The first steps towards a successful digital marketing strategy

Steve Traplin shares his three steps to success in digital marketing.

A shift from window shopping to mobile browsing has been fuelled by consumers reliance on smartphones and social media, which has driven buying habits online with e-commerce sales expected to top $10 billion in Australia in 2015. According to Deloitte, 65% of Australians now research their options online before going to a physical store or shopping centres. Reaching these digitally savvy customers at the beginning of their decision making process, means businesses need to develop and enhance their digital presence to convert today’s ever-growing digital shopper.

Getting started requires businesses to know and understand its customer base in order to tap into and secure new revenue streams. The below three steps are the starting point to success:

1. Identify who your customers are

The most important part of creating a digital marketing strategy is knowing who your customers are, how they want to engage with your business and how they want to hear about the goods/services/promotions you offer. It is important to examine your customer’s buying journey across all your media and then build a digital marketing strategy to suit this. The first step is to understand where your customers are searching for your goods or services and whether it is online, offline or on mobile.

2. Think mobile-first

Customers rely on their mobiles when shopping. Whether it be researching products and deals while in-store, or completing the whole customer journey on mobile, m-commerce is now a vital part of the shopping experience. Australian businesses need to respond to this by putting mobile at the forefront of their digital marketing strategy, starting with a mobile responsive website. Mobile can no longer be an afterthought or a luxury, it needs to be at the centre of all strategies and decisions. A simple app and an updated website with relevant content can open up the doorway to a whole new customer base.

3. Listen to your customers

Customers are becoming increasingly used to deals that fit their needs and are specific to them based on their past shopping history. Companies can gain keen insights into how to personalise data and content to the needs of the customer by analysing the data customer’s create. The more customers interact with companies through digital means, the more knowledge a business can capture from them. This is a wealth of knowledge available to business decision-makers that hasn’t been available in the past. Being among the first to make the most of these insights will undoubtedly lead to rich rewards for early movers.

While it may sound complicated to analyse your customer’s data, in reality it just involves implementing a simple piece of software or a reporting tool that will show you how your customers are finding your business (offline and online), where they are, what else they search for, what they are looking at, how long they are looking at it – and that’s just for starters. This information can be used to tailor products and offers to suit your specific customers, increasing the conversion rates of your business.

The wrap

It’s time for businesses to ensure they have a clear and coherent digital strategy or they risk falling behind savvy competitors who may not even be in your own backyard, such as is the global online shopping centre we’re now able to access. While it may seem like a daunting journey, it is actually easier to do than you might think and there are many providers available to help you along your journey. No matter how you embrace digital, you must, as these simple steps have the potential to transform your business and open it up to new revenue streams and markets.

 

Steve Traplin is general manager of Search Optics Australia.