marketing is such a pivotal ingredient in today’s world of loyalty marketing. When used correctly, digital marketing can spark a brand’s customer engagement levels, reaching never before seen heights.
Loyalty360 caught up with Bala Menon, Sr. Vice President, Global Services at ReachLocal, to discuss the importance and relevance of digital marketing today.
How can digital marketing impact customer loyalty and customer engagement?
Digital marketing is very similar to traditional marketing. It’s all about showcasing your brand online in the best possible way and then getting current and potential customers interested in your products and services. This involves a long-term client courtship, which starts with an introduction to your business followed up with mechanisms to keep you front and center in the client’s mind. When a client is searching for your service or product online, you should be visible right away. The information presented about your business should be simple and easy to absorb. If your brand is viewed positively via your presence online through review sites, this can help serve as a springboard to convert people who may be simply window-shopping your business to actual paying customers.
According to a Harvard Business Review research, a one-star increase in your reputation leads to a 5%-9% increases in revenue. It’s also important that once a customer shops with you, to continue to remind the customer of your value proposition through some type of email drip marketing or display advertising campaign.
What are the biggest misconceptions about digital marketing?
Digital marketing isn’t magic. It takes time and finding the right partner who can advise you on the best strategy is so critical to your success. Sometimes people make the big mistake of only investing in one form of digital marketing at a time. You need to have a comprehensive multi-pronged strategy. For example, I advise all my clients that if you want to invest in pay per click search marketing, you should also invest in building out a strong web presence and search engine optimization strategy combined with a social media plan and a branding/awareness plan. Think of this as a three-legged stool. Without all three strategies (Paid Media, Organic and Social) working together, it will be difficult to harness the full benefits of your online marketing strategy. You should make the investment upfront and you can always shift budgets if needed from one to the other as you evaluate results over time.
What are a few key ways for marketers to get the most from their marketing spend?
Marketers need to have a comprehensive marketing strategy before they spend a single penny on marketing. A key part of the strategy should be to define the objectives of the marketing program and what success looks like. This starts with a detailed review of the business’ growth plan to understand where potential gaps exist to achieve success. For example, if a business wants to establish a name for itself, then branding should be the focus. When looking at marketing, the business leaders should decide whether they want to drive eyeballs to their website for better name recognition in the community or if they need immediate ROI.
If a business is struggling to attract customers in the short term and is under financial strain to maintain positive cash flow near term, a paid lead generation activity that pays immediate ROI may be optimal.
Another key way to make the most of your marketing spend is to choose the right marketing partner. Many businesses may not be able to afford a full time trained marketing resource therefore, self-service tools are great for those who understand how to use the systems, but if you aren’t fully versed, it may be best to find a marketing partner who can provide the tools and service. When choosing a partner to help with your marketing needs, go for someone who understands your business and your local geography, so they can advise you on the best possible marketing strategy customized for your business.
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