Can digital marketing connect on a personal level?
Digital marketing is a valuable asset for reaching and engaging with audiences by extending how and when people connect with our brands. Digital marketing encompasses a wealth of cross-channel capabilities, but in our efforts to create “something for everyone,” we shouldn’t forget the need to create personal connections with our audience.
Regardless of whether you work at a B2B or consumer publisher, you are marketing to people. People buy for themselves, or they buy on behalf of organizations, and we should always keep that personalized mindset in the forefront of our marketing campaigns. People react to both rational and emotional messaging and brand experiences. Our core need is to connect: to other people, experiences or things. This need has become harder to fulfill in our increasingly multitasking digital society.
When was the last time you factored in both rational and emotional appeal to your digital campaigns? Some of us are fortunate to work on brands that have this built into their DNA, but for many, creative differentiation is a bit more challenging.
Marketing campaigns, by design, are strategic in driving a call to action. But consider that some of the most negative viral brand experiences result from an unintended experience that derails a call to action. Behavior is not always predictable, but balancing rational and emotional perspectives will go a long way in developing a 360-degree brand experience. Even the best-defined audience journey needs to account for humans being humans.
In an era of cross-channel marketing, behavioral aspects of marketing become even more complicated, but by strategically mapping out the impact that each channel and trigger has on one another, we can better market to people as people and increase the effectiveness of digital marketing.
In this regard, marketers are stewards in connecting the dots in the customer engagement model. It’s more important than ever for marketers to develop campaigns that recognize the audience as they interact with the brand across different channels.
The ability to demonstrate your knowledge that a person has had one or multiple interactions with your brand is essential, because it appeals to the base human need to be acknowledged on an individual level. This is your opportunity to better connect with your audiences in more relevant and meaningful ways.
Many retailers have made strides in this area, connecting loyalty programs, for example, with digital coupons and personalized offers that are sent via email. These offerings are based on the products customers purchase, creating immediate relevance as well as convenience by connecting brand touch points across in-store and email channels.
Publishers should embrace this approach. The channel may be digital, but the receiver is a person. Digital marketing gives you an opportunity to both inform and delight, so don’t lose sight of this when you are developing your next brand experience.
Shannon Ryan is GM of UBM TechWeb’s Online Marketing Summit. Over the past 16 years, she has held senior leadership roles in marketing on both the agency and brand side, including management of her own agency, ArchetypeDNA.