When I tell my old b-school friends or mid-career professional contacts that I’ve taken up an MSc course in Digital Marketing, I get two different kinds of reactions. One lot is fascinated and understand the weight of Digital Marketing in the future of mankind, and the other lot is plain bored. Some of the Traditional marketers – I mean the Kotler-admiring-P&G-loving kind, consider Digital Marketing to not be creative in its pure sense. Digital Marketing is associated with coding, software manipulation, and learning tools like Google Adwords, etc. Due to this some traditional Brand Managers hesitate to take an interest to learn the basics of Digital Marketing. This makes it easy for Digital Marketers to throw some jargon here and some KPIs there and win meetings concerning the Digital initiatives of the organization.
If the Brand Managers don’t take an active interest and involve themselves in these initiatives, soon they will become outdated and left out of the most exciting projects. Therefore, in this article, I list out the major aspects of Brand Management in Digital Marketing and how the participating of a Brand Manager is absolutely crucial.
Website & Customer Journey
The website is probably your most important customer touch point in today’s scenario. Whatever business you are in, the first step of customer information search is Googling the symptoms. Based on Google’s answers they recognize the problem and search related information. From finding global solutions to their problem, to shortlisting brands that best serve their purpose, the internet takes of it. This already forms three of the five steps of customer decision making journey.
When the customer eventually lands on your website, it is absolutely critical that it passes the blink test (customer’s judgment of the website in seconds, that makes them stay or bounce). Now, why is this the Brand Manager’s problem? Any UX designer can take care of this right? Wrong. Only the Brand Manager knows the customer – the pain points, what is he looking for, what is the best solution that will solve his problems, and what are the offers or promotions that will surely make him buy!
- Put forth your suggestions of the most ideal customer journeys that you expect from the website. For example: Home Page -> Product Page -> Compare Page -> Add to Cart -> Check out
- Ensure the consumer is being exposed to the right messages. Often in organizations the agencies of Digital teams and Traditional Media teams are separate. This means that different people might be writing the same message differently.
- Product Page Information – Make sure that there is no mis-representation of the product. This is especially relevant if it is a technical product. Actively manage the information provided on the product page and also the customer reviews if any.
Learn your way around Google Analytics and do not depend on anyone else to take the data and give it to you. By the time they are finished with their ppts, the data is already history. Take someone’s help to set up the Account and activate all the sections. All you have to do now is to click on the numerous tabs to see how your customers are doing.
You don’t need to do complicated market research to get a sense of customer demographics. It is all on the Audience Section of your Google Analytics Account. A perfect sample of your customers, their interests, their locations, and their languages – all at your disposal. Further, you can see the Real Time Traffic on your website and what customers are doing. Use LinkedIn slide shows or websites like Moz.com to learn the very basics of how to navigate on Google Analytics.
Goto Audience -> Interests to find out more about your customers. This gives an idea of what kind of brands to associate with.
Goto Audience -> Behavior to check the Recency and Frequency of customer actions on the website. You can understand the average sales cycle of the customer and use that in your offline promotional strategies
Goto Behavior -> Site Search – Knowing what your customers are searching on the site can give you various insights on what they are looking for. Campaigns and new product ideas can be got from this section
Content Marketing (B2B)
When it comes to Content Marketing, taking Hubspot’s online course would be much recommended. If you don’t have the time to sit through the videos, do sign up and flip through the slide shows. If you don’t have the time for that as well, see below:
Image Source: Hubspot
This table gives a snapshot of the various possibilities of content with format and type. Having this map would help to generate ideas based on your knowledge of the customer and the market.
- Contribute to Content Ideas – Dictate general ideas to your content marketing team based on current market/company scenario
- Take some time out to produce content – you can get the language vetted by someone else, but the essence of the value proposition can be better illustrated in your own words than borrowed words
- Ensure that there is variety in the content. Refer to the map above and motivate your team to widen the horizon
When it comes to results, Digital Marketing has so many different KPIs. Further, the KPIs differ with respect to Channel. Here are the basic ones that you need to keep a tab on, keep a watch out for a detailed post on KPIs –
- Website: Unique Visits, Session Duration, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rates, Subscriptions, Conversion Paths
- Social Media: Engagement Rates, CTR, ROI
- Email Campaigns: Open Rates, CTR, Conversion Rates, ROI
- Content Marketing: CTR – author/content/product specific, Conversion Rate (Can be micro-conversion like Download of Specification sheet or Macro-conversion like Sale of Product)
Finally, the most important aspect of any business if the customer. The Brand Manager knows the customer and the Digital Marketing Manager faces the customer first. If the two don’t work together then neither’s life is easy. The question that I ask myself is whether both these roles will be combined into one – the Digital Brand Manager in the future. I will sure love to get that job!