The piece of the pie awarded to digital marketing has become increasingly more substantial as of late. As we embark on a new year, we must determine which areas to apply resources in order to shape the year’s digital strategy.
Chances are, planning for the 2011 marketing calendar has long been underway, but the first few weeks of a new year always bring renewed energy, focus and undoubtedly, a multitude of internal meetings. Campaigns can serve a variety of purposes; some are intended to drive sales, others to generate awareness. To build a cohesive digital position for your brand online, each campaign should hit on at least one of the following core principles:
Be accessible. This is a point that will become more and more integral in the coming years. It is also the point with which luxury marketers have the hardest time. Accessibility does not need to mean the cheapening of a high-street label. Rather, it can mean the ultimate in customer service because it provides a level of convenience that makes for a more positive shopping affair. Keep in mind; if a user is purchasing a luxury item on a mobile device, for example, it is because they are choosing to. It is the customer’s choice where, when and how to shop for your brand. It then becomes the brand’s responsibility to be available on a variety of platforms, not only as a way to remain relevant, but to offer a better customer experience.
Resonate more strongly with the potential following/customer by knowing who your target audience is and where they spend time online. Take advantage of popular blogs and platforms. Truly participate in social media outlets by actually sparking conversations. Engagement starts with the brand; determine how to actively collaborate with fans, followers, and loyalists instead of just giving them a branded arena to communicate with each other.
Drive traffic by incorporating the capability for users to share your brand on multiple levels. This shouldn’t only be a universal share function on the upper right corner of a website, but something that lets people distribute the specific things they like, including products, editorial, videos, etc. across channels.
Generate “buzz” by reaching new audiences and being an arbiter of interesting content. The more intriguing the subject matter, the more likely it will be both memorable and circulated. For example, remember the “Elf Yourself” campaign, the one where your face was placed on a dancing elf and you could send it to your friends? This was a wildly popular initiative by OfficeMax, but what most people fail to know is that the company put out twenty different holiday campaigns and this just happened to be the one that stuck. The potential to be viral is not a mathematical formula. For luxury brands where mass distribution is not necessarily a goal, having truly interesting content is what provides an added value and will help ensure that it is dispersed amongst your target audience.
Increase revenue by ensuring ecommerce functionality is properly in place to serve your brand. If customer service is an area that’s lacking, this should be the first place improvements are made. After all, extremely good and bad customer service encounters are commonly the topic of online conversations. Also, streamline the brand experience with the opportunity to purchase. Shopping should travel with the product and overall brand story. Ecommerce no longer needs to be a separate initiative, but rather fully integrated into all digital brand extensions.
Above all, every piece of communication, digital or otherwise, should embody the core of the brand identity.
We look forward to the innovations and successes to come in 2011!
Photo Credits: Charlie Schuck