Over the past few years as my focus on digital transformation has increased, I have noticed a pattern separating the companies transforming successfully and those that are falling behind. This difference being the ability to move from a sales company to a sales and marketing company. Allow me to explain:
While there are many factors leading to successful digital transformation, one of the standouts is customer-centricity; essentially delivering more powerful, memorable and friction-less customer experiences. In the age of Facebook, Google and Amazon, one of the biggest differentiators is that companies must be able to reach their customers and prospects in the digital realm more effectively.
For integrators, who have traditionally depended on hand-to- hand sales and long-term relationships, this has represented a major shift. Bottom line, digitally evolved companies know how to use marketing to build their business; many integrators do not — but they could if they correct the following 10 common digital marketing mistakes.
Not Understanding the New Buyer’s Journey
More than 50 percent and upwards of 80 percent of the customer’s buying journey is now done online with no vendor interaction. If your digital presence doesn’t make you part of that process then you are missing a huge opportunity.
Missing Out on Social Media
Yes, you may not personally use Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, but your customers probably do. Using yourself as a litmus test for marketing investments is never a good idea. It’s a little bit like being your own attorney in court.
Forgetting Email Still Works
Some seem to believe that outbound email is old hat. Yes, we all get a lot of email, but building a list and doing email newsletters and blasts are still an effective way to be seen. Even if open rates are 5 to 10 percent, this can be hundreds or thousands of additional daily touch points.
Eschewing Thought Leadership
Some companies merely share the content and ideas of their vendors. It is important that a company has a point of view and shows their intimate knowledge of their business and customer needs. If you are using social and digital but not to share your own ideas then you are missing out on a big opportunity.
Yes, Multimedia Matters!
This should be understood, but it often isn’t. First of all, imagery to go with written content is important. With this in mind, please stop putting stock photos on the homepage of your website. Also, video, audio, infographics and other non-written content goes great with blogs and web copy. We are in the business of multimedia, but some of our websites still look like HTML 1.0. Boo.
About 20 to 30 percent of what you share should be somewhat self-promotional. The rest should be educational or inspirational to your customers.
Overlooking Importance of Mobile
In short, your mobile experience sucks. People shop more on mobile than desktop, so this should be fixed yesterday.
I’m Confused — What Should I Do?
This is a problem for most industries and CIs are included. If you can’t quickly and briefly explain what you do for people, then they won’t do business with you. At least not via a marketing first touch point.
Quit Talking Features, It’s 2017
You have heard for eons now not to do feature benefits selling, but your digital presence is littered with products and their features. Just stop already. I saw a whitepaper last week about noise cancellation on video conferencing systems. I wanted to vomit just reading the title. I can’t think of a worse way to spend marketing dollars.
Don’t Gratuitously Promote
In some cases, I see companies that have taken to the channels and have bought into digital marketing, but they are also horrible perpetrators of gratuitous self-promotion. Remember, it’s a balance. About 20 to 30 percent of what you share should be somewhat self-promotional. The rest should be educational or inspirational to your customers. That can include brand content, but if it is too promotional all the time it will turn people away.
Avoiding Digital Marketing Entirely
At least a few companies in the integration space still swear by almost zero marketing at all. This means the most basic website, minimal to no social media presence and no customer marketing to speak of. What got you here, won’t get you there.
Ready to transform your business to be ready for the future? Avoid these digital marketing mistakes and oversights and realize that you must sell and market or you are undoubtedly going to miss opportunities to grow your customer base, revenue and profitability.