Digital Marketing Communications methods / Marketing communications

Digital Marketing Communications methods

When marketers evaluate all the digital communication channels at their disposal, they're faced with a rich array of choices, including the latest in social-media and mobile marketing.

Social-media marketing includes participation on social-networking websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace; video- and photo-sharing websites, including YouTube and Flickr; blogging; microblogging (e.g., Twitter); podcasts; forums; product reviews, such as those on Amazon; and social-bookmarking websites.

Like email marketing, those channels help companies disseminate information to large audiences rapidly and cost-effectively.

Omniture and The CMO Club conducted a Digital Marketing Survey in May of 2009, asking 102 CMOs to rate the relative effectiveness of digital-marketing media.

Most respondents, 78%, found email marketing most effective, while 33% had success with online communities and blogs.

Most online consumers engage with a variety of online communications and activities, and they have different preferences and tastes. The Digital Marketing Survey and others underscore the importance of including a full range of interactive- and mobile-marketing vehicles in your digital-marketing campaigns.

Today's businesses should be using complementary media—email, social networks, and mobile—to most effectively connect and communicate with their current and prospective customers.

Networking With Customers

With companies incorporating interactive and digital strategies more frequently into their campaign mixes, Forrester Research has predicted the highest rate of growth for social media, among those digital strategies, over the next five years (according to the company's Interactive Advertising Model published on July 7, 2009).

Social-networking venues do not necessarily increase leads, nor do they populate a company's prospect database. But social networking does give organizations the opportunity to share information in a one-to-many format authenticated by consumer and peer reports, comments, and endorsements; extend their brand reach; and learn even more about their audiences—from age and sex to education level, social patterns, preferences, and tastes.

At the same time, social-networking websites give customers the ability to research companies more thoroughly, read peer reviews, and develop a comprehensive business profile before they ever make a purchase. For both parties, social networking offers a means to foster trust and long-term loyalty.

Blogging and microblogging further nurture that relationship, providing a vehicle for companies to tout their expertise, promote new products, share news, and stay connected without being pushy.

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