Against a backdrop of rapidly evolving social media, and shifting advertising spends to the internet, digital marketing presents a unique set of challenges, according to Anthony Quigley (@anthonyquigley).
“It’s all moving so fast, so phenomenally fast,” he said. Yet, it is still Marketing. “It changes everything and it changes nothing.”
Meanwhile, undergrad marketing courses are still stuck in the past. Just one Marketing degree course in Ireland includes a digital component, Quigley said.
CEO of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI @dmigroup), Quigley was speaking at a lunchtime lecture at the Irish Computer Society (@IrishCompSoc). Despite the challenges, digital media has tremendous potential and he offered some tips for those working in the digital arena.
Strategic Direction is needed, Quigley said. Until recently, looking after social media was something the summer intern did. “If you’re going to do this, you’ve got to get commitment from the top,” he said. This is changing, he noticed, because the DMI’s courses are now routinely attended by marketing directors and other senior management.
Find Your Customers: Quigley said 88 percent of the DMI’s customers come via Google or referrals. But finding that information takes a lot of work, he said. “We analyze everything down to the nth degree,” he said.
However, other platforms such as Facebook may work for different companies, especially Business-to-Consumer (B2C) ones. But companies working all social media angles could be wasting time, Quigley said. Measuring the source of your customers will allow you to concentrate on what works.
Noting most social media tools are free, Quigley noted the real challenge facing marketers is time and how they should use it to maximum effect while performing their other tasks.
Know Your Keywords: Be aware of how people search for your business on the internet. Put in some keywords and see if your company is among the top results, Quigley advised. He said he is constantly surprised at how many still do not do that. Then optimize your site and content for the phrases people would use to find your type of business.
Don’t Have a Split Personality: Companies will set up websites requiring registration or some other impediment to finding information. Yet when those same people go home to use the internet, they ruthlessly dismiss sites that impose those kinds of inconveniences on them. “Why do we go home at night and view the web from a different angle?” Quigley said.
Keep IT Away! Saying it could be a controversial comment to make at the ICS, Quigley said of websites, “Take it away from anybody in IT or who has IT in their name or who ever did an IT course,” he said.
However, one audience member disagreed somewhat by saying tech types can help by flagging up new developments and cutting through the BS.
Quigley agreed and said that although IT and others in Sales and Finance may have roles, websites and digital media belongs to Marketing. “It shouldn’t be owned by IT because it will look like an IT website.”
No One-Man Bands: Websites require technical, design and marketing expertise, Quigley said. Very few people have all three. He said the build should be just around 10 percent of the budget. If someone came to him planning to use all of their budget building a website without designing or marketing it, Quigley said he would turn the job down.
Service: Don’t forget the basics. One professional, who was getting bad reviews on a rating website, called DMI to get himself pushed up the rankings. Quigley told him there was nothing he could do, and asked the group, “How do you say to him, ‘just give better service?'”
He also told of how he and a friend went in to a beautifully stocked shop that had probably also spent thousands on a website to look for a product. But their experience was ruined once they ran in to the sales staff. “I’m not going back because they delivered a poor service. The internet isn’t going to change that.”
Social media iceberg courtesy of birgerking on Flickr.