Digital Marketing Demystified

It was once stated, “There’s a statistical theory that if you gave a million monkeys typewriters and set them to work, they’d eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare.” Thanks to the Internet, we now know this isn’t true. We also know, however, that the majority of the 3.1 billion Internet users are also consumers. Many are your current customers, while many more fit the profile of your ideal customer. Our challenge as marketers is to let them know you exist, the need your product or service satisfies, and the benefit of being a customer. Sounds easy, right? Without a basic understanding of this amazing communication channel, it would be nearly impossible to develop an effective digital marketing strategy.

 

The digital landscape

Navigating the marketing labyrinth of the Internet is not for the faint-hearted. Of the 3.1 billion Internet users worldwide, an estimated 279 million are in the United States. At the moment this article was penned, there were 140,669, 383 registered domains. The average users spends 66 personal hours per month on an Internet-connected device. The average user spends 7-10 hours per month on Facebook. This does not include the time spent on a computer at the office. There are an estimated 210 billion email messages finding their way to inboxes each and every day. Just over 80% of these messages are identified as SPAM. Using statistics from 2014, and considering the increase in smartphone and tablet sales, it is likely that 60% of online sales for Mother’s Day 2015 will be on a mobile device.

All digital marketers should be thinking about a “mobile first” strategy. Everything from the corporate website to email communications need to be composed with mobile devices in mind. Just over 87% of American adults use the Internet, 64% have a smartphone and 42% have a tablet. Let’s look a little deeper at the user community. Over 97% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 use the Internet. Around 74% of online adults use social networking sites. According to a recent report from The PEW Research Center (www.pewinternet.org), 70% of the Facebook users engage with the site daily—and 45% several times per day. Here’s a breakdown by site and percentage of users: Facebook – 58%, LinkedIn – 23%, Pinterest – 22%, Instagram – 21% and Twitter – 19%.

 

Enough already with the numbers!

Given the abacus-fueled results above, it is accurate to say… it would be far more likely for your target audience to visit your website than drive by your billboard, see your television advertisement or hear your radio spot. While mass-media continues to dominate all other communication channels for “brand building,” it relies on timing. The consumer needs to be tuned-in (and paying attention) at the exact moment the mass-media advertisement airs. Digital marketing has several advantages. Unlike other communication channels—especially mass-media—digital marketing can include messaging relevant to the consumer. Each and every consumer. Usage and tracking technologies can be leveraged to control the frequency of a particular message. One major concern among email marketers is “list fatigue.” The same is true for advertising on social media sites. There is a tipping point at which an advertisement becomes annoying.

Every marketing initiative starts with a communication objective. From there, the creative and message strategies must communicate key benefits while maintaining the brand’s personality. The communication—such as email, banner ad, social media post or text message—must explain the value proposition, and include a clear call-to-action. An email message, for example, should contain an objective statement, a support statement, and a tone or brand character statement. A well-planned digital marketing strategy often includes several communications—or touch points—working together to incubate interest and trigger a response. Unlike other communication channels, digital marketing is interactive. Consumers can respond immediately, or share with a friend or colleague. The Internet user community is growing at a mind-boggling pace. Every company should include the digital communication channels as part of their overall marketing strategy. There is no faster way to go from conversation to conversion!

 

Why Variable-Data Printing is a “Must-Have” Technology

 

We are very honored to have been featured as a guest blogger on the Printing Industries of America’s blog this week. For more information on variable-data printing and why it is a must-have technology for printers, check out our article here: http://blog.printing.org/blog/11890

 Let us know what you think by tweeting @DMEdelivers #DMEtips

Until next week, happy marketing!

4 Tips for Implementing Web to Print Software

Web to Print solutions are becoming a hot button topic across industries as a way to efficiently communicate printed materials to customers as well as internal employees. Usually taking shape in a eCommerce type storefront with a variety of products, these items mostly contain the ability to add variable data fields for complex or simplistic personalization.

Continue reading “4 Tips for Implementing Web to Print Software”

The Number One Tip for Every Direct Marketing Professional (not what you’d expect!)

Drumroll please.

 

My number one marketing tip…make sure you have the right tools in place! Modern day marketers are expected to be responsible for a wide range of strategies and tactics, and the only way to make sure you are being efficient and effective is to know what tools are out there to help with each area. This list is by no means meant to be inclusive, but it should give you an idea of just how many resources (both paid and free) are available out there.

 

1. General SEO

(Raven Tools, Moz Suite, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs)

 

2. Technical SEO

(Screaming Frog, Xenu, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster, Schema Creator)

 

3. CRO

(Clicktale, Visual Website Optimizer, Inspectlet, CrazyEgg, Unbounce, UsabilityHub)

 

4. Social

(Buffer, Sprout Social, Hootsuite)

 

5. Keyword Tools

(Wordstream, Ubersuggest, Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Wordtracker)

 

6. Email

(Streamsend, Mailchimp, ExactTarget, Constant Contact, Sendgrid)

 

7. Customer Feedback

(Survey Monkey, Qualaroo, SurveyGizmo, Google Forms)

 

8. Automation

(Marketo, Hubspot, Net-Results, Pardot, Silverpop, Infusionsoft)

 

9. Mobile

(Localytics, Flurry, Appboy, Appfigures)

 

10. Personalization

(Monetate, Demandbase)

 

11. Data & Analytics

(Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Geckoboard)

 

12. PPC Advertising

(Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads)

 

13. Retargeting

(Adroll, Retargeter, Perfect Audience)

 

14. Content Marketing

(MyBlogGuest, StumbleUpon Paid, Contently, Scribe, Feedly)

 

15. CRM

(SugarCRM, Salesforce, Sage CRM)

 

16. PR

(Buzzstream, Vocus, HARO, PRNewswire)

 

17. Organization

(Trello, Google Drive, Dropbox, Basecamp, AtTask)

 

18. Customer Support

(Uservoice, Freshdesk, Zendesk, Happyfox)

 

19. Competitive Research

(Compete, SEMrush, SpyFu, iSpionage, Mixrank, TrackMaven)

 

20. Local SEO

(Bright Local, GetListed, Yext, Whitespark)

 

21. Chrome Extensions

(Scraper for Chrome, Moz Bar, Link Clump, Awesome Screenshot, Similar Sites)

 

22. Brand and Social Monitoring

(Google Alerts, Topsy, Social Mention, Mention)

 

23. Miscellaneous

(SenderScore, Wayback Machine, Prezi, Uberflip, Copyscape, IFTTT, Boomerang)

 

24. Bonus Tip – To get insight into some of the tools other companies are using, you can use BuiltWith. This will identify (most) of the technologies your competitors, favorite websites, and Fortune 500 companies are using.

 

25. Bonus Tip 2 – Many of the paid services mentioned in the blog post will offer a free trial – some even without a credit card. Make sure to take advantage of these trial opportunities!

 

Knowing the tools, what role each plays, which are in your budget, as well as which one(s) are right for your business can take a lot of time. It’s something that we definitely recommend every marketer take the time to research – it makes a world of difference!

 

So you have any favorite tools you don’t see on this list? Share in the comments below.

As always…happy marketing!

5 “Simple” Features Every Web to Print Solution Needs

These are some of the qualities and features you should be focused on when trying to choose between the various web to print solutions on the market. Powerful, scalable and easy to use web to print solutions can help your organization grow and succeed in todays market.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know web to print is one of the biggest buzzwords in direct marketing. But what actually constitutes a web to print platform? Is it simply an ecommerce storefront that allows users to customize and order personalized printed materials over the internet? Or should it be something more?

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