We have seen a surge in the field of digital marketing in the last decade. So much so that most of the businesses have gone digital to make sure they stay in line with, if not ahead of, their competitors. For a common person, the only thing that comes to mind when they think of digital is ‘digital marketing’.
But is digital only for marketing?
Are there no other sides to it that one may tap into?
Other than in digital marketing, can digital transformation be used in any other context?
The answer to all these questions is that ‘Digital isn’t just for marketing’. In fact, it is related to all things digital. To keep it simple, what we think of digital spans around five major components:
- Analytics and Big Data
- Consumerisation of IT and
All of these things together describe what digital actually is and why it is not just related to digital marketing. These factors help take digital in terms of commercial realities and how they should be introduced into the business.
When talking about social, one actually needs to consider why social is happening and not just think about social in terms of only tools such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
These are only tools, and the main question is, why do people use them? It is similar to when the Internet first came about. It was a tool, but now it has become an important part of our daily lives. It allows for increased freedom and access to information that we could never have otherwise.
A digital business interacts with customers, both responsively and proactively, using social. Social is pointless without meaningful interactions. Likewise, it is important to have specific and SMART goals and objectives for social to achieve.
It is something to look out for as it is common for businesses to undertake social strategies without having any efforts or proper measurements to back them up.
Another important aspect that is commonly overlooked is user experience. When running campaigns on social media, one needs to consider user experience and their journey.
This means that social is actually a multidisciplinary effort, which takes a specialised UX support to be successful rather than just relying on the marketing team alone.
Just as social, one needs to consider why people actually use mobile devices. The easiest way to understand this concept is to consider the appeal of mobile devices because of their non-interruptive and non-intrusive nature.
Mobile devices allow people to get on with their lives and also blend into the digital aspect of their lives
Instead of waiting to get home, log on to your desktop PC, and then do something as simple as responding to an email, mobile devices allow you to complete all the important tasks on the go.
It is important to note how social and mobile have allowed customers to converge into a pattern known as ‘non-voice customer service’. Individuals can now use digital mediums to interact with businesses digitally rather than have interactions that intrude their real lives.
Analytics and Big Data
Big data is all about deriving understanding about behavior by statistically analysing clumps of data. This allows you to have control over what you want and what you don’t want.
What’s lacking in the concept of big data is that you may be able to determine the behaviour of a person, but determining the motive behind this behaviour is an altogether different story. Once again, this brings us to the big question, is it not enough to know that something is happening?
Consumerisation of IT
Tech companies these days are looking to ensnare normal consumers. The things they produce are getting better and cheaper. As a result, businesses take advantage of these facts, and this decreases the need for IT to be specialised.
A perfect example of this is BlackBerry. It involved specialised software and hardware to get your work email onto a phone. In fact, it a was a relatively painful and long task. The same task is no longer a problem and needs no specialisation, thanks to BYOD and CYOD.
Another thing this has done to the consumers who are employed somewhere is that it has exposed them to various apps and services, which have made them better at innovation.
A simple example of this is using Dropbox to get data in and out of the business. Companies may be wary of these things, but the act is innovative. This has made IT innovation from bottom-up possible instead of just relying on a top-down-effort.
Cloud has become a major part
However, it is important. Firstly, because it is a trend these days and also because a number of tools and services which are involved in the digital are unlocked when a business is taking a cloud-based approach. Thus, it is an important part of the digital.
The 4 things you need to consider if you’re going to start digitising your marketing:
1. Don’t think just marketing – review your whole business strategy and look at how digital relates to them all;
2. Ask yourself not just WHAT it means, but HOW it changes things for your business – be clear on your WHY;
3. In normal business, what comes before marketing? Consider what you’d usually do without digital and start there. For example; you might normally have a product agreed and a sales process enabled, which then feed into your marketing. Look at the digital space in these first to then inform your digital marketing strategy;
4. Don’t be afraid to test and take risks. In the digital world, it’s about finding what works and this can take a number of tests to find that channel. In digital, this happens fast and can be inexpensive, depending on how you approach it.
In summary, what’s important is the fact that ‘digital’ means something that is specific and reasonably clear. It is not just an opaque buzzword; in fact, it is a sociological change that is not just related to marketing.
It is about giving answers to questions that ask ‘why’ it is happening: why customers are using social and why they are using mobile devices? It is also about answering why big data shows the trends that it does and why companies are buying and using consumer products and running their systems on clouds?
It is also about answering why big data shows the trends that it does and why companies are buying and using consumer products and running their systems on clouds?
Digital marketing is just one part of what digital actually is.
To limit digital just to marketing is not the best approach towards digital.