Why digital strategy is critical in marketing communication

To ensure marketing communication campaigns make the needed impact, experts have suggested that digital strategy must be incorporated into the campaigns from the outset. This was advocated last week during Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) Peer to Peer learning platform. It had as theme, ‘The Changing Role of Marketing in a Digital Economy’.

Speakers at the forum, which included Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria, Mr. David Okeme, Country Manager, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, Country Representative of Coolbrands, Clara Okoro and Associate Director, Consumer Insights, Nielsen Nigeria, Shubha Siddhartha.

They were unanimous on the fact that the future belongs to digital platforms and that any company which wants to succeed in the marketplace, whether now or in the future, must give digital strategy a place in the process, especially those which want to capture the youth segment.

In his presentation, Okeme provided insight into how his organization had been using digital platforms and strategy to win the marketplace, and provided statistics to support some of the efforts to drive brands into the heart of the youth market.

A strand that ran through Okeme’s examples was the use and generation of content. According to him, rather than generate the message and content for the consumers on the digital platforms, the consumers were the generators and creators of the contents. He further said to reach target market great content is critical while using mobile enabled platforms to drive the campaign, as more people especially the youth segment use mobile platform.

The Unilever boss added that every brand that wants to play on the digital platform must have a digital strategy.

Siddhartha also captured this position when she stated that marketing communication efforts on mobile and online platforms were not achieving the much-needed impact because the contents are not tailor-made for the platforms. She, however, noted that marketing efforts must cater for the different segments of consumers, which include the digital segment.

Moving forward and to ensure that digital marketing achieves better results, she suggested changing the mindset of consumers going online to search for information to make purchase.

She said, “The adverts are not memorable; an advertisement needs to be able to stick and the content of the advertisement is responsible for this. So the content of the advertisement needs to be development to be actually compactable with the platform on which the advert is being shown. So you cannot have the same advert on mobile phone as that of outdoor or television. Though the advertisement would be the same, what should vary is the content; it should be optimized to the platform it is meant for”.

She, however, revealed that at the moment consumers find adverts on television more believable because marketers are yet to develop the right kind of advert for mobile and Internet advertising, as most organizations still deploy adverts meant for television, which are one-way process, for the digital platforms.

Siddhartha said content of adverts meant for the digital platforms should be more sharable, interactive and a two-way dialogue.

She further noted, “As marketers in the digital economy, we now need to learn how do we get to the next step and decide how to make it interactive. It is not pushing the message to the people because on mobile platform, it is the consumers dictating the way they want and not the marketers”.

Also, Clara Okoro, who spoke on reputation economy, said that good reputation online could increase the opportunities and chances of doing business by 48 per cent. She argued that it is what online platforms say about marketing professional that is usually believed because when people want to transact business they go online to get information about the marketer.

This was why marketing professionals must take their online reputation very seriously, she said.

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