Let`s learn a little bit more about Digital Marketing Strategies and how to design and implement them in the companies

According to the lecturer Ewelina Lacka, from the University of Edinburgh Business School, the average person spends more than 24h hours per week browsing the internet. That`s more than three hours a day. I guess this time, in Brazil, where I come from, it’s higher. Brazilians are overconsuming the internet.

People spend over two hours per day on social media and the average screen time is 5 hours a day.

I, for example, use cell phones, TVs, desktops, and laptops… all in one day. And I guess you do that, too. 馃檪

Why does digital matter to companies and to us?

Online spending time

Digital matters to companies because it allows them to reach the consumers where they spent much of their time.

And nowadays, that’s online.

Low-cost opportunities

Digital allows companies to conduct marketing activities in a new, more cost-effective way. But at a much bigger scale. This is because companies can deliver value to consumers using digital products,

or they can add digital value to the existing products.

No space limitation

Digital allows companies to deliver value to consumers, and they can also communicate their value proposition to their consumers online. On the internet, there are no space limitations. Thousands of people can buy an online course, for example. Imagine that happening in a physical space. That’s not a problem online.

Global Marketing

Digital Marketing allows companies to reach the global consumer base, which means that companies can offer value to a global group of consumers.

Communication

Companies can also communicate with consumers online. Digital allows companies to communicate with

their target consumer segment or personalize their online communication. (don’t forget I’m in Brazil and you reading this through the digital.

Digital enables firms to communicate with their consumers, but also allows consumers to contact the company or even interact with each other.

Highly Measurable

One of the biggest benefits of Digital Marketing is that Digital marketing is highly measurable. This means that firms can closely monitor all exchanges with consumers and they can learn from them.

Digital tools allow companies to collect data, which is a valuable source of intelligence that can set any enterprise apart. Companies can learn about consumers, their needs, and preferences their likes and dislikes, and deliver value that will satisfy consumer needs. This can help firms to outperform competitors and win consumers.

Anytime, anywhere.

Digital matters to companies, because it allows them to deliver value to a broader group of consumers anytime and anywhere. And it overcomes the limitations of offline marketing.

If companies want to be successful in the current market environment, they have to deliver effective digital marketing strategies that will achieve the opportunities digital provides.

Digital Marketing Strategies x Business Strategies

It’s important to understand that Digital Marketing Strategies are part of bigger strategies. Companies have Marketing Goals and Businesses Goals. The digital marketing strategies should be aligned with the business goals.

Let’s try to understand this better with an example base on the Coca-cola Company.

The Coca-Cola Company Case

Business Objectives

The main objectives for the Coca-Cola Company are to be globally known as a business that conducts business responsibly and ethically and to accelerate sustainable growth to operate in tomorrow’s world. Having these objectives, it forms the foundation for companies in the decision-making process.

The coca-cola objective is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body and spirit. And done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better-shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities, and our planet.

Marketing Objectives

The marketing objectives include :

  • 路 Increase ingesting of their product.
  • 路 Offering products at maximum outlets, more suitable to be present universally at every store in all parts of the world.
  • 路 Increase Brand association with reputed fast foods, i.e. Mcdonald’s.
  • 路 To finance more on research and development, the estimated amount being $50 million.
  • 路 Ensure the safety and health of the customers by investing more in natural sweeteners.
  • 路 Providing the customers, with an exact figure of what they are consuming in each of their servings (value).
  • 路 Low Caloric product formation to meet global health needs.

Digital Marketing Objectives

Coca-Cola utilizes the majority of well-known social media platforms such as聽Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Flickr. YouTube: YouTube was the first social media platform Coca-Cola joined. Their first-ever YouTube channel went live on January 1, 2006. On Twitter, it has 3.3 million followers, on Instagram 鈥 above 2.7 million, and 90 million likes on its Facebook page.聽It interacts directly with fans which brings higher engagement rates. It also leverages user-generated content聽

Online Value Proposition

What is Value Proposition? 

Value proposition refers to the combined set of beliefs that is offered to prospective consumers to solve a problem they have and satisfy their needs. Companies can offer consumers this set of beliefs offline as well as online using digital tools.

Online value propositions are comprised of product, price, place, and promotion. A helpful way to remember them is to think of the 4Ps of the value proposition. 

It is a fundamental element of marketing strategy and it also underpins digital marketing strategy. The value proposition proves to be a useful approach to creating marketing strategies and enables marketers to effectively compare and contrast their offerings to those of competitors.

What is Online Value Proposition?

When we think about online value proposition, we can think it is similar to the value proposition offered offline. It consists of four key elements: Product, Price, How they access, and Promotion.

Those are the set of tools that marketers use to pursue marketing objectives and set their enterprise apart.聽Value proposition indicates what the firm provides consumers with and the price consumer has to pay to obtain it.聽

It also details how consumers can access it and how the company communicates it to consumers.

Let’s see an example in a Publishing Company

  • The publisher aims to solve consumers’ problems and provide them with books that they will enjoy reading.聽
  • Those books are products that the publisher offers to the consumer.聽
  • They are provided to consumers at the price, which has to be paid to access the product and satisfy needs.
  • The consumer can buy books from a bookshop or sales agent. (Promotion) The way the publishers’ offerings are communicated to existing as well as prospective consumers.

Those topics underpin the very nature of marketing, which is an exchange between a company and its consumers.

The publisher exchanges books with consumers and consumers exchange payment for publishers’ books.

The value proposition also indicates how consumers access books offered by a publisher. 

The publisher may introduce displays in bookshops to inform consumers about its offerings. Or they can provide the consumers with leaflets or posters.

Digital Tools for Online Value Proposition

With digital tools, the publisher can do the same as businesses operating offline and more. This is because the publisher can use digital tools to provide consumers with a value proposition or add digital value to its existing offering.

In this example of the publisher, it can solve a consumer problem with not only paper copies of books they offer. They can also introduce e-books and satisfy consumers’ needs with new digital products.

The consumer will be able to pay for them online too, both paper copies of books and e-books can be accessed online.

Some possibilities of online value propositions

  1. The publisher can introduce its e-commerce website and sell its books and e-books directly to consumers. 
  2. It can also sell books to consumers via social media, which is referred to as social commerce or s-commerce.
  3. It could develop a mobile application and sell books via mobile or m-commerce. (mobile commerce).
  4. The publisher can sell books to consumers directly or choose to distribute its products by intermediaries’ websites (affiliate marketing) or through online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay.
  5. The publisher can promote its books online. The publisher can take advantage of digital platforms and promotes its products via its own website or social media platforms. It can engage with paid advertising and sponsored pop-up posts on the third party’s webpage. 
  6. It can benefit from consumers’ reviews and recommendations online. 

Digital provides companies with an opportunity to extend the value proposition to the online environment and, in fact, add digital value to their offerings.聽Digital value can set an enterprise apart.

Online Value Proposition: Product

The role of marketing is to provide consumers with a compelling value proposition. Product is its key component.

What is a product?

Product refers to attributes and characteristics of what companies offer to consumers to solve a problem they have.

For example, if consumers want to make a phone call, a company can address this problem and provide them with a phone. This is a simple view of what a product is. When consumers buy a phone, however, they do not only purchase a phone, but they buy all its features and functional elements: brand, after-sales service, and many more.

All those additional elements are also part of the product.

Core Products x Extended Products

As you can see, products are complex and include many elements. Product refers to all attributes and characteristics of company offerings that aim to address consumers’ needs. Those elements can be divided into聽core聽and聽extended elements聽of the product.

If we take a phone as an example of the product, its fundamental features aimed at addressing consumers’ needs are what we refer to as a core product.

In this case, the ability to make a phone call is a core product. All additional features and benefits that consumers receive in addition to the core product features, refer to the extended product. 

Using a phone as an example, we can say that its extended product includes its ability to receive text messages or check emails. Branding is also an important aspect of an extended product. This is because a strong brand adds value to the product. There are many examples of extended products, including packaging, country of origin, warranty, after-sale, and service, all of which add value to the core product.

Products in the Digital Age

Physical products into digital products

In the digital age, companies can address consumers’ problems with digital products or transform physical products into digital products or services.

For example, the customer’s need to make a phone call can be addressed by digital services. Our consumers can use Skype, make a call using Microsoft Teams, or use another online application that facilitates calls.

The ability to transform physical products into digital ones is one advantage of digital.

Adding digital value to existing products

Adding digital value to the existing product is another one. Companies can add digital value to their products, providing consumers with new or additional information about the product or its features.聽

Using a phone as an example, digital value can be derived from online expert reviews or reviews of product users. Those online reviews, testimonials, or maybe even product endorsements, add value to an extended product element of the phone. A video showing how to use new features of the phone is another example of how a company can add digital value to its product.

Complimentary Products or Services Online

Companies can provide consumers with additional complimentary products or services online. For example, consumers may purchase a phone along with new accessories and extend its after-sale service. The company can provide consumers with a mobile application, helping them to navigate through the phone features, or providing consumers with new app-based digital products or services that add value to the core product.

As you can see, products are complex. It is not only what a company can provide consumers with to address the problem, but it includes everything consumers receive along with the product’s core features. Digital adds digital value to products. It adds to the core product and it extends products, features, or attributes.

Digital enables companies to add digital value to the existing offering and differentiate it from competitors. Adding digital value can differentiate business competitors and set an enterprise apart.

Online Value Proposition: Content

Information is a basis for content marketing. Content marketing is an important element of any digital marketing strategy. It is defined as a process that involves planning, creating, publishing, and disseminating content aimed at stimulating target consumers鈥 interest in a company and its offering.

For digital marketers, content is important because it adds value to the products offered. It is suitable for all businesses regardless of their size or the sector in which they operate. It is a powerful brand-building tool, which can set an enterprise apart!

There are two main different types of content:

  • Firm-generated content (FGC):聽content created and disseminated by a business (e.g. product description)
  • User-generated content (UGC): content created and disseminated by consumers (e.g. online product reviews)

Both FGC and UGC can take the form of text-based content and graphical/video content.

Text-based content includes all textual information. For example text information provided on a company鈥檚 webpage or social media, blog posts, interviews, etc.

Graphical content on the other hand is the information displayed visually. Your infographics and posters developed in previous activities are examples of graphical content. Videos and photos are other examples of graphical content used by firms.

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The content presented on this page is based on the Digital Strategy Course form the University of Edimburg, which is free on Edx.org. I highly recommend you to do it. It has great content and lots of activities to do it throughtout the course.

Fernando Carvalho

Fernando Carvalho

Fernando Carvalho is a digital marketing strategist who is curious about everything, especially, SEO. He has led, advised and learnt with high performance growth marketing teams over the last 6 years. Here he explains in a simple way complex things that lead to success based on his experience.

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