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Where to Invest Your Digital Marketing Dollars

Whether you own a bricks and mortar or eCommerce business, a major brand or large corporation, businesses of all sizes can benefit from digital marketing.
We take a closer look at some of the digital marketing options to consider for your business and brand.
Email Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most successful digital marketing platforms for converting leads to sales. Recent figures show for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.
Successful email marketers personalise emails to their consumers, offering real value and content of interest to engage the reader and increase that all important click-through-rate. Targeting niche consumer groups by grouping mailing list recipients into certain demographics such as age, gender, and purchase or browsing history, your company can more accurately deliver the content your customers really want, rather than sending generic mass emails to an entire subscriber list. One recent study found 81% of online consumers are likely to make a purchase after receiving a personalised email.
Websites and Landing Pages
Regardless of your industry, your digital marketing strategy should include a website, and incorporate designated landing pages to promote key offerings. In today’s digital age, your website is often the customer’s first impression of your business. So it not only needs to look great, but your website should also offer an optimised user experience (UX) and feature a call to action (CTA). Integrating easy to use CTA buttons such as ‘learn more’, ‘book now’ or ‘join my mailing list’ encourages time-poor customers to act quickly and engage with your brand.
Landing pages and CTA’s do involve an element of trial and error, as results can vary among different industries, companies and customers. Don’t let this put you off though. Capturing web traffic data from your own website through measures like Google Analytics will provide valuable information about the visitors to your site, and their online behaviour. This allows you to further develop and customise your website to accommodate your customers’ needs and organically grow your ROI.
Content Marketing and Blogs
All too often we see businesses neglect blogs or content marketing, because they can’t see the connection between words and dollars.
Content marketing is an extremely powerful, and underestimated sales tool, capable of engaging, informing and entertaining readers while influencing their purchase decisions.
Surveys have found content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional outbound marketing, and costs 62% less. While digital marketers who prioritise blogging are 13 times more likely to realise a positive ROI.
Blogs and articles have the unique ability to market to a consumer, without making the reader feel like they’re being sold to. Content marketing allows businesses to position themselves as industry leaders, demonstrating their knowledge and skill in a practical manner instead of merely advertising products and services through a display ad.
Social Media
Social media can be used in a variety of ways to market your business, from simply increasing brand awareness and consumer engagement, to being the core driver of sales.
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the milestone of two billion users on Facebook, making it by far the largest social media network in the world. And that trend is reflected closer to home too, with the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report revealing almost eight in 10 Australians now use social media, along with 47 per cent of small businesses, 49 per cent of medium sized businesses and 60 per cent of large businesses.
The report also revealed 64 per cent of Australians are more likely to trust brands that interact positively with customers on social media.
Although setting up a social media account is free, there are costs involved to maximise your page’s content, reach and engagement. You’ll need to consider how much you’d like to invest in a monthly advertising budget, and think about the time and costs involved in managing and monitoring the page, and planning and creating the content – which might include professional videos, photographs and copywriting.
You can measure the ROI by making use of built-in analytical capabilities that can provide valuable data on how people engage with your social media posts, including click through and conversion rates to your website and sales pages. Most businesses however are happy to measure their success by the growth of their followers and likes, as evidenced in the Sensis report.
When Twitter first emerged, it was famous for being the platform with the 140-character message limit. Since embracing more visual and video content, Twitter has relaxed the word count, but it’s still entirely appropriate for users on Twitter to share a brief text-only message – which isn’t suitable on any other social media platform. Twitter claims 85% of its users believe Promoted Accounts help them discover new businesses on Twitter, which is a promising statistic for businesses looking for consumers in the social media space.
Instagram is a predominantly visual medium, allowing businesses to showcase their products and personality on a digital global stage. More than 80% of Instagram users follow a business, and promoted products have the highest engagement rates of all content types.
With more than 467 million users, Linkedin is the biggest social referrer to corporate websites. The platform provides a targeted approach to digital marketing and professional networking, particularly for engaging the interest of potential investors and corporate employees. 
Podcasting
Podcasts are an innovative and influential marketing tool being increasingly used by a growing number of businesses globally. A study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Edison Research showed that 65% of listeners are likely to purchase a product after hearing about it on a podcast, suggesting consumers are receptive to advertisements delivered in the right context or environment. While podcasting has been around for more than 10 years, the number of podcast listeners is increasing. Listeners tuning into podcasts come from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and interests. Recent surveys have found at least 22% of younger podcast audiences tend to listen to more than 10 hours a week, whilst older audiences aged 55 and above tend to listen to around an hour or so in the same time frame. With this in mind, companies have the opportunity to develop podcasts that target and grow their niche audiences, in order to deliver a desirable ROI. And you don’t have to create your own podcast. Brands can enjoy the same benefits from exposure in collaboration with other podcasters.
Google Advertising
Advertising through Google’s image ads allows businesses to reach all new heights of consumer targeting and engagement. Google’s highly detailed analytical features allow brands to target specific customers based on their online habits, web browser history and search information.
So if, for example you sell jewellery, fashion or car accessories in an online store, and you advertise using Google’s image ads, you can entice leads to become return customers by having your product galleries display on their web browsers, embedded as a display ad on other websites. Perhaps they visited your online store and popped a few items in the cart but didn’t check out? You can give them a gentle reminder by displaying those same items in front of them while they’re reading the daily news.
While a cost per click (CPC) element applies to this form of marketing, using Google image ads returns a 31 per cent click through rate, higher than Google’s text based ads of 23 per cent. These types of ads are displayed across sites that consumers commonly use including Facebook and other websites on Google’s advertising network AdSense, allowing you to market your business on multiple platforms with a single digital campaign.
Ultimately, all of these digital marketing measures work to drive traffic to your website, and can be used alone or in unison to build a synchronised and multifaceted marketing strategy. Web analytics allow you to track results like web traffic and sales conversions, illustrating the link between your marketing platforms like social media or blogs, and making sales. And while there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to digital marketing, you can certainly consider these options as some of the most popular and successful platforms for marketing in 2017.

The latest ways you can leverage digital marketing

It wasn’t so long ago that marketing for most Australian businesses meant securing a spot in the phone book and a fraction of a column in the local newspaper.
Those with a healthy budget might have had a radio commercial and for the lucky few doing really well, even an ad on TV.
Today, successful marketing isn’t driven so much by the advertising dollar as it is by audience appeal, the right timing, solid strategy and sometimes, just a bit of good old fashioned luck.
Long gone are the days of weighing up the ROI of a ? vs ¼ page printed newspaper ad. When it comes to digital marketing, there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution.
It’s an all-encompassing blanket term for the new era of marketing, extending beyond merely advertising products and services, to focus on connecting and engaging with potential customers.
What that involves, and how to get it right, is unique to each and every industry. And the perfect mix differs for every company too.
Digital Marketing in Media
In fact, it’s the newspapers and media outlets we once relied so heavily upon for advertising, that have had one of the most radical and successful takeups of digital marketing we have seen in Australia to date.
Only it wasn’t so much a tactical decision as it was a necessary response to changing consumer trends.
Print newspaper circulation has been in decline across Australia for the past 10 years as more readers choose to go online for their news fix. The 2018 Reuters Institute Digital News Report reveals the number of Australians reading print newspapers each week has fallen 10% in the 12 months to November 2017, with 82% of Australians now using online news sources and 52% relying purely on social media to read the headlines.
It is here we have seen major growth in the media’s digital presence, with both national and local newspapers, magazines, radio and television news programs all using social media to publish, and now even live stream the news as it happens. This shift has not only changed the way the news is reported and received, inviting feedback and commentary from readers and viewers like never before, but has also paved the way for a new generation of exclusively digital news platforms such as the highly successful BuzzFeed and Pedestrian.TV.
Not surprisingly, advertising revenue from traditional media is in rapid decline, with newspapers dropping from 27% to just 14% of total ad spend since 2009. Meanwhile internet advertising has risen from 17% to 35% in the same period and is expected to account for at least 50% of total ad spend by 2019.
Despite the uptake of digital news, customers simply aren’t paying to get the news anymore. Most Australian newspaper websites feature a paywall and offer exclusive member-only content, but the Digital News Report shows only 10% of Australians are paying for online news content and most of those who haven’t paid for it, said it was ‘very unlikely’ they ever would.
This continues to be an ongoing battle for the media industry as it writes its new digital chapter.
Fashion, Food and Facebook
Small businesses were among the last to embrace the online marketplace. The potential for a customer base outside their immediate postcode was inconceivable, even laughable, for many.
But that soon changed.
Facebook in particular made an online presence affordable and feasible for businesses that had never even considered ‘going online’.
Now it’s the norm for your local corner store to be on Facebook, have a mailing list and even an online shop. Embracing these digital marketing platforms is what has transformed some small businesses into very big success stories, particularly those in the fields of fashion and food.
Women’s fashion store St Frock is just one stunning example, born from humble beginnings in 2005 as a weekend stall at the Bondi Beach Markets.
For four years, it was simply a relaxing escape from a high pressure job in PR and marketing for founder and fashion enthusiast Sandradee Makejev.
But in October 2009, Sydney was hit by a dust storm. That and predictions of increased rain had Sandradee thinking of other more weather-proof ways to sell her garments. Tired and weary from a hellish day at the markets, Sandradee set up a Facebook page, uploaded a few fuzzy photos, invited some close friends to check it out, and went to bed.
She woke to find she’d made $350 while she was sleeping. Within three months Sandradee had 1600 followers and enough income to quit her job, instead spending her weekdays packing orders on her bedroom floor. Within ten months, she was turning over $480,000 every four weeks.
Today St Frock, the former hobby market stall, is an international online fashion boutique with a bustling team of 35 staff, a 500-square metre warehouse in Ultimo and close to 500,000 followers on Facebook from all over the globe.

Corporates, Commercial & Professional Services
If a market stall can find fame on Facebook, anyone can right? That’s the false impression too many businesses have about digital marketing. It’s not a sure thing, it isn’t easy (well not often anyway) and there are no guarantees.
What works brilliantly for one business, won’t work at all for the next. And knowing which digital marketing platforms to employ, and when, requires careful consideration and skill.
Ultimately it’s about delivering what your audience wants, preferably before they even ask for it. This has seen many corporates, commercial ventures and professional services alike offer practical digital tools like client portals, apps and live chat services, as well as audience capture and engagement methods like blogs and content marketing, EDM and e-newsletters, and audio or video presentations now commonly distributed through social media and live streams.
It is within this sector we tend to see the greatest variations of success using digital marketing. There is a sense that many are still testing the waters with a hit and miss approach to finding what works for them and their target audience. But it’s important to remember every adventure on those ‘waters’ is embarking on unpredictable and unchartered territory.
This promo video of a government agency grad program is a prime example. The so-bad-it’s-good video has been viewed over 200,000 times since capturing the attention of the internet recently, with viewers shocked at how three minutes of corny scripting and forced acting could cost $40,000 to make. But, with the digital world being the unpredictable and ironic beast that it is, the value of the media exposure the clip has received means it has already more than paid for itself.
Image Sources:

Digital News Report 2018
Pixabay
Wikimedia

Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective...

Personalised Content: The Best Way to Engage with Customers

With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories.
Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics.
When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the more personalised your content will be.
Here are some actionable tips on how you can incorporate personalised content into your content marketing strategy:
Quizzes Drive Content
Digital publisher Buzzfeed is famous for creating content based on user feedback. They collect feedback from visitors to their pages via a customised quiz and then release content based on the results. For example, they just released an “Add Yours” quiz calling all readers to add their favourite celebrity cookbook to their survey. Later, they’ll release a round-up of the top answers submitted.
This content is personalised to a group of your audience members, and is effective for two reasons:

It allows you to know that your content is of interest – the rationale being if people complete your survey, they’re interested in the topic
It’s user curated and your audience feels like they are taking part in your content.

Consider doing a survey round-up of a product, hobby or service that your audience might be interested in to drive a bit more engagement with your pages.
Story based on Personal Info
Another way to create personalised content is to sort your content by certain parameters that pertain to your customer. For example, this article from the BBC explains the changes that have happened to the planet during your personal lifetime.
While this type of content is still personal, the reader does all the customisation work as it’s self-selecting. The content is segmented and personalised, but is easy to create because it’s still general when being created.
Consider segmenting the history of your company, campaign preferences based on age, or maybe interests as another angle for your next content release.
Gamified Conversion Funnel
Finally, when it comes to getting your content to convert, the best way you can do so is to gamify the process. When people feel like brands really want to get to know them, they’re more likely to provide them with information about themselves.
For example, the clothing services Bombfell and Trunk Club have long conversion funnels, but they’re getting as much information as they can from their customers so they can better style for them.
Plus, the conversion funnel is fun. Customers get to pick styles, brands and clothing items that they think help define them.
The bottom line: personalised content boosts engagement with your audience, and makes them more mindful when they interact with your brand.
Image Source

Shutterstock
Bombfell

The Latest Social Media Fails

There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings.
Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties.
When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily the end of the world. Having said that, it may be the end of the career line for the people who caused the problem/s in the first place.
In the interest of learning from the mistakes of others, following are some of the worst social media fails of the last 12 months:
Total Beauty: Confusing Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg
Total Beauty made a pretty serious social media faux pas when they confused two hugely popular African American female celebrities; Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.
Both are not people whose bad side you want to be on, and the brand may have done so when they praised Oprah Winfrey for having tattoos while it was in fact Whoopi Goldberg in the picture.
To make matters worse, the tweet was released during the Oscars, meaning that Total Beauty not only received the attention of the fans of both women, but of all the viewers tweeting about the Oscars that night.
To their credit, they reacted quickly, taking down the photo as soon as they could and apologised for the misstep.
 
ALDI: Inciting Negative Responses
ALDI Australia didn’t offend other people, but they did accidentally incite others to upload questionable content on their Twitter page. The popular discount retail outlet wanted to run a campaign that would prompt their customers to post positive memories about shopping at Aldi.
After the ‘Fill in the blank’ tweet went live, Aldi received many distasteful responses, with people filling in the blank with offensive imagery like diarrhoea, poison, and many other less pleasant responses.
Fortunately, Aldi quickly stopped the campaign.
Key learning: consider all possible outcomes – negative and positive – when palnning you next social media campaign. Remember, consumers are not constrained by policy, guidelines and corporate imperatives like you are.
Coca-Cola: Released the Wrong Russian Map
The biggest social media rule is the one that always seems to be broken the most: do your research.
In this case, Coca-Cola incited a #BanCocaCola hashtag after they published an ad with the wrong map of Russia.
When you take a closer look, the map is outdated. It doesn’t include Kaliningrad, which was annexed after World World II. Russian patriots were not happy with the ad, and began posting pictures of themselves pouring Coca-Cola into toilets. Ouch.
Seoul Secret: White Skin Helps You Win
There are times when you just scratch your head and wonder what a brand’s marketing/social media department was thinking. This is one of those times.
Beauty brand, Seoul Secret ran an incredibly inappropriate campaign, that basically implied that one of their models was more successful because she has white skin.
To make matters worse, the campaign was called “White Makes you Win”. What was it promoting? Skin lightening cosmetics.
Seoul Secret tweeted about their campaign and included a video of Thai actress and singer Cris Horwang.
In the video, she spoke about her career and made direct comments about her white skin and why it has made her more successful than others.
Seriously.
Most brands fear social media mistakes like the ‘Wrong Russia’ one made by Coca-Cola. Taking it to a whole new – and worse – level is running a blatantly racially offensive campaign. Imagine having to clean up that marketing mess.
There is Life After a Social Media Fail.
While these social media fails were clearly a headache for these brands, you shouldn’t panic if you should stumble into/create a social media firestorm.
The best way to recover from a social media campaign that has gone wrong is to act quickly, apologise (invariably) and show that you’re genuinely trying to fix the mess. A good social media strategy is all about planning and balancing sensitivity with common sense.
If having a successful social media program is something you’re worried about, speak with a social media expert about how to do it right; and what to do when things go wrong.
Tick Yes is a digital and social media marketing agency based in Sydney that uses proven social media strategies to help clients improve their brand. For more information on how we can help manage your social media strategy, contact us.

Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off.
But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand?
We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder.
Everyone’s Goal: Good Publicity
Logically, no marketers set out to epically fail when it comes to their latest marketing campaign. One company — Dollar Shave Club —ran that risk but nailed it when it made a promotional video filled with swear words (something most marketers would never do).
The Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service that delivers men’s razor blades. The video that we’re talking about featured Michael Dubin, the startup’s co-founder. It cost roughly $4,500 to make and within a week it had three million views.
In this case, the video greatly helped grow Dollar Shave Club’s brand — even though the swearing may have been offensive to some. They started their own YouTube channel, and they now have two million subscribers to their service. Unilever were so not offended that they paid $1 billion to buy the then 5 year-old start-up company.
But not every attempt at twisting humour is so successful. One hugely controversial example is the Protein World campaign that has marketers divided.
Walking the Line: Good or Bad Publicity?
The now infamous Protein World advertisement appeared across London Underground stations. It featured a model in a bikini and the tagline, “Are you beach body ready?”
The relatively straightforward ad led to a huge ‘body shaming’ backlash and marketers today still can’t determine whether running an ad that’s so controversial is a good idea.
Protesters gathered a petition calling for the ad’s removal and collected more than 70,000 signatures. The campaign even collected it’s very own hashtag – #everybodysready – that took off on social media channels.
According to Protein World, they think the ad was a good move. They maintained that they did not mean to imply that everyone should look like the model, and they became a household brand name. They also claim the ad resulted in 30,000 new customers and an extra £2m in one week.
Maybe the ad drove sales, but it’s a very fine line to walk as a marketer when you disregard public opinion in order to generate leads.
You’re Doomed: Bad Publicity
Sometimes, you just can’t come back from your mistakes. They can’t all be spun into something positive like Protein World’s controversial ad.
When Carrie Fisher, the world-famous actress died, Cinnabon tweeted an image that generated a hugely negative backlash from social media.
The baked goods brand posted a drawing of Fisher as her best-known character, Star Wars’ Princess Leia, with her famous hair buns replaced with Cinnabon’s trademark cinnabon product. They commented “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” The backlash was enormous. And in this case, there’s no public proof that the campaign increased Cinnabon sales.
The problem with these types of campaigns is that hindsight is 20-20. How do you know when you’re producing something that it will be seen as funny, middle-ground or widely negative?

Guidelines You can Follow
While predicting the outcome of sarcastic and cultural campaigns is next to impossible, there are some guidelines you can follow.
First, promoting news to people who aren’t likely to become clients or customers, just for publicity’s sake is almost never worth it. In the event that it creates negative public relations (PR), you might end up reducing traffic to your website.
If the outlet or medium through which you’re distributing doesn’t have the best reputation, you can harm your reputation by association. You can control this by posting your content on your own site where you can take it down if needed — just be prepared to take the full brunt of the backlash should the campaign turn out to create negative feedback.
No one knows your audience and your customers better than your brand. Use your best judgement when it comes to generating the best publicity to help your organization stay successful.
 
Image Sources:

Huffington Post
CBS News

Your Biggest Digital Marketing Opportunities in 2017

We did it: we made it one more rotation around the sun, which means that it’s time for annual industry predictions roundups.
We’re most interested in what we can expect as digital marketers, and what will make brands the most successful at growing their content audiences and consumer bases in 2017.
You’ll probably hear a lot of the same things—content is still king, social is still growing, and marketers are looking forward to the future of virtual technologies, but we’re here with some actionable items that you can use today to kick off your wildly successful 2017 digital marketing strategy.
Use video to capture your audience’s attention.
In 2016, we almost heard about nothing else but video marketing. That’s because it works. The use of video as a content medium for marketers to leverage is only going to grow.
Video adoption is increasing at a higher rate than any other platform simply because marketers are seeing a good return. According to Forrester, including video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-trough-rate (CTR). Not only that, but one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words as it relates to content value.
It also gets you in front of more consumers than other types of content—According to ComScore, 45.5% of users viewed at least one video online over the course of the month.
The impact of video is growing—but let’s talk about the elephant in the room. It’s expensive to create quality produced videos for marketing purposes. The trick isn’t to max out your budget to make as many videos as possible, but to use your budget to make the highest quality, largest lead generating videos you can, even if you release them less frequently.
Genuine testimonials are a huge SEO opportunity now.
Testimonials definitely aren’t a new concept—getting your successful customers to talk about their experiences with you publicly will be key when it comes to marketing strategy success.
But it’s no longer adequate to just gather as many reviews as you can. Now, testimonials can be coded so that search engines recognize them as genuine, meaning they’re even more valuable than ever.
The more reviews on your website, the better your search engine optimization (SEO) will be—and they should be everywhere, including home page, contact page, and any other page in which a quote is relevant.
Wearables are the newest emerging market to reach consumers right now.
As marketers, we hear a lot about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) when we talk about trends—but these mediums aren’t large enough yet to give you a realistic ROI. ‘Wearables’ is the new medium you should be focusing on right now.
In 2016, 72% of the US population owned a smartphone. Smartphones aren’t going the way of the mixed tape anytime soon, but wearables will start to catch up in popularity very quickly.
Industry experts predict that by 2018, the global wearables market will reach $19 billion. A lot of people will have jumped on board the wearables bandwagon, and the medium won’t be saturated with content.
Consider adding a wearables marketing strategy to your 2017 planning, for an opportunity to reach a new set of customers with little competition.
Augmented reality is coming back.
Remember Pokémon Go? It seems like it was a flash in the pan in 2016 when it started, and then quickly died out. The success of the augmented reality game means it will be coming back—whereas this latest game was just a test, its success means there’s a huge opportunity for the gaming market, and therefore for marketers as a segway to the virtual reality environments of the future.
2017 is your opportunity to experiment with augmented reality campaigning, partnerships and lead generation from a medium that’s still brand new.
If you’re going to get ahead this year, you’ll need to be looking towards all sorts of technologies of the future.
Whether it’s video, SEO, wearables or augmented reality, the world of marketing campaigns is taking a step towards some futuristic mediums, which means it may be time to rethink how you’ll reach and influence your customers this year – and beyond.
Image Sources:
Shutterstock

Your Career With (& Without) Digital Marketing Expertise

Expertise in digital marketing may make or break your career today. As for tomorrow however, unless you’re looking to become an avocado farmer, being analogue in a digital world could well prove to not be your smartest career move.
The signs are already clear. What’s the biggest marketing talent shortage today? Senior executives with digital experience.
And it’s going to get worse.
According to the Australian Digital Skills and Salary Survey:
More than half of businesses surveyed anticipated hiring more digital specialists over the coming 12 months. Currently, 30% of the digital talent in Australia are, in fact, expats.
In other words, we’re not growing enough local digital talent to keep up with demand.
Why?
Researchers are quick to blame either the education sector for not adequately preparing students or the business community for not developing talent – and skills – to meet industry needs.
Attention marketers looking to advance your career: the same survey saw an increased demand for some very specific digital marketing skills: programmatic advertising, performance media and marketing, social media and content, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and data analytics.
Digital marketing experience and expertise can help to propel your career forward in ways other than just looking good on your resume. The ability to understand and leverage digital platforms and strategies will help you to justify budgets, quantify customer engagement, improve business processes and boost profits/ROI. Compelling skills for most potential employers.
So, what’s behind this seismic change?
Digital is an essential component of marketing.
According to recruitment company Hays Sales & Marketing, the way digital marketing is evolving is set to keep growing, and employers are set to take notice and prepare for its growth.
Peter Noblet, Senior Regional Director of Hays Sales & Marketing said “As the business landscape shifts, marketers must evolve with the times to fully connect with their customers and drive business growth.”
 “As marketing becomes more technology-based, harnessing and mastering ‘big data’ will be key to achieving competitive advantage. If companies are to remain market front-runners, they need to integrate their digital and social marketing channels into one customer journey. To do this, they require candidates with integrated offline and online channel experience.”
So, you need digital and online channel marketing experience. The downside is that marketing education in Australia tends to be very broad and is still in the process of evolving to meet these digital demands.
Formal education isn’t necessarily the answer, however. Consider further developing your skills in the digital realm through industry conferences, online workshops or through mentorship with another professional who may have more senior experience.
The other option of course is to do what several of our clients have done which is to volunteer to be the ‘digital contact’ within their organisation. There’s no better way to get digital experience than by jumping in at the deep-end; particularly when none of your peers are willing to move out of their own comfort zones.
The bottom line: digital skills aren’t just important for your employer, they’re important for you too. A background in digital marketing will prepare you to connect digital campaign efforts with business revenue and growth, making you an essential member of your team.
To keep up, the business world is looking for talent abroad.
Over the past few years, the education sector in Australian has looked overseas for cues on how to further educate their marketing students. There are reports of institutions looking to the UK for marketing direction.
The good news is that we Australians have a good track record for quickly adapting to new market trends. Australia has one of the highest social media and internet penetrations in the world, but we haven’t been fast to adopt this trend in business—yet.
For a current or future marketing leader looking to shape his or her career, it will be key to build your digital marketing business case from overseas trends and case study success modelling. The research suggests that once you do, you’ll find the support you need:
According to Ethos BeathChapman, compared to other countries across the region, Australian marketers reported stronger support for digital marketing from company leadership. In Australia, 44% of senior managers provided very strong support, which compares to just 29% a year ago.
As leadership becomes more open to adopting digital strategies and programs, a key part of your job is to build the business case for your organisation to implement them, as well as to invest in your education in the digital marketing arena.
The business case for digital is sound; as long as it’s integrated with traditional marketing.
The good news is that integrating digital with traditional marketing means that you don’t need to learn your job all over again; you’re simply adding to your existing skill sets.
As of right now, however not many marketing leaders in Australia feel prepared:
According to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey on digital marketing, most marketers lack the skill sets needed to understand and glean insights from digital data. 82% of marketers state that career skills have changed, with 37% indicating they don’t have the skills required to analyse and understand the vast amount of data available to them.
With data, you can move mountains. You can attribute revenue to certain streams, refine your audience targeting, and reach potential buyers in real-time. Adding an analytical mindset to your arsenal of marketing skills is the most important thing you can do to move your career forward, and ensure the success of digital marketing in your organisation.
Digital marketing will (not) go away if you ignore it
Even now, on the verge of 2017 – some 22 years after the notional start of the commercialised internet – many companies and the people who run them are pretending that the world hasn’t changed.
The problem, of course is that it has. And if you don’t embrace the now not so new digital changes, your career may prove to be very ‘interesting’ in the future.
Having said that, prove me wrong! Perhaps being a digital luddite may just work for you and your career. Just like it worked for the marketers who said that new fangled radio, television and, heck, even computers wouldn’t catch on.
You never know though, you may turn out to be the smart one and prove all of us digital zealots wrong. If not, well, get out the shovel, pull on your boots and start planting those avocado seeds!
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Case Study: What a Nasal Spray Can Teach You About Marketing

Every year, while many products are launched, few survive.
Soon enough, most disappear due to a variety of factors including poor marketing, competitive pressures, distribution challenges and, fatally, market indifference.
So, what can we learn from a launch that worked incredibly well?
To make those lessons even more instructive, we’re going to review how GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the US created such a successful launch campaign for Flonase, an OTC (Over the Counter) allergy relief brand.
The healthcare industry isn’t always known for its marketing creativity. When everything clicks, however, it clicks big.
That’s why Meredith Herman, GSK’s head of digital marketing was just chosen as one of Adweek’s 10 Brand Geniuses for 2016.
Flonase’s success was no forgone conclusion. There were many established competitors out there fighting for every dollar, customer and share point.
As with most things that work, it always pays to simplify and focus on what’s important:
“From a digital standpoint, we know people are inundated with banners ads and marketing messages, and unlike TV or print, they have the option to skip, scroll past or just X us out. So we understand that we have to provide the consumer with value first,” Herman told FiercePharma.
So, what are the simple steps GSK took:
They coordinated their digital, TV and print campaigns.
This is something brands of all types don’t do enough of—reaching their audience members across all channels in a coordinated fashion.
For their Flonase launch, GSK built a coordinated media approach spanning TV, print and digital. Even though these channels were coordinated, they still had different goals for each, which was key in the success of their campaign.
TV was used to introduce people to the brand, as it provided the most general audience. The digital objective was to explain more about how the product worked, and build a platform for conversation with customers.
This was key for GSK. They needed to create initial brand awareness for their new product, but that wasn’t going to be enough to compete in a saturated healthcare market. By coordinating with their digital campaign, they were able to do both—build awareness, and start a convincing conversation with potential buyers.
They listened to their customers and found the perfect tagline.
Yes, listening to your customers is one of the most powerful and obvious things you can do to boost a marketing campaign of any kind; you just have to do it the right way.
Herman and her team wanted to drive more organic searches so they started researching what allergy sufferers were looking for.
They found that allergy sufferers felt they weren’t getting relief with their current allergy meds and didn’t like missing out on fun activities when allergies were triggered.
From there, Herman and her team developed the tagline and theme, encouraging sufferers to “Be greater than your allergies.”
Healthcare is something very personal, and touches on many powerful, core human emotions. Leveraging the power of your current customer base as a healthcare brand can help you tap into the emotions your customers already have, instead of guessing for every media campaign.
They got visual with social media.
You’ve heard many times that visual campaigns and social media go together. Sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it REALLY right. GSK launched it’s first online content initiative with Instagram, and it was an immense success.
GSK used six Instagram photographers with allergies who snapped photos along 24-hour journeys through the outdoors—hay fields, dandelion patches and hanging out with pets.
This visual confirmation that Flonase worked for them fuelled the “24 Hours of Being Greater” campaign, and GSK invited people to share their own photos. They did. Between 5,000 and 6,000 pictures were posted.
Herman and her team didn’t stop there: they came back a few months later with a celebrity dog “Doug the Pug,” and asked people to share their own photos again on Instagram with the hashtag #FallofFame.
It wasn’t just photos, they leveraged videos as well. In spring 2016, Flonase worked with YouTube-famous family the Eh Bees to go on an allergy road trip to 10 of the worst cities for allergy sufferers; she had a great time, and shared her experience online.
In a complicated and clinical healthcare world, humanising Flonase by leveraging the experiences of customers is really what took GSK’s social campaign from good to great. The proof is in the numbers.
According to Adweek, Flonase generated sales of $100 million in the first 16 weeks after its launch. Not only that— they captured 10% of the market just one year after launch.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is knowing your market and your audience. If you have a good handle on both, you can support product campaigns with relevance, creativity and entertainment for your current customers and potential customers.
Easier said than done, of course but that’s why the brand and their owners that do it well reap the rewards initially and for years to come.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy.
Here’s another one.
We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy.
The first agent who came to our home said all the right things, had all the requisite collateral detailing sales successes etc. and was a nice guy. The only problem was that he completely ignored the adored family dog.
It’s a small point, I know. You could say that his job is to negotiate hard and to sell real estate on our behalf, not to get all cutesy with every pampered pooch that may slobber on his expensive suit.

But you could also say that his job is to effectively engage people and a simple short-cut to doing that is to understand what their emotional hot buttons are. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that a spoiled pet fits the hot button bill for the person – the property’s owner – the agent is trying to influence.
Not surprisingly, that agent didn’t get the business. The agent that did pat Mocha closed the sale.

For those of us who need to emotionally engage and influence people for a living, it’s easy to forget that little things to us may be major things to our market/s. Recognising what that is (by research, experience or assumption) and reacting accordingly can make the difference between success and failure.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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