Digital Marketing Strategies in a Downturn
Marketing is changing as customers move from selecting brands that offer products and services to brands that provide compelling experiences. High quality and service are no longer enough for brands to build sustainable relationships with customers in the digital age.
No matter the product or service you provide, there is an excellent chance that it’s a commodity, or at the least, you have many comparable competitors. Thus, differentiation has to take another route. That route is content. When your brand tells a great story, consumers begin to trust and like you. That emotional response is key to conversion in the modern marketing world.
Marketers should think twice before cutting media budgets during a recession. There is a range of evidence from past downturns that shows those companies that maintained their investment generated higher growth than those that reduced budgets and went dark. Brands should think about long-term brand building rather than promotions. Some suggest this requires focusing on customer service and current customers. Others argue for a broad reach, brand-building activity rather than focusing on loyalty.
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” –Seth Godin.
Power of UX Design in Digital Marketing
UX Design is one of the subjects a marketer can’t ignore because it has deep roots for online brands. According to Econsultancy, ’88 % of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience,’ This explains why brands invest big in UX design. Once you frustrate a user, they probably never get back again. As a result, this impacts the profit margins.
Developing engaging customer-centric brands is a fundamental marketing challenge, and often the customer perspective is different from how organizations think they are performing in this area. According to research by Bain and Co., while 80 percent of brands claimed to offer a “superior experience,” customers say that only 8 percent of companies deliver a “superior experience. There are several crucial factors to consider when strategizing, identifying, and creating a user experience that maximizes your marketing efforts:
- User Interface
- Mobile Experience
- SEO Rankings
Read more about the Power of UX in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing: how to make decisions based on your UX research
The product & marketing manager can use facts based on UX research to create digital marketing strategies to target the right audience at the right time and the right place. Before we jump into the topic, it is crucial to know the difference between UX research and market research.
Market research uncovers customer segments and customer opinions, whereas UX research focuses on the observed behavior of the users. This complementary relationship means that there should be many opportunities to work closely with marketing people. Products/services generally go through a life cycle with predictable sales and profits. Research occurs across three phases of product development — pre-design (Introduction), construction (growth), and post-development (Maturity). In any stage of product development, motivate all research activities by a specific research goal. Specific research goals focus on
- Defining or refining a problem statement
- Identifying and understanding a target market
- Specifying the scope of initial product releases
Read more about the difference between UX Research and Market Research
Top 20 Digital Marketing tools
In terms of marketing, digital evolution has radically changed how the marketing ecosystem works, how brands are built, discovered, and shared, and how agencies and marketing departments work. There is an abundance of digital marketing tools available online. With such a collection of options, selecting the best tools for your needs can be a long and overwhelming process. We already know the various components of digital marketing: data analytics, SEO & content writing, social media marketing, email marketing, visual design (videos), landing pages, project management, and content curation. One way to choose a marketing tool is by organizing them via digital marketing components. But for the best Return on Investment (ROI), categorize digital marketing tools by:
- Size of your Business (small scale, medium scale, large scale) and
- Where the product lies in the product life cycle (Introduction, Growth, Maturity or Decline stage)
Some of the best tools available online are:
- Word Press
- Coschedule & Isitwap
- Google Keywords, Ubbersuggest, and many more
Read more about Top 20 Digital Marketing Tools
Buyer’s Journey is the story of the customer’s experience from initial contact, through the process of engagement, and into a long-term relationship. It depicts the stages (awareness, consideration, and decision) that customers go through when interacting with a company, from buying products online or in-store to accessing customer services on the phone to airing grievances on social media. It is used as a tool for creating marketing concepts, customer service ideas, and other projects.
The increase in mobile devices and digital connectivity has drastically altered the traditional buyer journey. Consumers are exposed to the sheer volume of content, which spawns incredible confusion and indecision. They can shop where and when they chose. The wealth of information available, and the ability to access it at any time, has provided consumers with extraordinary power. As a result, buyers no longer follow a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end of the buying process. Between blogs, websites, social media, emails, and ads, people engage in a complicated purchasing process that has them spinning in circles, unable to make a quick and confident decision. This fragmentation of the purchase process makes mapping out customer journeys are more important than ever. Therefore, mapping across all touchpoints and channels is imperative to understand a brand’s customer journey fully. A key benefit to digital retail is that consumers leave a range of footprints when researching, buying, and reviewing their purchases. It is significant to study customer behavior when mapping out the customer journey. Marketers and planners should be well versed with insights, keyword analysis, and market mix modeling. Digital footprints are valuable to address consumer barriers and fuel programmatic buying.
Irrespective of the COVID 19 situation, there is no change in the decision-making process while purchasing the consumers. Buyers still get aware of their needs, consider and evaluate their options, and then decide to buy the product. What has changed is the way they buy and where they buy. As we know, consumers are turning their heads towards online purchases. They are spending more time on their mobile phones. It is a business owner’s job to gauge this situation and take their products to the customer and not bring customers to their product.
Read more on why it’s critical to understand Buyer’s Journey
A product manager can rarely satisfy everyone in the market. Every individual has its likes and dislikes. Thus, marketers start by dividing the markets into segments.
There are 2.9 billion internet users worldwide, and every person has a unique digital footprint. No two people genuinely behave the same. But digital is all about personalization. Personalization is tailoring a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals. That makes it vital to build a meaningful understanding of the different types of connected consumers. But it is almost impossible for brands to personalize advertising or content to an individual cost-effectively. Internet access, mobile usage, eCommerce participation has all come and gone as factors that define behavior. Two dimensions differentiate connected consumers, and each has its implications for how marketers reach them. Four personas connect the world are:
- Influencers (Leaders)
Read more about the importance of Buyer Persona
Digital connectivity will continue to change how consumers live, work, play, and shop. In some ways, 2020 will be a pivotal year as parts of the digital economy begin to mature. The arrival of emerging technologies like 5G mobile network connectivity will give way to more advanced use cases. These advancements will continue to up consumer expectations. Consumers will remain king, demanding companies to be forthright about how data is collected and how companies represent information online. In an era of endless choice, the ability to deliver a more meaningful consumer experience will be the key differentiator for companies looking to compete in the digital age.
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