Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
In the span of my own career in marketing – from copywriter to vice president of marketing and branding, the changes in marketing have, not coincidentally, been as sweeping as those in information technology. Just as businesses have revamped processes and services to realize the benefits of more powerful data processing, analysis, and sharing, marketing departments have shifted from traditional forms of advertising and promotion to digital marketing. However, traditional marketing still has its place, and an integrated marketing plan still is the best way to deliver the best possible return on a marketing investment, especially in a B2B field such as fleet.
Digital marketing is any form of marketing that utilizes the internet, comprising the use of content in a website, native advertising, linked content, search engine optimization, emails, banner ads, and social media to connect with prospects and customers.
Digital Marketing Delivers Quantifiable Performance Metrics
Digital marketing is ideal for generating facts that help confirm success. While my early days with an advertising agency reported on Impressions and CPM (cost per thousand) for an ad, today’s digital report considers Demand Generation, Total Conversions, Lead to Close Ratio, Customer Retention Rate, and much more. Marketing has gone from pat equations to deep drilldown analytics and interactivity. And, while target audience has always been the goal, today’s marketers have the ability to micro-target audiences in an affordable and measurable way, and dynamically automate campaigns.
Here’s a summary of digital marketing benefits, reported by University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School:
- Measurable results
Marketing analytics have become incredibly sophisticated. Marketers can measure the results of their campaigns nearly immediately, with demographic breakdowns and insights traditional marketers lack. Many digital platforms and content management systems contain built-in analytics features, which provide holistic insights.
- Instant interactivity
Digital marketing provides numerous avenues for customers to interact with your business instantly. In the past days of marketing and advertising, interactions had a much longer “pipeline,” and often required physical products to interact, such as mail-in forms. “Virality isn’t luck. It’s not magic. And it’s not random. There’s a science behind why people talk and share. A recipe. A formula, even.” –Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On
- Advanced targeting and automation
The data from digital marketing analytics allows businesses to target their audience in ways traditional marketing never could. Additionally, automation tools and software make digital marketing scalable beyond what was once possible.
- Better ROI
Return on investment (ROI) is perhaps the highest priority for marketers and businesses. Digital marketing cuts much of the steps, personnel, and friction out of the marketing and advertising process, making digital marketing much leaner than traditional marketing.
So, is traditional marketing dead? Not at all! Next month, we will look at the features and benefits of activities such as print, events, public relations, and review the value of an integrated marketing plan. Meanwhile, I’d welcome your experiences and feedback. Ed Pierce, 215-839-1306.