I once read that the so-called "digital marketing ecosystem" is, like the universe constantly expanding. Now, there are a number thoughts that occurred to me about this statement, the first of which was to rock gently in the corner, and wait for the sense of impending panic to pass. Objectively, I just about understand that the "ecosystem" can and arguably will evolve as new technology becomes more accessible, so greater and more nifty insights, analysis, media buying but there are lessons and things to be aware of...
1) It is not a finite, it is like the universe, ever expanding, it has not got four corners and is always changing. Every day there are more social media channels, 90% of the worlds content has been created in the last two years alone (IBM). There are more ways to share, schedule and to engage every week.
2) Because it is like a black hole that consumes content, technology, time and money, you have to be highly selective about why you do you what you do and how. Take your time to get to know the most relevant platforms for your business, in marketing you want to be noticed in front of an audience and for the viewer, reader or listener to take some sort of an action. If your audience is not on a channel you do not have to be there just because your competition are.
3) Novelty has a price and cost time, effort and money. The cutting edge is not key immediately, some of these new platforms may go out of business, be very hard to use and could take much time and effort to learn how to get the best out of them. Marketers are so preoccupied with the having the latest shiny tools and novel technology, they go ahead and select these without over any thought as to how they link back to the marketing strategy, positioning, targeting and where their customers are.
4) Watch out for costs. You may think the software you are using is free. It takes time and effort to use some of the technology platforms and they can charge you more when you reach data limits. Go over the small print and set budgets carefully for paid advertisements.
5) If you don't know how to operate in the 'ecosystem' start by getting educated, especially about what the terminology means. It can be difficult briefing an agency if you don't know the buzzwords and understand technology; frustrating terms like CPC (Cost per Click) and CPA (Cost per Acquisition) for example. Your agency may help you learn; working with all stakeholders is the best way to keep up to date.
6) Continue to learn and upskill your team for maximising your resources. It is not necessary you learn how to do everything, each aspect of marketing is a specialist skill, for the best results you need to learn how the infrastructure works. You really need access to a team of people; a designer, copywriter, marketing automation specialist, social media community manager, paid ad specialist, just to name a few.
7) So now you grasp enough information to have a sensible conversation with your agency team and your internal marketing department what next? You need to decide on your business objectives and how you measure them for success; rather than just spending all your time with vanity metrics you must have objectives and strategies to reach them.
Stop trembling! Yes there is a "digital ecosystem" but without real world and traditional communications it is just a load of noise that increases monthly. Remember in cities we ignore 2000-3000 marketing messages a day, so focusing on building relationships with your clients, network and supply chain is the key to grow your business.
We can of course advise on the next steps forward to create sustainable growth and value by leveraging the energy of the brand with aligned strategies, planning and operational excellence to beyond customer experience.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you to navigate the ecosystem, please contact us.