In order to reach as many potential customers as possible, you need to market your business online.
But to get the most out of your efforts, you need to fully understand what online marketing can accomplish today, said Scott Eagle, chief marketing officer for the personalized digital marketing firm Conversant.
"The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it's crucial that digital marketers periodically re-evaluate their thinking to stay cutting edge and effective," Eagle said. "Eliminating myths from their thinking will push digital marketers to improve digital marketing effectiveness for their businesses."
To help marketers harness the potential of digital, Eagle discredits seven commonly believed myths:
- Myth 1: Advanced digital marketing requires deep internal expertise and a large operational footprint. Digital marketing requires far more complex planning and execution than more-traditional tactics. And succeeding in this area often requires highly specialized knowledge and expertise rarely found in-house without a large, devoted and expensive team. But you don't necessarily need in-house experts; instead, you can work with a third party. The key is finding the right partner, one that can deliver solutions across a broad range of channels and devices.
- Myth 2: It's difficult to prove digital marketing drives significant brick and mortar retail sales. Previously, there was no accurate way to measure the impact of digital marketing on brick and mortar sales. But now, marketing professionals can combine online and offline transactions, and other marketing data, to demonstrate the impact of digital marketing on total sales, both online and offline.
- Myth 3: Vendor dating is better than vendor marriage. It may seem smart to keep your vendor options open, scattering your investments across multiple companies. But trying to integrate many different offerings and unrelated platforms from multiple vendors can pose a challenge. Partnering with one strategic solutions provider, thoroughly and over time, can help marketers be most effective. [19 Social Media Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses]
- Myth 4: Digital is great at closing sales already in progress, but not at creating demand. Thanks to advanced look-alike modeling and individual-level analysis, digital can be an ideal vehicle for creating demand in a cost-effective manner.
- Myth 5: Vendor pitches are all so similar, it's nearly impossible to discern the differences. The constant use of digital buzzwords can make it difficult to tell vendors apart. But asking a precise set of the right questions can make finding the right partner much easier.
- Myth 6: Personalization is a powerful idea, but true one-to-one marketing isn't possible. Personalization is no longer just a dream — it's a reality. In fact, hundreds of retailers now leverage the power of personalization to individually calibrate virtually every aspect of an ad to make it more relevant for each recipient.
- Myth 7: Digital measurement is always imprecise. More-precise measurement is possible, but it requires a fundamental shift in focus, from allocating credit for conversions to scientifically determining what actually causes a conversion. It also requires measurement that reflects all sales channels, not just online avenues.