What Not To Expect In Digital Marketing
by Kathleen Lacson
Digital marketing may have expanded the realms of what traditional marketing could not have ever reached before yet that doesn’t mean it’s an all-in-one solution in itself. Like most things, it requires consistency and activeness in order to keep things running smoothly towards the desired results.
The Rise of Digital Marketing
As evolution goes, with the newer and more modern technology comes the need to adapt our more traditional ways alongside or even into them. One of the most common examples on how society was able to successfully do so was with telecommunication! From basic rotary dial and push-button telephones, we now have smartphones which combine the ability to do calls beside sending messages, accessing the web, and several other multimedia functions all within a single device. With billions of people worldwide owning a smartphone that can grant them 24/7 internet access, this has also allowed them to expand their consumer habits in a way that in-person shopping or word of mouth has never achieved so quickly before.
Additionally, with the pandemic, there’s a definite need for businesses to have some form of availability online because if people aren’t outside on their phones or laptops for work anymore then they’re at home staring at the same screens but with even more leisure time at hand. And with social media plus the entire web essentially becoming this endless digital shopping mall and yellow pages then there’s definitely going to be an increase of online consumerism.
It’s because of these factors that more businesses have now either expanded to a digital marketing space or have even completely turned themselves into a digital company altogether. Take for example, Lord & Taylor, a once popular American department store chain which was completely turned into an online store by 2021 after an organized phased closures of its physical stores starting the year prior. Now that’s one way of adapting in the digital age to survive!
But on a more noticeable note, the general increase in online shopping and technological development have led to an increase in digital business promotions making competition, primarily over at social media, even more challenging each year. The rapidity of how people can easily look up and discover on the web new brands that can be essential to their lifestyles has put digital marketing at the forefront of businesses’ growth plans for long-term success. Needless to say, marketing in the digital sense has brought a faster and more efficient way of connecting brands and people together by targeting consumer aspects like relevancy, loyalty, and even empathy.
Digital Marketing is NOT Everything
Nevertheless, it is important to note that digital marketing is not something that can just be started and then expected to deliver results without constant hard work. It is also not a strategy that can totally turn every single potential buyer into actual buyers —- at best, it’s a strategy to greatly attract others into becoming potential customers as they would want to find out more about your brand before making the choice to purchase. To further expound on this matter, here are 4 things you shouldn’t expect or fully be dependent upon when it comes to digital marketing.
Do NOT Expect Direct SalesDigital marketing is simply here to lend a helping hand, a boost so to say, in order to direct people’s attention to your business but not necessarily manipulate or brainwash them into immediately becoming buyers nor loyal customers. You see, at the end of the day, consumer choice is still at play alongside other factors that make up what running a business is all about. These include internal factors like your pricing system, marketing budget, online page responses or customer service, management adaptability and dynamic change, sales team performance in account inquiry accommodation, follow ups, and remarketing. Meanwhile, external factors include product or service demand, trends, location or service areas, competition, audience buying power, and policies and restrictions (a.k.a. government and platforms).
The best you can do is to make your business or brand as relevant and relatable as possible to your target audience, should you naturally desire to amass large sales. Never underestimate the importance of brand personalization in being able to truly showcase how practical your offered products or services can be to certain people’s lifestyles. This way, you’re enticing people to want to know more about what you’re offering as well as what your brand is all about — this also increases their chance of buying from you since personalization tends to already cater towards a specific consumer group’s capabilities (ex: their average expenditures), wants and needs.
That said, the decision for a consumer to invest is still very much a subjective matter. No matter how creative or innovative you think your digital marketing strategies are, it does not automatically mean everyone who interacts with them will be enticed to spend.
Do NOT Expect Platform Ownership
Although they’re technically yours in terms of being under your business’ name, it does not equate to you actually fully owning your social media accounts. Simply put, these online mediums still fall under being third party platforms which means that you’re still bound to follow the respective policies and standards set into place by each social media company. In a way, you can view it as like renting out a space for the long-term to do (or in this case, post) whatever you please as long as it does not break their rules.
And, much like in real life, breaking these rules have dire consequences that can negatively affect your business especially if your account is suddenly locked for review or, worst of all, deleted due to violations.
Do NOT Expect A Foolproof System
Which is exactly why you should never put all your eggs into the digital marketing basket or totally depend on the social media train. These days, it’s just as easy to have your accounts deleted as it was to set it up due to a multitude of reasons. Even if your account has been running for a long time, it doesn't guarantee stability. And being a third party online medium alone should be enough to remind business managements on the general capriciousness of social media.
When Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp had an outage for several hours last October 2021, it impacted users all across the world especially since a great majority of these are business managements who use at least one of the mentioned platforms for their everyday work. Essentially just a day without access to their accounts resulted in many businesses with sudden sales losses — as reported by Samantha Subin of CNBC, after interviewing 10 content creators and small business owners, “each of their estimated losses during Facebook’s outage ranged from a few hundred dollars to over $5,000 from sales, affiliate links, sponsored posts and product launches.” Also, a social media marketing agency co-founder, from a Mashable SEA interview, stated how “the outage had an immediate impact, as our advertising results completely dropped off . . . our social media managers not being able to post vital pieces of content at the right time.” This just goes to show the tremendous weight digital marketing and online presence has on businesses nowadays plus the latter’s dependency on it given that, according to The New York Times, millions are typically spent by brands and creators for social media ads alone every year. This is also further proof as to why backup marketing plans must always be ready in light of a social media blackout and why online platforms have this tendency to come and go..
Not to mention, in a rapidly evolving digital era, online platforms have this tendency to come and go. One can never be certain that a social media, regardless of its popularity, will be staying for years on end. Behind the user interfaces we use to promote our businesses are people constantly making deals and connections with other companies who could potentially buy social media platforms from one another or even merge two into a single, all-new one as a means to expand its capabilities plus reach. Perfect example of this would be the merging of Musical.ly and the then newly developed TikTok, back in 2018. The former ended its still popular run with the youth but brought about a new means of short-form video content creation for the masses via the latter who’s expected to reach 1.5 billion active users in 2022.
But, anywhere in the near future, there’s always that possibility of seeing TikTok bid its farewell to be replaced by something new and better. That’s the thing with digital: being dynamic to represent the needs of the current age.
Do NOT Expect Ease in Managing Your Online Presence
Lastly, as with traditional marketing, its digital counterpart needs just as much hard work, if not more, in order to continuously produce effective contents that can stand out in a highly competitive online world. There is no room for complacency in digital marketing which also requires a series of smaller strategies (ex: SEO) as well as active engagement to the online community in order to enhance the performances of the digital contents plus find out what’s trending among your target audience.
Digital Marketing is mainly a means of catching people’s attention and making them want to find out more about whatever it is that you’re selling. It will NEVER be something that totally assures sales for your business nor is it something that, even with years long of experience in it, makes you immune from any fallouts of the ever-evolving digital world. Although it’s vital to incorporate this strategy as part of your business plans, make sure to comply with all internet policies, to have it exist alongside traditional marketing strategies, and to stay alert on the latest social media trends so you know how to expertly navigate within them in the long-run. This way, you can keep digital marketing in its proper lane as an asset rather than a liability.
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