Our Thinking

Two Challenges Marketers Face

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Today, digital has eclipsed the traditional marketing channels. Traditional marketing practices still take place, however, the growth of technology (the internet, websites and social networks) has greatly altered the marketing landscape. These new digital channels are affective largely due to their social nature. In addition to the engagement that digital channels provide, there is one more difference between digital and traditional marketing channels: on digital channels, target audiences are influenced by third-party blogs, likes, shares, and comments. Due to such influence, organizations must strategically plan their social media posts to ensure that they are on brand, and that they are suited for the purpose and audience of each channel.

Today, marketers are facing two distinct challenges:

1) The importance of coordinating the brand voice amongst each of these channels.  A resource-strapped marketer has the unenviable choice of ham-handedly spamming the same message to every channel, paying no regard to the nuances of the channel.  Or they can customize the interaction for each channel, but only for a few.  This is a choice of mile wide but an inch deep, or mile deep but an inch wide.

One solution to this problem – a lazy one – is to throw more resources at the problem.   A better solution is to recognize that the response from each of these channels can be measured. Which ones generate more traffic, leads, and sales?  And which ones suffer from indifference?  With each announcement, initiative, or campaign, it is possible to finesse the more effective channels from the ineffective ones, and then allocate more (or less) resources appropriately.

2) The importance of consistency of brand voice amongst (and within) each of these channels.  A strong brand requires a congruent message, yet it is surprisingly easy to forget this, particularly with social media.  Look at your profiles, and ask the following questions:

  • If people just looked at your posts, what would they say your brand represents?  (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people just looked at the pictures and video’s you posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people just read the comments that others posted on your page, what would they say your brand represents? (Is this what you were intending?)
  • If people compared your brand’s voice on different social media channels, is the personality the same?
  • Or, on the personal side:  if people read your LinkedIn profile summary, then looked at your endorsements, do they say the same thing about your capabilities?

This week, focus on your website: is there a deep level of internal harmony on the site?  Look for any outliers in graphic design, branding, content, and editorial voice: what can moved and be more aligned?  Once you’ve updated the website, use it as a model for a coordinated brand voice on every other channel, both online and off.

Insight: Though digital and its profusion of channels has created many challenges – it has also created just as many opportunities. What opportunities are available to you? How can your brand be more consistent?