Monday, 24 September 2012

5 Points to Consider Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

Posted by Cosmos Star Consultant on 00:23 with 2 comments


If there ever were a question that we would choose to headline our FAQ section, the one above would be it.

Over the years, this single query has struck a common chord across the length and breadth of our client list. Having said that, however, our personal experience with some of the top brands throughout the market capitalization spectrum has led to a startling insight about businesses:

Hardly a handful of brands out there have a fair idea about how to choose a digital media agency!

In such a scenario, the decision to hire a marketing agency that operates exclusively in the digital domain has to be the result of a well thought-out process. Here are five pointers that will be helpful in making that decision:

1. Commitment:  Digital marketing is not a flash in the pan phenomenon. It is an experience that’s best had when immersed. Unlike the piecemeal campaign approach of yesteryear's, digital marketing is about doing things in a more cohesive manner. So a firm better be prepared to introspect and ascertain whether they’ll be willing to put in their everything when they decide to go digital.

2. Road-Map: Clueless minds are obstacles on the pathway to progress. Before speaking to a digital marketing agency, formulate a road-map of the goals that are expected from such a move. Even a rough-cut would do, as it offers the agency a chance to formulate a more complete solution. This is better than taking shots in the dark.

3. Money Talks: For digital greenhorns, it may often be a hazy prospect to assign numbers to the venture. Having a range in mind in such a scenario would often set the ball rolling on the feasibility and scope of the promotional initiatives that are expected to emerge later on. The better digital agencies out there will always be around to assist and guide in these matters, so the budget need not always be set in stone at the beginning.

4. Employee Involvement: For any promotional endeavor to truly flourish, it is imperative that the organisation’s employees be involved. This means that each and every employee in the company must be convinced of their brand representation skills. Enthusiasm and a keen backing from the management go a long way in making this happen.

5. Stakeholder Approach: The very nature of digital marketing lends itself best to setups that are agile in their approach. Thus, forging a sound, strategic partnership is preferred over simply signing them on as service vendors. Support has to come from both the agency side as well as from the client for the partnership to truly succeed.

At the end of the day, digital marketing is a continuous process. There are multiple examples of brands using this gift to wonderful effect. If you’ve got something to add to what’s been said above, feel free to head over to our comments section and help spread the knowledge.

 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Critical Success Factors in Digital Marketing for Small & MediumEnterprises (SME’s)

Posted by Cosmos Star Consultant on 02:43 with 7 comments


The Marketing strategy in its modern version is a seamless blend of the offline and online promotional initiatives. Each element is designed to ebb and flow in complete synchronization with the other. This is also a dynamic approach. The strategic projections are constantly changing and brand success in the competitive business scenario is directly linked to the continuous and optimum usage of such approaches.

Here are Three Interesting Statistics to put things into Perspective:

 

  1. 9 Out of 10 People searching for products and services online tend to use popular search engines like Google, Bing and so on

  2. Trust perceptions among 80 % of people tend to be higher for businesses that have an online presence

  3. 5 out of 10 people also conduct their own background research to verify the claims made on the website


 

Thus, the success of any strategic initiatives in the Digital Marketing Domain depends quite heavily on how good the ‘Website’ is.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), everywhere, are starting to wake up to the potential enormity of the gains online. This sentiment was found to be running true at a poll run by Bord Gais Energy. The respondents of this poll were members of the Small Firms Association (SFA) that had gathered for a free “Business Bytes" seminar on digital marketing.

The poll threw up some interesting trends. Chief among those being the ones listed below:

  • 75% SME’s preferred to let in-house teams manage their digital marketing initiatives



  • Over half of those polled had assigned a specific staffer to spearhead their efforts in this field



  • They alternatively preferred an industry specific training course if no such staffer could be assigned



  • Almost 60% of SME’s had an Ecommerce based website



  • 20% had their sales being funnelled in from clients based outside their country of operations



  • Social Media Platforms like (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.) were the second most popular method of establishing an online presence



  • Linked In was rated to be one of the most promising brand outreach platforms by 70% of those polled



  • Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-Zines & Blogs were the other platforms preferred by SME’s



  • Most businesses consider digital marketing to play an important role in their market success strategies and they are ramping up ad-spends in response


Thus, Product & Service Innovation, Social Media Engagement, Secure Payment Gateways and a solid, backend presence are all important for Brand Success in the competitive business environment.