This article was previously published on LinkedIn
As the world moves increasingly toward digital strategies for almost every aspect of individual and corporate life, it is important to recognize that we can’t simply “digitize” existing processes or assets, and expect the results to be better. The digital marketing world is fundamentally different in three important ways:
- You are never done. When marketers create a digital program, there is no “end date.” When an app is released, it is not complete. When a website is launched, it’s not finished. In the “old” days, a marketer would create a brochure, and the project would be complete when the brochure arrived from the printers. But today, when we implement a digital marketing campaign, it is no longer “discrete” (i.e. has a start date and an end date) but rather, it is a continuous process that requires updating, enhancements, and long-term sustenance. This is an advantage, of course, because digital assets are easier to modify and reuse, so their relevance and applicability have a very long “shelf life”. Don’t ever budget for a “one-and-done” digital marketing program. That’s missing the point entirely, and completely under-leveraging the medium.
- Digital works best as a system, or platform. In the analog world, many individual events, campaigns, deliverables, and assets could easily be developed and deployed independently. In the digital world, users navigate across all channels (from emails to websites, from social media to apps, etc.) so the most effective way to take advantage of digital is to think of the entire digital ecosystem as a platform that should have consistent design elements, user interface tools, navigation, and relevant content connections. Digital platforms allow customers, prospects, employees, and partners to traverse every aspect of the message, solution, and support network in a seamless manner.
- Digital is all about engagement. The most significant benefit of digital solutions is that they facilitate an interactive user experience, which is orders of magnitude better than simply a vehicle to deliver content. By enabling a rich level of user involvement, the digital solution builds an entirely different (and better) relationship with the audience, because they are actively participating in the process – and it is well established that active participation yields better comprehension, knowledge retention, and positive emotional response.
The most successful digital solutions are transformational because they deliver continuous engagement platforms for people that matter, at every stage of their relationship with your company.
By Gavin Finn, President & CEO.
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