Today, more and more marketers are switching to digital and keeping aside a lot more for digital compared to the past decade. This shift is also picking up the pace among industries that were in the past unwilling when it came to adoption. The economic slump of the last few years forced many brand marketers to try digital; once they have been on the other side of the "Great Digital Divide” and sampled the new better and more effective metrics, there's no going back. These smarter newer metrics are based on actual users' actions, rather than audience sizes, and are almost live and up to date making them a better choice over the old school system. Then again, many still have very logical and practical questions for making the transition.
Following are some of the challenges that most marketers face today:
1) Metrics, analytics and ROI of the digital marketing programs: Adoption of digital tactics is the tough part since they are new and so much different from conventional channels. What are the right metrics to use and how do we even start to get at a return on investment (ROI) with these metrics? Testing and benchmarking is another important aspect of digital marketing - e.g., what's a good cost per thousand (CPM) or cost per click (CPC)? What kind of return should I be expecting and what should I do if I'm not getting it?
2) Merging Digital with traditional is the tough part: A lot of companies today are taking a go at it and trying their best to keep their secrets safe. Experiments cannot last too long and the results need to be visible and should make an impact. In most cases, they haven't. But going forward they are looking for ways to make digital and traditional marketing tactics work better together and drive real business returns.
3) Allocation of budget to digital: The adoption of any strategy takes time and yielding those results take a lot longer (especially if you are experimenting). Making the transition to digital gets a lot more difficult because of this and this forces many brands to stick to traditional resulting in minimal funds allocated to "digital". The wider the gap between the dollars invested and sales, the harder it gets to take that nail-biting decision to invest. In traditional media, there is precedent that suggests spending this much extra should lead to this much lift in sales.
In digital, few such precedents exist yet. This is why if you are in charge, you need to come up with a strategy that can translate users into sales; visible sales that will give you a chance to show your boss that it works. Moreover, you will also need to make sure that your digital strategy works for a sufficient amount of time and that it can be reused or supplemented when necessary.
4) Change and adapt or keep losing out: Yes all things digital move and change at a really fast pace; also, most will tell you that so will your budget need to, in order to follow suit. What ‘most’ will not tell you is that digital always moves in one direction, and that’s forward. Changes always happen for the good for improving results which is why change in digital is good and adapting to it from time to time is vital. But again that does not mean that you chase every new tool that comes your way. Pick only what you need and let the rest go by. With digital, changes can be made in real-time and getting the results can again be quick; helping you adapt and mould your strategy as it progresses.
The bottom line is that one should never be afraid because if you won’t adapt to the change around you—others surely will.
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