Deciphering Digital Marketing : By Vinodh Ramakannan


Is your digital marketing not working? Well, there’s a lot more to it than what you think!

Recently, quite a lot of decision makers have confessed that despite trying, digital marketing, it has not worked out for them.

Now, this is something that I find extremely difficult to comprehend. I admit, sometimes, companies look over the top and fail to recognize the right channel to reach their target audience.  This obviously doesn’t help them channelize their strategy better.

But to say that “digital marketing” as a whole has not worked for them, is quite shocking!!

After setting up one to one chat conversations with these decision makers, I realized..

Within minutes, after observing their statistics and data I realized that although their target audiences are all “digitally savvy” and easily accessible, not many firms have adopted to the crux of marketing in their efforts.

Digital marketing agencies and consultants are not  really providing companies with a comprehensive marketing strategy that are tied to their business and revenue goals.

In fact, most digital agencies focus more on creative designing and managing social media pages, ranking for a few keywords and PPC campaigns.

Having been in the marketing field, and helping organizations across geographies for over 18 years, I can confidently tell you, that without a SMART goal you would never be able to have a consistently successful campaign.

Without a clear Goal, you wouldn’t be able to have a sound strategy, which in turn affects the success of your business.

So, how do you go about defining your Goals

It starts with identifying your current pain points in marketing. Think about this. Do you need to solve any of the following?

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Next you work out your current revenue metrics, and set a target for the next 3 years with Key Performance Indicators in terms of revenue growth.

You need to be clear on what percentage of focus or weightage you are going to give for your different verticals.

This would be done based on your previous business analytics and also on industry trends. You then have to choose the geographies that you want to focus on your next 3 years, with a clear plan on when and where and what you want to expand.

You need to make sure that the goals you are setting are SMART.

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

What happens once you identify these goals?

Once you set these goals, you next primitive step would be to identify the right target audience based on their demographics, job profiles, gender etc. After this, you devise a strategy to reach out to them through the most effective communication channel.

The entire effect of this lies in the simple fact that people need to find your business when they are in need of your services!! In order to so do, people need to be aware that you offer these services in the first place.

How to generate awareness for your services?

You use channels such as Google Search, Social Media, Email, Videos etc to be visible to your clients.

Reach out to your target audience with the right message said in the most convincing way. Reaching people with a vague, not so clear message is not going to take you anywhere in the process.

Reaching out to your target audience and getting noticed by them through the most effective channels is a primitive step in your strategy. I have noticed in the recent past that many companies stop their digital marketing here.  

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What comes after awareness?

What is important is to nurture your audience, build your trust and relationship with your target audience before you actually sell to them. You do this by showing yourself as a thought leader and your company as a trustable brand who has been there and done that.  

You need to showcase your case studies, write about trends in your industry, share you experience and knowledge, through scheduled mailers. You need to use marketing automation to create action based triggers, which is nothing but sending mails to your audience depending on the actions they take on your website.

How does the cycle go?

Once you do all these, you need to know whether your strategy is working. Typically, you need to solve the answers for these common questions :

  • Are people actually visiting my website now?
  • Are they actually browsing through the pages in my site?
  • Which service page are my most customers spending time on?
  • Are they actually giving their contact details?
  • Is the conversations rate good?
  • What can I do to optimise the conversion rate further?  

The above are few of the questions that need to be answered and worked upon.

You do this by checking your analytics on a regular basis. Analytics including Google Analytics, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Adwords and all other analytics.  

You need to have a holistic picture which channels are working out the best for you, which ads are working best for you, which services of yours are having the most impact, which geographies has more enquiries etc.  

So while there are many more things that need to be in place for a successful marketing campaign, these are the core things that you need to work on before starting your marketing efforts.

GOAL + Target Audience + Strategy + Tactics on different channels + Nurturing + Analytics  = Successful Digital Marketing Campaign

The reason why many companies fail in digital marketing is

Many companies lose out, when it comes to digital marketing, as they do not dedicate the necessary budget to be successful, or choose the wrong partner, or worse choose a design agency to manage their social media pages for instance and expect business revenue goals to be achieved.  

There needs to be a holistic vision, goal and a plan to be able to market your product/services efficiently, be it through your traditional marketing or digital marketing.

There is a big gap in what companies are doing through their digital marketing activities and what they need to do or intend to achieve.  

They need to allocate the right budget, go with the right marketing partner who understands your business, and who can partner with you in achieving your goal.

I think you can safely assume in this day and age that marketing and reaching out to target audiences through the digital mediums is by and far the most effective way and you need to be effective online to be in business.

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