Marching Forward into the Digital Marketplace

I know all the marketing types have this ever changing digital marketplace all figured out. After all, digital is no longer new… or is it?

Seems for many marketers there are various levels in the digital transformation. The reasons for the relatively slow transition are many: marketing managers who want to play it safe, some are afraid of change, many are still just in their infancy in digital tactics, while others have embraced change investing much without taking the time to evaluate the process. There are many levels of competency.

Sweepstakes Marketing is not very different, we see the changes in how Facebook is controlling the stream, so many posts and oh so many that we just don’t see. Facebook and other social networks are forcing ad spends in order for marketers to simply reach their ever growing fan base. Those organic posts just aren’t reaching enough people and that’s not a secret, it’s a push to add value to those social networks, they too have investors. The promise of a FREE marketing opportunity is still there, however, it’s time to recognize that you don’t get much for FREE anymore.

At the same time, we see email in a state of transition. In case you are not aware, seems that somewhere between 60% & 70% of emails are opened on a mobile device (or tablet), a few short years ago this was just a Google dream, and now it’s a marketer’s reality. How does a marketer deal with this change, let alone address the fact that email marketing is a main stream and users are not overly engaged with inbound email. The reason for a lethargic response rate? Again, so many reasons and just so little time, suffice to say, that marketers are selfish, they want to push their message, their product and in the end fail to recognize that subscribers should be treated like royalty. How about segmenting the list, providing a value proposition that is truly unique to the list? Why not provide some real value, some real insight and something outside of “Hey, BUY NOW!”? It never ceases to amaze me that marketers are focused on metrics, while at the same time ignoring the fact that they have an obligation to fans and subscribers. Providing value is so much more than providing a corporate offer that works for the marketer.

Fans and friends want to feel special, they deserve something special, yet for many marketer’s social is just another channel, marketers are just off the mark. Marketing is a game, it takes time to learn, time to focus your messaging and tactics, time to evaluate and time to change, yet we see so many that want an instant response. I have and continue to liken the process to dating, let’s meet for coffee and maybe just maybe you’ll leave with my number. (Then again, maybe you won’t – it’s a game and one that you don’t win all the time, such is life).

Amazingly, cost effective comes into the discussion often. Frankly, I don’t know what cost effective means as the reality is that cost effective is dependent on so many factors. Here’s a link to 7 Cost Effective Strategies for Growing a New Brand, provided by Forbes. As you can see there are a variety of effective tactics that can be leveraged by marketing, yet they all work best in combination. Today more than ever marketing is a cohesive experience – the marketer expecting to deploy one marketing tactic and achieve their desired result is misguided.

Marketers looking for ROI on single marketing initiatives and tactics are operating in a fantasy world. ROI is the result of hard work, tactical evaluation and ongoing marketing initiatives. As a Sweepstakes Agency, I hear that the program is to have an ROI, it’s a nice thought, but an unlikely result at the end of any program. Let’s say we add a coupon; can we anticipate an ROI? No! How about we add a  survey? The response is the same, the survey will only provide data as it relates to your marketing goals, and I stress marketing goals (NOT SALES GOALS).

The bottom line from my view is transparent to most, marketing is the culmination of testing, evaluation, implementation and using creative ideas and tactics to engage prospects and consumers with a longer term view. Transition is the game, as marketers we don’t have to like the current situation, but change and ideation are critical to finding and nurturing those sweet spots, those niches and those tactics as both the technology and tactics march forward and evolve to meet the ever increasing and changing consumer.

Nobody has this changing digital marketplace all figured out, and digital although no longer new, is ever changing and moving at a rapid pace.

Michael Bickerton, RAVEN5 July 12, 2017

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