Why you need to get more creative with your digital marketing

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21st December 2016

Marketing in today’s fast-moving, interconnected world is marketing at speed. It requires a proactive and opportunity-driven attitude. However, that doesn’t mean you can, and should, jump on every marketing-bandwagon that rushes by.

Your brand’s purpose should serve as guide rails for the actions you take. It’s the glue that holds flexible content together.

Where you do something is just as important as what you do. Today, digital and offline and communication and experience are one. Your brand needs to be seamless across media, yet adapt to the role of each channel to be meaningful.

Communication has long ceased to be a one way street. Make your customers part of the brand and how it develops. It can also pay off to be on the lookout for new stuff.

Experiment with new possibilities and surprise customers with clever ideas before they become commodity.

Lockheed Martin for instance built a school bus, which creates a virtual ride across the surface of Mars for the kids on the inside (and bagged a stunning 19 Lions at Cannes 2016 in the process).

In our highly complex digital world plastered with content, people must sort through more information than ever before. So even if the overall communication approach is complex, strive for simplicity at each touch point.

Concentrate on the essence and focus on key messages. Last but not least, make sure to balance both long-term brand targets as well as short-term sales targets.

To give you a head start for marketing successfully in the digital world, we have distilled six key learnings you can adapt on the spot:

1. Rethink your communications set-up

The communications set-up that worked ten years ago may not be adequate for today’s digital challenges. Allow time and resources to experiment with new technology trends and develop potential usage ideas and concepts.

Specific communications projects and tasks can provide an opportunity to experiment and give the freedom and backing to think out of the box to the team.

2. Define disruptor and scout roles

Identify people (internally or externally) who take the role of a disruptor, tasked with keeping up a momentum of agility in the daily business. Designated scouts can monitor the market and digital landscape for trends and developments that are worth acting upon.

3. Build long-term brand equity

Building long-term equity is not a nice to have but crucial to business success. Building up a brand affinity depot over time reduces your sales efforts and will make them much more efficient.

4. Execute a fundamental shift in planning

Rather than using a linear communication funnel, develop a holistic campaign platform and architecture. Define the campaign architecture that is most suited to transport the story across various channels along the customer journey.

5. Focus on coherence, not consistency

Focus more on making content ideas relevant – as opposed to just making them consistent from a brand perspective. Find the most suitable execution at each touch point and channel to keep up excitement and discovery.

6. Develop a tool to keep track of comms development

Checklists and decision trees can be useful tools to ensure the success of the complex communications ecosystem.

Reshaping your marketing organisation won’t happen overnight. Start with initiatives you deem suitable for your brand and take the next steps from there.

To achieve lasting impact however, aim to implement as many of the actions outlined above as possible. It’s the interplay and combination of these that makes marketing in a digital world truly successful.