It’s easy to think of the new online communications channels as simply new channels for doing the same things you’ve always done. They can play this role – it’s the way most organizations approach this today. But those organizations that find the most value from a Web 2.0 world aren’t doing the same things with new tools. They’re changing the way they operate and the scope of what marketing does. And you should too.
Four ways to get more value from digital marketing in this month’s McKinsey Quarterly talks about how organizations are getting more from the new online channels. Unlike your typical “five quick-hit items you can do today” article, author David Edelman encourages organizations to rethink what’s possible and retool their communications capabilities.
A few takeaways that are worth taking to heart:
1. Traditional marketing is generally limited in the ways it can influence the consumer buying cycle. Digital marketing allows us to educate and influence consumers throughout a buying process that is increasingly conducted electronically.
Takeaway: How and where in the process do you engage consumers? Try to improve that process.
2. With so many touch points, an integrated communications approach is the only way to go. It’s not a question of creative freedom but of consistency in the consumer’s experience.
Takeaway: How do your interactions with consumers integrate? Make them more effective and establish a process to enforce consistency in branding, messaging and quality.
3. Listen to what consumers say. Listen to what consumers hear. Then do something with that information.
Takeaway: How do you gather consumer insight? Listening is good, but an empowered set of employees who act on what they’re hearing is much better.
4. Your role as a content creator and content manager is growing. Wrapping your arms around this process and assets will improve quality and reduce costs.
Takeaway: Can you improve your production process? Begin to think like a publisher, not an agency.
5. There is no channel more powerful than happy customers who talk about you. They have more credibility, are more effective, and cost less than any other option available.
Takeaway: How do you maximize the role of your happy consumers? Make sure to cultivate your evangelists.
Making your marketing organization fully embrace a Web 2.0 world involves more than just some adjustments in your budget. It’s going to take new skills and capabilities to execute effectively. There’s no time to wait because the future is here now.