Hans Smellinckx, multi-channel marketing expert

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January 01, 2009

Digital marketing, beyond website marketing

The question I receive often is what interactive marketing is about. In short, it's about starting a dialog with your audience.

 This means that interactive marketing goes beyond website marketing, e-mail marketing, search engine optimisation, or even Direct Marketing. It is a need to combine all the channels, and not only the on line channels, but both all the offline channels and the on line channels and putting the target group central. So it's not a discussion which team in your company will lead it, or which eager beaver wants to have a fancy project... it's about re-engineering your way of doing business.

And yes we all hear that our companies need to be loved by any age group, any target group and that we have to put the consumer in the center of our universe, and yes, it's true... you as a business owner is not in the driving seat anymore. It's your clients that are deciding if they want to buy your products or services. And be assured, if they don't get a better than perfect service, they'll switch and tell their friends. There goes your revenue stream...so get in contact, now!

How do you start?

First, ask yourself the question how your consumers are finding your brand and where and what do they buy? Don't let your marketing team or communication team answer this question, but ask your target group.Get some of your brand lovers in your company and just ask them...

Afterward, build your strategy around the touch points in their life style that you can start a dialog. Don't always think about a sales story as it can look too offensive, so also include "touch points" that only deal about "informing" or "helping"your audience.

What if we have a perfect path in place?

Don't stop questionning your performance! Review every day, every month,every year if what you are doing is good and still suits your audience. Don't forget what I said before... people have the power and all the means to switch "provider" in matter of seconds.So reviewing your processes will bring in more clients and certainly improving the likability of your brand.

Don't forget to "influence"

Can consumers or buyers be helped in the process? Yes, and they will like it. Imagine a perfume shop where you are helped...you like it! Imagine now one where nobody cares about you and leaves you on your own. In that case you will only buy there because it's cheap or the process is quick and if there is the smallest problem (eg. out of stock)...you won't come back. In the first place you will even want to wait for your product because you will be proposed a similar one, or a more "adventurous choice".

So, the same can happen in any digital process.If people a process on line, try to get them back into their process.Suggest new or similar products. Doing what you are doing in the real world on line.

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I Truly Agree about Digital Marketing going Beyond Web 2.0 and much ahead.

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