With technology developing and changing the ways in which we can do things on a day to day basis, marketing often needs to be brought back to fundamentals that have worked for a long time. Some people are further behind than others when it comes to implementing digital strategies, but in many cases the larger companies often focus on the technology rather than the message and channel. You have many companies with large budgets implementing the ‘new cool thing’ (e.g. AI Chat Bots) but are still implementing poor basics when it comes to brand and marketing in digital channels.
On the other hand, you have companies who are smaller with the ability to be more agile in a position where they still haven’t implemented digital marketing into their strategy and therefore are in a great position to start. If you’re either of those two types or somewhere in between, here are a few fundamentals which should be stuck to, now and (I would think) long into the future.
1) Don’t underestimate the importance of copy
We live in a world where writing copy and content is being automated by AI. However, we are not at a stage where AI is doing it accurately enough for you to trust it with all of your ad copy. AI copy is based on generic rules and algorithms and therefore if your brand has a certain tonality to it, then I doubt you would want all of your advertising budget to go towards this. For example, see Burger King’s strange ad below.
2) Don’t take action for the sake of action
A common mistake in digital marketing is taking action for the sake of taking action. “We should be on Facebook and get loads of likes” would be a common example of a misguided action in digital marketing. Understand the goals you are setting and take actions that are needed to achieve those goals. If you are B2B building services equipment supplier, should you be taking action on Instagram Stories? Or should you really be focusing your efforts somewhere else?
3) Don’t let creativity go unstructured
Often creativity is not associated with structure and process. However, structure and process allow you to focus on being creative and takes the effort out of administration and tasks. Ask yourself how you can structure the day to day tasks of digital marketing to make strategy and implementation the most time-consuming aspect. This can come in the format of technology platforms, documentation templates and ‘If this, then that’ type guides to getting through tasks. This will free you up to focus on the more important things.
4) Don’t report on irrelevant data
Data is a good thing. Too much data can be a bad thing. As mentioned above, understand what you are trying to achieve with each action and report on the results that illustrate this best. Knowing how many likes you got on Twitter is a metric that can be relevant. However, ask yourself why it is relevant? What does this mean for brand exposure? How many clicks did that potentially encourage to your website? Therefore what was our conversion rate for purchases with the increase in likes. Vanity metrics will mask issues you may be having!
5) Don’t forget about Design
We may be looking at screens more but it has always been the case that ads or messages that are read are often the ones that were/are eye-catching. We scroll through our phones at a very fast pace today. So if you have spent time developing a campaign or writing a great article, make sure the creative is going to get it noticed and you have given the right amount of time to the design process to ensure it helps with your goal.
“Design is the most underrated thing in the world. Good design only costs time and changes everything.” Tom Goodwin (Head of Innovation for Zenith Media).