Confession – every time a non-marketing person tells me they have started “digital marketing” I cringe a little bit. (Okay, a LOT.) Because digital is fun. Digital is shiny. Digital is sexy. Digital can be like building your house on a beach – looks pretty, but the tide is gonna come in and you best have a solid foundation under that house.
Twice last week, I was told a company had started “digital marketing”. In one case, I’m not sure what’s happening; but, I have my standard concerns*. In the other case, they told me they are running a $2500 a month SEO plan; I checked their website – it has with no call to action and no metatags. The minute they stop running that campaign, the leads will stop coming in – because they didn’t lay in a solid marketing foundation.
I believe digital has a place in your marketing plan. Yes, your MARKETING plan – the whole “communication to the correct audience to show them how we solve their problem” plan. But it’s a mistake to make the first move of marketing be digital marketing (website, digital ads – whether Google Ads or industry websites; social media, too – especially if you are running ads on social). Digital is fan-freaking-tastic for quick results. It’s great for targeted keywords or targeted audiences. But the shiny immediacy is the very problem. The quick results mask the lack of solid foundation. Moving from shiny thing to shiny thing isn’t how a brand it built. Sure, you can generate some business, but not build a trusted brand. (*Those are my standard concerns.)
To build a brand you have to know:
– Why the company is doing what it does
– Who the company is called to serve
– How the company will serve those people
And then you have to communicate that information out – consistently – to your target audience. In the language that you use on the website, in the sales materials, on social media, in press releases and in ads. In the look of the brand. (Fonts matter, people.) And in all the other actions, big and small that make up the essence of what a brand is.(Here’s an article I wrote to help you think about it. And yep, I twisted The Bard’s phrase in the title. Send roses.)
More importantly, to build a solid marketing program which consistently returns leads – you have to have to create the (unsexy) foundation of marketing longevity:
– consistent communications (tone and content)
– solid website build
– planned advertising
Starting with “digital marketing” before everything else that makes up good marketing is one way to waste some money, especially in B2B marketing where the amount of sale typically means longer sales cycles. (Meaning, they aren’t buying a $45,000 piece of manufacturing equipment from a Google Ad the first time they see it – probably not even the 10th time.) You have to allow prospects the opportunity to know, like and trust your brand (your company) – you have to set up your foundations on the solid (and unsexy) ground of a marketing strategy. Then you will earn their interest, consistently, and their business.
Hope you found this helpful and worth your time. I appreciate you reading it.