The New Digital Marketing Challenges

October 12, 2015 by Suma EP

It’s an interesting time for Niswey. We have managed to change the quality of leads we generate from the website; they are closer to what we have defined as our sweet spot. People who understand digital, and don’t really know how to exploit it.

Notice I mention the word ‘closer’. Because the leads we got are not just people who understand digital, they are people who have invested in digital extensively, and hit walls. Basically, they are up against the new digital marketing challenges.

Compare this to a few months ago, when our leads were like: “Create buzz for the brand before the launch”, “need social media marketing services for our startup”, “digital marketing for our new e-com site, no budgets”. Most of these leads were clueless about what they really intended to do with their online presence. Hence, the leads that we receive now are hugely welcome! Take a look.

Lots of content, little engagement: One of the e-com companies to approach us has such an impressive online and social presence that it leaves you in awe. They have so much content, all over the place, even a wiki! Photos, videos, celebs, you name it, they have it. They define their one of their digital marketing challenges as “being transactional and not being to able to create an emotional connect with buyers”.

An outsider can see that too, all that content but zero engagement, especially for a product line that can easily get people excited as hell. Interesting problem to solve. Is it just a victim of creating content that doesn’t seek to engage? Is it a victim of social media algorithms that pick up fake accounts as followers? Is it a victim of the brand’s inability to choose between being transactional and being emotionally connected with buyer at every step? We don’t know yet.

Ads are fine, but we need organic: Another organization found us while searching for content marketing. The head of the organization is very well versed in digital, and understands inbound, probably better than many of us! The organization has the best SEO agency in the country, one of the best sales CRMs in place and pours money in Google Adwords. “There’s only so much advertising can do for us, I need organic traffic now,” said the head to us.

We agree, as this organization has so much authentic content that should be talked about and promoted. And that should drive relevant, organic traffic. For now, we are re-doing their website, design and content, because that is the place for a dated site to start. Especially when it is targeted at the new generation.

5X the sales: One of the other pitches we are working on was a hard nut for us to crack, to arrive at the solution, I mean. A B2B e-commerce company. Great Alexa ranking, lots of money spent on SEO, regular advertising, and a good trickle of orders. But a trickle is not enough, given the market potential. “Increase the orders to 5X. In six months!”. In the absence of a real view into analytics, it is hard for us to understand what is really going on. But we can tell, while a lot of SEO work has gone it, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Some good content has been created, but it has not been optimized at all, which shows content and SEO are being approached as railway tracks that never meet. No conversion optimization in place. And we suspect there is no segmented email marketing. Arriving at a solution that can take the orders to 5X was challenging. And even though we did, it is hugely risky for us. But totally worth the ride, we reckon.

And we have many such conversations running: an almost-dead e-com brand that is look for a revival; a TV cable company that can’t figure out its social media, despite many years of trying; a lifestyle brand about to reinvent itself.

“Why is Our Digital Marketing Not Working?”

Brands that have ridden the first wave of digital branding and hit a wall are looking for new approaches. Their SEO is not good enough, ads are not yielding enough, content is not engaging enough, social is just not enough.

We have some ideas of where the problems originate. Some have to do with the lack of understanding the leaders have about digital, or their expectations. Some have to do with the kind of SEO, that India is notorious for (see pic below, it’s a shot from the book, SEO Like I’m 5). Some to do with little understanding of how Google Adwords should be used.

Some have to do with the quality of people hired to handle the brand; they don’t have a great understanding of the target audience. And they are not interns, but people with years of work experience. And some with the way social media algorithms are being rigged by click farms.

The Approach You Need Now

So businesses now need a new approach.

  • Marketing heads and brand owners need more from digital, and hence cannot simply look at piecemeal solutions to create a buzz here or a campaign there.

  • Likes and shares are great. But what about real conversations and increased propensity to buy? Can that come from content that is essentially not about the customer?

  • There are stories to tell about every brand. Look for them. Your customers have them, your people too. Tell those stories.

  • SEO is not something marketers can leave up to a guy who knows a lot of Google jargon but doesn’t understand your brand and its nuances. SEO is something marketers must dip their feet into. No running away from that.

  • Optimization is the name of the game. Many companies have done a lot of work in the digital space, but it not optimized. And that means a lot of effort and money is going to waste. Stop that!

Every conversation anyone at Niswey has with a client, is around these aspects. “What do you want out of this? Why is this not working? If we try this, it could work. Let’s measure and see if it is working. If it’s working (or not), what are the hypotheses? Let’s get more numbers and insights.” And move to the next strategic task. We believe that is the only way for digital marketing to work.

If you think your digital marketing is not giving the results you hoped for, start a conversation with us.