Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business
When the Internet initially started to become mainstream in the 90’s there were so many companies that felt as if the, then called World Wide Web, was a fad and that it would go away. Hmmm, “how’d that thought process work for ya?” Not so well for those that were reluctant in embracing the World Wide Web, now called the Internet.
I cannot fathom why many many years later there are still people in the world that have selected NOT to embrace technology as a part of their lives. I do have a little bit of tolerance for those that are not into it on a personal level but businesses that STILL have not fully embraced technology are doing themselves a disservice.
In 1995 it was perfectly fine to consider getting a website and waffle in the process of getting that done. Fast-forward eighteen years, YES eighteen year, and organizations are STILL waffling and more behind than ever. We have moved so much beyond just having a website not that it is mind altering. We have also moved to an era where waffling could allow your competitors to get such a big jump on your organization that you would forever be behind the eight ball.
Due to the super quick growth of the tablet and mobile industry we do not have the luxury of waffling on decisions to go full force into the new and aggressive digital marketing space. In fact, if you have a brick and mortar business, you can really no longer even view your organization as a traditional business. YOU must start to see your business as an Internet business. EVERY BUSINESS IS AN INTERNET BUSINESS now.
There is literally no such thing as traditional business anymore, ANY and ALL businesses must be online; therefore, considered Internet businesses. With so many people accessing company websites with mobile devices it’s not even enough to have a traditional website. YOU must be mobile.
It amazes me that there are so many organizations that have not grasped the importance of an online presence. It’s been eighteen years or more since the Internet became mainstream, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Actually the Internet is fast becoming the most effective way to market any business.
Traditional ways of consuming media is a thing of the past, very few people read newspapers, magazine, flyers, brochures and pamphlets as a primary source of information as was once the case. If someone finds your traditional media somewhere, they search for a website or social media channel to find out more about your company using their mobile device.
So companies that are still utilizing these traditional media outlets for the majority of their business are placing themselves behind the eight ball and additionally presenting themselves to their clients as a company that is NOT on their game.
Companies must create a strong Digital Footprint for their brand and use traditional marketing as a means to DRIVE traffic to their online brand, not the other way around. Traditional media as a primary source of gaining information is DEAD, like the steel mills in Allentown. I’m not saying that all companies should stop using traditional media, but I am saying that you must go where your customer base is and that’s online and by way of mobile device. Simply, people are using mobile devices to access information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors so that’s where you must go. People are on social media channels accessing information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors, so that’s where your organization must go.
As we decide to lead our organizations into this digital journey of social media and mobile we must realize that we can not just adapt our old “shove the company pitch in their faces” way of marketing. That does NOT work with social media and no one using a mobile device will want to scroll through an old school organizations long winded pitch about what they do, what they sell, blah blah blah, on their mobile device.
A few keys to reaching your social and mobile audiences are:
- Mobile Website: YOU must first have a mobile website. This is not even optional anymore. With the rate of people consuming media on the go if you opt out of having a mobile web presence you are turning your back on a huge amount of customers and YOUR competitors will be right there to grab them from you.
- Social Media: You must have a strong social media presence AND a strategy that is socially driven. Posting your sales pitch on your channels ONLY displays that you have not fully grasped what our new social oriented world is about. Old school marketing strategy consisted of sharing prepackaged content saying all the right things to push your message without regard for the customer. Social Media is about sharing social oriented content that appeals to YOUR READER. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services. I’ll say that again. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services.
People are on mobile devices AND on social media with their mobile devices so it is imperative that ALL organizations have a presence on both. Take a look below in the statistic on mobile usage.
As of May 2013:
- 91% of American Adults have a cell phone
- 56% of American Adults have a smart phone
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts and calls EVEN if the phone is not ringing or vibrating.
- 44% of people sleep with their phone next to their bed.
As of April 2012:
- 55% of adult cell phone users use the Internet on their mobile, which has doubled in three years.
- 31% of cell phone Internet users mostly use their mobile device for Internet, not desktops or laptops.
- 17% of ALL adults cell phone owners use their cell ONLY for accessing the Internet.
- 31% of cell phone uses look for health or medical information online.
- 68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet.
With desktop computer usage on the decline, laptop usage rising and mobile usage growing at a super quick rate of speed businesses, MUST start to see their businesses as Internet businesses. They can no longer AFFORD to ignore having a strong presence in the SOCIAL and MOBILE space.
It’s time to ADAPT your ORGANIZATIONAL strategies to the new the new mobile and social world NOT keep your same old school strategies and add digital as an afterthought. It’s a new world squirrel Adapt or die.
Pew Internet http://pewinternet.org/
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Company, digital marketing with mobile, Facebook, get a mobile website for your business, Internet Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, mobile in 20 minutes, mobile taking over, mobile web and your business, mobile web for business, mobile website templates, mobile websites cheap, mobile websites run on wordpress, Social Media, Twitter, websites not enough you must be mobile, why you must be mobile, why you need a mobile website. mobile web and social for business, World Wide Web
I was a HUGE fan of Google Plus from its initial introduction and I was one of the many people within my social circle that jumped on board immediately. We were all a part of the original beta testers and were immediately impressed with this platform. In the earlier stages of Google plus, there were many that were of the “either or” mentality about social media, either they leave Facebook or try Google Plus. Even with so many doubting the importance of Google plus, there were many within my social circles that knew that Google was on to something. Many, like myself are still of that mindset.
I had a discussion over a year ago, with a recreational Facebook user that argued how irrelevant Google Plus was and how it would remain so because HE felt as if Facebook would always rule. As a recreational social media user that shared pictures on Facebook two or three times and would log on every 3 months or so, how could he recognize the importance of a platform beyond his own minimal recreational use. I won’t even go into why anyone NOT living under a rock in Narnia with centaurs would ever minimize a Google platform. With the exception of a few platforms, Google has been known to turn dust into gold.
Although I have always been excited about the possibilities of Google Plus I never thought of it as a platform for casual users. I always thought of Google plus and its extraordinary capabilities for business owners and digital marketers. Honestly I never pictured a person like Mr. Recreational user pounding away and connecting on Google plus. However I did think of digital marketers like myself and other likeminded marketers in my social circles utilizing this as a huge platform to boost their exposure and their clients’ exposure in ways that we have never seen before, even with Facebook.
I am not comparing it to Facebook beyond placing in into the category of Social Media platform. I’m not minimizing Facebook in anyway, because who could ever minimize a platform that really was a pioneer in the sharing and oversharing world that we live in today. Facebook literally changed HOW we communicate, how much we communicate and even extended into the workplace changing the marketing and advertising fabric of practically EVERY organization in business. Facebook could NEVER be minimized because they really changed the world and our views of communication and sharing information.
Although Facebook boasts over one billion active users Google plus has the power of the biggest search engine in the world behind it, Google. This is what separates Google plus, as a social media platform, from Facebook. Google is so darn huge that we don’t even use the phrase search engine anymore. I don’t search, I FREAKIN’ Google. I haven’t searched something since back in the 90’s when those now obscure search engines like; Looksmart, Infoseek and AskJeeves were around. WE ALL FREAKIN’ GOOGLE NOW, we DO NOT search.
Google in all of it’s greatness has been “on to something” since the introduction of Google Plus and they have, in their own Google Greatness kind of way molded this platform into a platform that shouldn’t be ignored. There have been many subtle changes to Google and Google plus since they pushed the social search platform out to the masses.
Initially Google plus wasn’t much to look at with its small narrow banner and boring look, but the layout has been tweaked a few times to create a much better-looking page. The last few tweaks consisted of the banner change and a full layout change.
There were outward changes to the Google plus platform but most of the changes were behind the scenes with Google and very gradual. These are the changes that will benefit businesses most.
- The integration of all Google Services
- Uniform sign on
- Personalized search results
- Google places merging into Google Local
- Blogger ability to be shared easily on Google+ Pages
- Blogger becoming a much more relevant blogging platform
- Google+ and team up with Zagat
- Finally, the push toward social search
In essence there has almost been a full integration of all Google Services with Google Plus at most and at the very least these services greatly compliment Google plus. Any way you look at it, the integration of these services with Google plus creates an avenue in which shared information meets search. SOCIAL SEARCH.
Social Search is something that Wajam tried but never was able to move forward as successfully as Google will. Also Facebook tried to play the social search game with Bing. We all know how that worked out. Besides there really cool TV commercials, no one really gives a poop about Bing because they are really kinda’ sorta’ irrelevant in the search game. Or I should say in the Google Domination Game.
Google plus is the platform, now that it is merging all of the Google services, will be a pioneer and will dominate Social Search. An avenue where social results will play a role in search results. Oh wait, that’s happening now.
Take a look at the graphic below of an image that I posted to Google plus that displayed in Google search results, for a company that I represent in the digital marketing space.
THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus and THIS is why you are seriously cheating yourself if you do not have your company page on Google Plus.
- Public Shaming In Social Media: Is It A Form Of Bullying?
- Digital Marketing: Targeting Your Audience [Infographic]
- It’s A Brand New World, It’s Mobile And Is Your Organization Ready?
- How Social Media and Search Will Combine in Search Marketing Integration
- Social Media & Search Marketing: An Optimized Content Strategy
Digital Marketing will be used to some degree for practically every marketing campaign moving forward. Whether we go with a campaign that includes video, slides or social media channels, digital marketing now is a huge aspect of marketing now. One of the most important things we can do when deciding which digital marketing channel that we utilize is deciding which platform(s) may target our audience best. This is becoming increasingly more important with so many digital marketing channels available now.
If we want to be successful in our Digital Market campaigns it is very important to stay abreast of all of the channels but also to be aware that all channels do not fit the needs of all audiences. For instance Pinterest is primary geared toward a female demographic so if we are marketing services that are geared mostly toward men, this may not be the ideal platform to use.
Take a look at the Infographic below to give you an idea of HOW to target the proper digital marketing channel for your target audience.
Please Include Attribution to InternetServiceProviders.org With This Graphic
Social media and its uses have grown substantially in the past few years. Most people log in to social media channels several times per day and some just log on and never log off. I’m not admitting to this but I’ve HEARD that it happens. :-) Social Media has become so huge, as a source of information that news breaks on Facebook sometimes, quicker than traditional news media channels. I was literally watching breaking news live on TV and news still broke on Facebook and Twitter at least 5 minutes or so before traditional media. That is astounding and quite frankly still surprising, in a very cool way of course.
Social media has a variety of uses, it is a great way to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, extend your network and make business connections. It is also a great way to get involved with social good ventures and this is one of the most wonderful things about social media. I’ve found that social media has been for the most part good and this is primarily due to the circle of friends in my network. I’ve met so many people that have hearts of gold that it allows me to believe that there are still lots of amazing people in the world. We all need proof of good in a world, when we all see so many bad things.
I believe that social media is still primarily good because I am surrounded by so many amazing people that are involved with social good projects that really have helped so many people. These people throw themselves into causes selflessly and quite often. So much so, that I am in awe about the power of social media and how it can and is being used for great causes. With so many good things happening I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes good can be offset by some things that are not so good. One of the not so good things that have reared its ugly head is the growing trend of public shaming.
A few years ago I noticed an incident of public shaming in social media, which escalated into something quite ugly. There was a situation in which a few people felt as if another person was spamming. I cannot definitely say if the incident was true or false but I do remember that the entire situation was extremely ugly and brought out a lot of meanness in a lot of people involved. Everyone is very entitled to his or her views but what escalated this issue was how so many people jumped on the bandwagon and formed a Salem Witch Trial sort of hate mongering mob campaign against this one person. Ok, say if this person was in fact guilty of spamming, which is not a great thing but why would that person be deserving of the mob of people that went after him as if he were an abuser of animals or something equally heinous. What is most disturbing about this is the mob mentality and the willingness of people to jump in the fray for negative actions against another without finding out any details. At the time of this incident I believed it to be an isolated incident and proceeded to push it to the back of my mind in hopes that I would never witness a repeat of such unnecessary nastiness. Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident.
I’ve noticed a surge in these online behaviors starting with a restaurant and others resorting to public shaming. I also noticed a repeat in how quick others jump on the bandwagon of negativity, even when some don’t even seem to understand why they are doing so. There seems to be a new wave of people, organizations and restaurants that have resorted to public shaming for a variety of reasons.
I am not claiming that I have never taken a shot at an organization with less than desirable customer service utilizing online channels. I admit that I had a very open online divorce from Comcast, so maybe I am just as guilty as others. Although I have never gone after in individual with the goal of publically shaming them, I have had negative online dialogue about a company or two. Maybe they were wrong or maybe not but I think that I should now analyze and revaluate how I handle things. This realization is prompted by how ashamed I am of the behaviors that I have witnessed lately.
When we utilize an online platform as a means of public shaming, is that NOT a form of bullying? Could there possibly be a better way to make a point or let your displeasure with another be known? Is ruining a person’s reputation and possibly shaming them publicly the best route to take? Are we at the point that when we feel wronged that we are justified somehow by automatically jump on social media as a means to, not only voice our displeasure but round up the troops of our followers to jump on our bandwagon as well, in a lynch mob fashion?
Maybe we should ALL revaluate our usages of social media. How about we bring the human element back into social by reaching out to have a conversation [privately] with someone that we feel has wronged us instead of rounding up our loyal followers and creating a lynch mob. It needed to be said….
I will start with addressing my online behaviors….
Posted in Social Media
Tags: Anise Smith, bullying, bullying in social media, Business, Comcast, Common good, Digital marketing, Facebook, Internet Marketing, Login, public shaming, public shaming in social media, Salem Witch Trial, Social Media, social media and public shaming, social media bullies, social media public shaming and bad behavior, Social network, Twitter
That guy just posted some stuff to #Facebook, He’s obviously an EXPERT. I’ll hire him said no company ever!
I often have conversations about Digital Marketing and how things have changed. We have gone from focusing on Social Media and toward focusing on Digital Marketing all within a year. Although there has been a transition in dialogue and definitely a shift in consciousness, one thing that has not shifted is the degree of people claiming to be experts.
I’ve had a number of people say, “ I am a F-ing Expert.” Oh, I’m sorry seriously? I wonder if these people realize that I’ve been following them on a variety of social media channels AND I have a permanent echo in my mind of some of the dumbazz questions that I’ve seen in their feed. So, um yeah you post some stuff to your Facebook page but a Digital Marketer, that does not make you.
We have really reached the age in technology that companies are searching for more than a person that can post a few cute animal photos to their Facebook feed. I have always said that Digital Marketing is about way more than just posting content to Facebook. The social media aspect of digital marketing is about posting content that reaches out to touch readers/views and engages them enough for them to respond and share. This is of course all WITHOUT tagging 200 friends with the highest Klout score.
Not only do the peers of the so called experts KNOW that these people are no such thing, so do employers looking for talent in the Digital Marketing space. It’s NOT enough to post some stuff to Facebook, you must be on your game now that capabilities in this space is high. The first indication that a person is NOT on their game is those that claim the loudest about their expertise in an industry are usually the ones that aren’t. How can you be an expert in a field that is growing at super quick speed? The people that are dominating this space are those that quietly go about their way doing their thing while continuing to learn their craft.
It is not even a question about companies diving into this space; it is a must if they want to stay in business. Guess what, if you really think that claiming that you are an expert is going to be enough, good luck with that.
I read a statistic that said 90% of content consumed occurs in front of a screen. This means that most of the content that is being read, which has to be created by someone will probably be created by someone in the Digital Marketing space.
A huge part of being a Digital Marketer is creating engaging, relevant shareable content NOT just posting some crap on Facebook. Although the creation of this content is very important, there are so many more things that define what digital marketing is all about. Those that GET THIS, will be the ones that will be in demand in this space.
Right now we are at a pivotal moment in history and in the growth of this industry and it’s the ultimate Shit Got Real moment. NOW is a time when the Marketers that are so in demand move to the top of the pack and the chest beating, “Im a F-ing expert” Gurus fade to black.
If you want to compete in this space it’s time to start doing and stop yapping. Some of the in-demand skills are any combination of the following:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Management Systems
- Web Analytics
- Customer Relationship Management
- Web Usability
- Mobile Web
- Mobile Marketing
- Direct Response Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Content Optimization
- Product Marketing
- Marketing Agency Experience
- Project Management
- Video Editing/Creation
- Video Marketing
- Social Media Analytics and more
This list includes just some of the expectations of a Digital Marketer that I’ve read about. So needless to say you MUST be on your A Game, beyond just posting stuff on Facebook and boasting about your perception of your own expertise.
Hiring within this Digital Marketing Space is at an all time high and I expect that it will be continuing it’s upward growth. This growth is primarily due to the opinion that traditional marketing is failing in the area of producing tangible results. There was a huge report conducted by The Harvard Business Review, which states that CEO ‘s are tired of traditional marketing that lack results. This opinion is probably a huge factor in the growth of the Digital Marketing Industry. Take a look at the graphic below to display the growth in this field.Although traditional marketing may be struggling according to this study it doesn’t minimize the need for businesses to market their companies capabilities. This is one of the things that are fueling the growth of Digital Marketers. It allows companies that are hiring to merge services already in use with new technologies to cover an area that is growing exponentially.
So if you are on your game in this digital marketing space, you are holding a winning hand right now. Take a look at the areas in which companies expect to place organizational focus in the graphic below.
If you are NOT holding a winning hand in some of these area, brush up on your skills, stop bragging and get on your game. Because really no one wants to hear about what a rock star, guru, maven what-ever-the-hell you are calling yourself this week, especially if your game AIN’T TIGHT.
It seems that the role of digital marketing is having an even bigger impact on the organizational structure than anyone had thought it would. At one time the only player in the technology driven workspace was the IT Department. They WERE the GODS of the workplace, the organizational powers that be, the Oz of all things with a technology function.
Well, times are a changin’ and those changing times are directly connected to super quick growth of digital marketing. As we continue to venture into the digital space more and more, it is realized that the IT space is very different than the Digital Marketing space. The traditional IT departments’ focus has been on supplying information and technology resources, updating software, infrastructure, viruses, onsite servers and more. These functions are very different than what is required within the ever-changing digital marketing space. Digital Marketers although technology focused have a different function and that’s to adapt business processes from traditional to digital. The function of Digital Marketers are geared toward but not limited to Social Media Optimization, Big Data, Content Management, Digital communications, Social Engagement and more.
This space is growing, as is the demand for employees in this Digital Marketing space. It’s not just about having a great website anymore, that was so last decade. Now businesses are scrambling to adapt to changes in consumer behavior. If you know anything about business, you know that losing touch with consumer behavior could be equivalent to digging a grave for your organization. At one time, consumers read circulars and clipped coupons. Now, consumers use their ipads, mobile devices and QR code scanners to compare pricing and grab deals. Organizations must have a sense of urgency if they plan to keep up with these changes in consumer behaviors. Quite simply they must adapt or die.
Organizations are now aggressively trying to catch up and keep up. They must now be on top of mobile, social, local, visual in ADDITION to web. Lets not even discuss what new technology is looming just seconds away from being the NEXT BIG thing. The ability to adapt is huge for any organization! This is where the need for a Chief Digital Officer would come in. So, now is the time to jump into this space if you have not done so already.
Roles such as Chief Digital Officer will be an integral part of any organization and they will play a huge role in the very structure of the organization as it moves from traditional to digital. These Digital Marketing pioneers will be responsible for moving the company’s entire digital presence to another level, from initial digital project development and beyond. There will be a need to tackle ecommerce, online marketing and social media and transformation of analog to digital media. So this field is huge and growing faster than anyone ever imagined, I’m sure.
According to a study, it is predicted that 25% of businesses will have created and filled the position of Chief Digital Officer by 2015. That is just two years away, so I suggest you dive into the digital marketing space right now if you have not done so already.
If you are in anyway dabbling, working and/or educating yourself about Digital Marketing Technologies you may find yourself on the receiving end of aggressive pursuit because the supply has yet to catch up with the demand for those with this knowledge.
Take a look at the slideshow below to give you an idea of some trends that have been instrumental in directing us toward this path of no return.
In closing I say, we are living through a historical time when everything is transforming before our eyes. NOW is the time to be apart of history making events that will be as pivotal as the 1st automobile, the invention of electricity and/or the 1st color tv. I recommend anyone that has even the smallest interest in digital marketing dive right in……. the waters warm.
Posted in Digital Marketing
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Digital marketing, digital marketing vs IT, Internet Marketing, It, IT departments, IT departments dead, IT Departments obsolete, IT is dead, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Social Media, Technology, Technology Jobs, your IT department is dead
We are living in a quick-moving digital world with companies that are technology focused running to keep up with the growth. As Digital Marketers we see how fast things are moving and we recognize the players in the technology game, those that are not even in the game and those that are struggling to keep up.
Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are huge innovators and players in the growth of different forms of technology. We will not mention Bing because although Microsoft spawned this mess called Bing we won’t hold it against them, ONLY because they have extremely cool Bing commercials. That brings us to one of the other wannabe players in the game and that’s Yahoo. They may have been a player in the game, back in the days of Infoseek, Askjeeves and Looksmart but they have never really been on the grid with the real innovators in this technology game. I think one of the things that separates the companies that are innovators from those that just never seem to catch up are the employees that drive these companies.
Most companies are only as good as the team that drive them and the innovative companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google ALL have top caliber employees. These companies have the vision to hire the best of the best because employees represent their brand. Innovative companies are expected to have the best! Companies that are not technology focused usually fall short of employing the best of the best because they usually don’t have the same resources as the tech giants. So we tend to excuse their lack of technology focused employees and forward thinking vision.
Organizations that present themselves as technology focused like Yahoo is not one of the types of companies that we should excuse for the choices that they’ve recently made. When companies that are not known to be innovative are embracing that technology has changed the traditional working onsite dynamic, Yahoo decides to take a step back with their descision to take away the work at home option from their employees.
Cloud computing, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, high speed Internet and most importantly a global world has made the cubed office for technology companies like Yahoo an option not a neccesity. Or I should say HAD made it an option until Yahoo Turned Back the Hands of Time ” Cue in Cher’s Song” Hit play below.
I digressed seriously, my bad. The point is that Yahoo has taken a HUGE step back when other companies are moving forward. Yahoo has always struggled to be at the head of the pack as far as innovation is concerned but now they have gone beyond a step back, they have jumped the shark.
I’m pretty sure that Yahoo has a huge staff of innovative and creative employees that are reeling. I am also quite sure that there are lots of companies circling like vultures to pick up the pieces of the employees that can no longer work from home. I see the vultures circling the Yahoo headquarters now, in hopes of grabbing some new blood for their employment pool! If I were a huge company in need of a few good men or women, I would be camped out at Yahoo headquarters like a techie for a new iPad.
Hey Yahoo, take a look at the Infographic Below….and Oh Yeah Watch out for that shark.
We are indeed in a new era now and yet there are still organizations that haven’t really fully grasped that times have changed. There are still remnants of what the world was before The Digital Marketing Revolution, but much has changed. A huge example of exactly how much has changed is TIME Magazine’s decision to go totally digital with their magazine. Pay attention!
Digital Marketing has literally changed the world in the past few years and will continue to alter the things that we have become accustomed to. We are moving past what once was to a new reality in the digital marketing space. Digital Marketing has changed how content is created and how content is consumed. So many things have changed from tradition to digital. We now consume most of our media, news and other content digitally. We are now moving toward mobile payments by way of our mobile phones. Advertising will soon be virtual and visual by way of Google Goggles or a similar device. Semantic Web is moving close to our reality, nudging us into a world where all of our devices will have the ability to communicate with each other. WE are literally in a brand new world and it’s happened so quickly.
Organizations’ door of opportunity of denial about the importance of digital marketing is closing swiftly. ALL organizations should be embracing this technology, no exceptions! I believe that the full transition to digital marketing is not only mandatory but inevitable. As an individual you can continue to deny the importance but on an organization level, it is NOT the wisest move. Women, unfortunately may be in denial more than others. C’mon ladies step it up!
Back in the day people started their day with coffee and a newspaper. NOW people start and END their day with their Facebook feed. HELLO!!!! That means if you are NOT on Facebook and other digital marketing channels you are missing the opportunity to float your company content through the newsfeed of hundreds maybe thousands of people. Can you afford to miss that kind of opportunity, as an organization? Believe that your competitors (at least the ones that HAVE stepped their game up) are willing to embrace the technology that you are NOT willing to embrace. So, RIGHT now your competitors are reaching YOUR customers. Awkward.
We MUST start to think about Facebook and all digital media channels as the source of news that was once totally dominated by traditional media sources like newspapers and the local news. PLEASE DON’T WRITE ME, MISUNDERSTANDING WHAT I AM SAYING because I am not saying that those venues are no longer relevant ONLY that there is now competition and that those channels no longer dominate media as they have in the past. People can and are tuning in to Facebook on a regular basis, maybe more so than traditional news channels. I know personally when I get a bit of a buzz about a breaking story, I don’t run out to buy a newspaper, or wait for the 6:00 news! I pull out my iphone and check my Facebook newsfeed. Every FACEBOOK page and Facebook friend are discussing news that hasn’t yet reached the televised media channels. Why would you NOT want your organizational content floating through the newsfeed of people that feel a need to have information FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION at their fingertips? Even if you have a rockin’ website social media is the vehicle that will push your web content to your readers and present an opportunity for readers to share that content with their friends. Umm WIN!
As an organization it is not important to be savvy in the digital marketing space just to say you are, but it is important for the well being and continued growth of your organization. Think of digital marketing channels as the VEHICLE that will drive your content to current and future clients. It’s just that simple. If you EVER doubt the importance of the digital marketing space and why you your organization needs to play an active role, again, take a look at the choice that TIME magazine made to go totally digital. YOU need YOUR ORGANIZATION to be a part of this revolution. Adapt or DIE!
Although there are many women business owners that have really embraced digital marketing, there are still some that really don’t see the big picture about the digital marketing space, it seems as if women are ignoring the importance to a greater degree than men. This is unfortunate especially in organizations when men tend to rule, this could be an opportunity for women to move ahead of the pack. Although women that are NOT business owners are affected more by the lack of movement in the digital marketing space, there are unfortunately women at all levels that are lagging behind. There seems to be a Digital Marketing and Internet usage disconnect about the importance of this technology that is affecting women more than men and this could have devastating consequences to women business owners if not addressed sooner rather than later.
Take a look at the infographic below to see how much women of all educational and economic levels are falling behind in the digital marketing space. On a personal level women may be able to bounce back from this but women business owners may have more of a challenge ahead if they chose to continue to ignore the importance of Digital Marketing to the wellbeing of their organization.
In the past marketing departments, although always crucial, were sometimes not considered a huge part of organizations. This was of course before the Internet era, which created a huge shift in marketing, social media has further changed how we all consume media and this has changed how companies marketing their services. All of these things combined have drastically changed the world, as we know it and these changes must be reflected in organization. Change or die!
At one time there was a variety of traditional means in which companies used to expose their brand to the masses. Although these channels are still in place they have gone through drastic changes. Marketing channels that were at one time the main focus of a marketing campaign is now just a part of the bigger marketing focus. I’m not saying that traditional marketing is dead so please save the ranting comments. I’m saying that times have changed and like anything, marketing has evolved.
Marketing basics remain a huge part of what marketing has evolved into but the trend toward what works now is very different than what worked for the pre-Internet/Digital Marketing era. We are living in a much quicker digital driven society, we want to access information immediately by way of our mobile device and ipads, so traditional print media has to bring in a digital element of it is to become relevant. A prime example of the change is TIME magazine’s move toward digital media and totally away from print. This is a HUGE indicator of where we are going and we should ALL be paying attention.
At one time it was enough to exclusively utilize pamphlets, flyers, brochures or print media ads. However, times have changed, we are literally in a new world. If people are tapping into digital and you are ONLY going with print media and ads, you are losing opportunities to market your brand. Trust me when I tell you, your competitors are working to get the jump on you if you are still stuck on “old school” exclusively. Where does this leave your campaign marketing? Are you reaching the audience that you need to reach in order to remain relevant and competitive? Most importantly are you giving your business the opportunity to grow, expand and reach new clients?
It is not important that you start to implement digital marketing strategies into your business it is imperative to your business. It is no longer optional, utilize the strategies that your customers are involved with or close up shop. That’s real talk people.
There are some old school folks that view marketing as a waste of time but to those, think about YOUR job if nothing else. YOU can work for the best organization in the world that has the BEST services to offer its customers but if no one knows about it, the company is irrelevant and you may very well be looking for a job in the not so distant future. Minimizing any aspect of a business is just NOT an optional in this era of organizational transition to a more digital workplace. REAL TALK!
Although we have a long way to go with trying to catch up with how quickly marketing is transitioning, it is exciting to see so many organizations that are implementing strategies to integrate newer strategies into their digital marketing mix. Although there are still companies that are behind the eight ball in implementing change there are many that are 100% on their game. These organizations are implementing the latest and best strategies to remain ahead of their competition. Take a look at a few of those strategies below:
- GO Local: The digital marketing space is HUGE, and it is easy for a company to get lost in the mix. One of the best ways to stand out is to heavily focus on local marketing. This has been made easier with the integration of local with Google+ local pages. Geo-location channels such as Foursquare are also a great way to promote local exposure.
- Visual Content Marketing: We are very familiar with image driven marketing if we have ever used Fickr. Now, there are so many other channels that are really taking image driven marketing to another level. Pinterest was the first to give us a taste of where visual content is heading and now Instagram is making waves in this area as well. Both of these platforms allow companies to use customer’s love for visual media as a way to market organizational capabilities and services. Integration of these platforms is an absolute must for any marketing department.
- Direct Response Marketing: This is marketing designed to prompt an immediate measurable response. With the emergence of social driven digital marketing in the past few years it has moved us away from measurable forms of marketing. Direct Response Marketing allows us to utilize digital marketing strategies yet create an avenue in which to immediately measure the response. This form of marketing can utilize traditional media with coupon codes, QR codes and other channels as a call to action to create an immediate measurable response from the target audience.
In this quick moving digital marketing era it is imperative that we stay ahead of our competition so it is very important that we recognized the latest trends and apply those trends to our organizations if they fit into our organization model.
I admit it! I am a bit of a Social Media Guru basher, only because the self proclaimed gurus place themselves in a position to be ridiculed by giving themselves a silly little title like Guru. As if the title Marketer, consultant or similar title is just NOT good enough. The title Social Media Guru minimizes the importance of the Digital Marketers role in this new digital driven world. Social Media Gurus…Silly Rabbits.
The title of guru not only, will not improve your credibility but it also will not give you the skills needed to succeed in this increasingly digital driven world if you are in fact one of those gurus that have not stepped their game up beyond just playing on Facebook. I’ve said before, 2013 will make or break the people in the digital marketing space and expose those that are just playing from those that are really on their game. There are increasing numbers of organizations that are looking to take their marketing strategy to the next level. These organizations are looking for people that are ON their game not those that are playing games, social media guru games.
One of the biggest things that 2012 displayed was that more skills were needed in this space beyond just playing on Facebook. The Digital Marketing space is maturing and with its maturity so is the growing expectations of more, from companies that are looking for skill sets beyond just social media. Companies need cutting edge strategies created by cutting edge marketers that are on their game because now is the time for some companies to utilize these newer marketing strategies to pull ahead of their competition. So for businesses, it’s All About The Benjamin’s and NOT about the gurus.
Additionally, as organizations realize the importance of adding digital marketing to their strategy, some are realizing the need to have more control over the content that is being released to represent their brands. This is starting a trend of organizations hiring internal digital marketing staff to handle their marketing strategies as opposed to outsourcing. Stuff just got real!
So, when companies select to hire staff to work onsite it creates a more opportunities ( and more competition) for the Digital Marketers that are on their game. In an increasingly competitive space that is separating Digital Marketer from Social Media Guru, it’s time to be on your game. That is if you’d like to out-compete the social media gurus of the world. One of the things that i’ve noticed that separates the legitimate Digital Marketers and the Gurus are the impressive digital footprint of the digital marketer, and lack there of for the guru. THIS will be the game changer in this industry in 2013.
A marketers digital footprint or online presences will be what allows them to stand head and shoulders above their guru counter parts, when competing within the digital marketing space. It is NOT an option it is a requirement if you want to excel as a Digital Marketer, it really is your resume because it displays to the world YOUR presence. If a person does NOT have a noticable if not exceptional digital footprint wouldn’t that be an indication of the effectiveness or lack there of, in regard to their digital marketing strategy? If I were in search of a Digital Marketer to create a campaign strategy for my organization, the first thing I would do is to check out their digital footprint by Googling them. It they have an impressive presence on Google this would be an indication that they could theoretically create an effective presence on Google for my organization. If they didn’t, um well I’d think, YUP Guru and keep it moving.
I’m not saying that there’s no hope for our friendly neighborhood social media guru, I’m just saying that NOW is the time for the gurus to step their game up. Get your skills in order, learn some new things, learn a bit of web design, maybe even graphic design and more to compliment what you know. Step your game up! We are at an amazing time in history, a time of change from traditional to digital and its a great time to be in this industry.
So, if you are pursuing a career as a digital marketer or if you want to move your game beyond the social media guru status the thing that you should do AFTER you step your skill level up is the following:
- Work on creating a brand for yourself, because after all you are marketing YOU. If you want to be taken serious as a digital marketer make sure your brand is tight! Be consistent with the look of all of your online presences and websites.
- Creation of a great Social Media Strategy to market YOURSELF. When marketing oneself you MUST think of yourself as the BRAND, you really want to step beyond your competition and surpass them. So creation of a successful social media strategy for yourself is ESSENTIAL. If your social media strategy is weak that’s what will be displayed for all to see. Be the Digital Marketer that YOU would want to hire.
- Not all Social Media Channels are right for your brand so take a look at the channels that are out there and utilize those that best fits your needs.
- Create a blog if you don’t have one because a blog is a GREAT way to get the word out about what you have to offer and to display that you are on your game.
- If you have a blog, focus on creating great content. Go for creating a content rich presence for yourself, after all you are branding YOU. Content is King does apply and probably always will so you should always think about providing great content.
- Great content by way of original material, curation and content sharing are terrific ways to provide great content.
- Build followers! If you have great content people will follow you. It is just that simple, there is no magic bullet. If you provide content that can be of use to people that follow you in the very busy world, people will depend on you to provide informational that is beneficial to their lives. Again, they will follow you.
We are at such a pivotal period in the growth of online technologies now and it we are in a time when companies and organization recognize how essential an online presence is and the importance of having digital marketers as a part of their marketing team. It is time for the Digital Marketers to stand above the rest and that starts with having an impressive digital footprint because YOUR Digital Footprint IS YOUR Resume in the Digital Marketing space.
- Social Media Gurus -vs- Digital Marketers: Gurus Your Days Are Numbered!
- There Are 181,000 Social Media ‘Gurus,’ ‘Ninjas,’ ‘Masters,’ and ‘Mavens’ on Twitter | DigitalNext: A Blog on Emerging Media and Technology – Advertising Age
- Five Social Media Trends for 2013
- 13 Things Digital Marketers Should Master In #2013