What is that one key thing which is shaking up the digital space today? It is that fear of missing out or FOMO as we know it. This FOMO offers a great opportunity to the brands and marketers to build a digital economy that is profitable for all. And in the tug of war between the consumer and the marketer, the consumer has won. “The war is over. The single biggest shift that has taken place in the world of business is that it has moved to the customer. Today it is a consumer led world. They love the control that the digital medium s offering them. The brands have to just learn to tap into that,” says Ian Dodson, CEO, Digital Marketing Institute addressing the ‘Future of Digital Marketing’, a talk hosted by NIIT in association with DMI.
Giving an example of how the brand marketers today misuse and misunderstand the power of social media today, Dodson says that the number one thing that most companies still do today when they start their social media account is to post their press releases – that too not in one network but in all the social media channel if possible. The reality is that most consumers will not want to read a press release on the social media page. They are actually looking for more than that, they are looking for information that they can use in a meaningful way. “The point is that these marketing managers when they themselves become a consumer, their behaviour is totally different. So the trick is to reconnect the two sides of our brains, the marketer and the consumer,” he explains. That’s when you get your answer to approaching your digital path the right way. It is important because there are unbelievable set of opportunities for marketing today that they can harness in the digital space to cut through the clutter and reach the consumer.
DMI had recently tied up with NIIT to offer courses and train the marketing professionals to tackle the digital medium and become the savvy marketer to the next generation of consumers. DMI offers what Dodson terms as the syllabus for development and validation. “There is no room today for theoretical delivery of courses. At DMI we look at bridging the gap between the classroom and effective implementation of a digital strategy,” he explains. Dodson further stresses on the fact that for the business house today the need is to not just be a learning organisation but be a teaching organisation as well that constantly creates examples of digital marketing that they themselves can learn from and showcase to others.
What he means is that organisations today constantly need to look at innovations in the fast changing digital landscape and create engagement platforms that help them grow further and set examples for others. “Innovation came from the IT teams within an organisation earlier, but that is shifting. Now the marketing team is in focus, and its role has changed from being a follower to the leader of innovation, with a voice,” Dodson says. This is because today whoever owns the consumer, owns the company, and by virtue the market.
During the course of the talk, Dodson showed that for digital marketers, the important thing is not to immediately respond to a tweet message or a Facebook post by a consumer, but to react in a relevant or positive way to that message to leave a mark with the consumer. “Your reaction to a tweet or a post is what is more important. There should be willingness to listen to your consumer, and make it a two-way conversation,” he advices. Every brand marketers strategy to digital marketing should be an iterative cycle of do, watch, improve to get the real results, and ROI. “Start small. Do a campaign, watch the reaction, measure it, and if it is a success then replicate in a bigger way. Avoid flash –in-the-pan kind of digital activities. Just because it is cool, does not mean you have to do it. It should be relevant to your long-term goal. Always think, the more a consumer owns my brand, the better t is for me,” Dodson says.