I’m delighted to tell you that my latest book ‘Digital Marketing’ launched. The book was two years in the making and my aim was to produce a how to, no jargon, entertaining and, storyful book about Digital Marketing. Liz Riley, my editor, did a great job holding me to that task.
Here are some personal insights into what I discovered about Digital Marketing – as I put the book together.
- Digital marketing is not just about having a presence out there. I have sat in numerous client meetings where we all agreed, as a team, that it was time to be on the web. It is always a daunting prospect – at first. Which part of the web do you go to? Social Media? Website? Google Ads? Researching this book taught me that digital marketing is about being where the customer is. If you begin with the customer: their information needs, their web browsing habits and their aspirations and motivations – then you soon find the right place to start your digital marketing plan. The Little Milk Company worked out exactly how people buy artisan cheeses and built their website to match the needs of customers – www.thelittlemilkcompany.ie
- Plan your customer journey. Simply taking a pen and paper and saying to yourself – How does a customer find a business like mine? What is their thought process from the beginning to end? What is the search language that they use? Where do they go for initial research information? Tracing those steps gives you valuable wins right along the customer journey – because you can be there – right when your customers need the information. Failte Ireland, the Irish Tourist Board, are phenomenal in their understanding of customers and for understanding the motivations of tourists for taking a holiday – all reflected beautifully at www.failteireland.ie
- Humanise the customer. A major trend in digital marketing for 2018 and beyond is humanising the online consumer. Marketing writing is all about warm, friendly, even cosy language. GDPR is heavily influencing how we communicate with customers this year. Its about appropriate consent, for appropriate information and about handling customer data sensitively. It is now an imperative, if we are to build loyal relationships online, that we create a human interaction at every opportunity – to welcome rather than distance the consumer. The personality of your brand will drive success online. Johnnie Boden does this well with his warm welcome to new customers: Dear Mary-Ann, Thanks for placing an order with us. You’ve made us happier than all our favourite things: tea, dogs, crumpets and bank holidays. We’ll aim to deliver your goodies soon, but in the meantime, here’s your order information. Johnnie Boden.
- Image. Browsing from one website to another, from one social media account to another – the really well-designed, calm, and spacious websites really stood out. Web design is like interior design. It is easy to get cluttered, and then nothing looks right. When you maintain a well-ordered, relaxed design – calm reigns and customers will linger for longer. There are many beautiful websites – and one that won awards for stunning design was the www.thesalthouseinn.com Their website conveyed the beauty of a holiday at the Inn – through the beauty of the website and newsletters that they produced.
- Responsiveness. Delivery was also a crucial part of winning at Digital Marketing. If you want to sell online, you have to be ready to follow up on queries – within minutes. Leave it more than five minutes, and your potential customer will continue to browse and go elsewhere. Digital marketing is about capturing leads, following them up and interacting with interested customers – just as you would in a retail store. People don’t want to wait 24 hours for the answer to a simple question – the businesses that learn to respond quickly and warmly – have a major advantage. www.123.ie and www.funkychristmasjumpers.com taught me a lot about being responsive.
My curiosity about digital marketing led me to discussions with many businesses – from how to handle sensitive subjects like mens health to how to decide on which social media platform to use. There are some really funny stories too – because we’re only human after all.
If you feel like reading more – you can get a copy from Chartered Accountants Ireland here.