06/07/2015

By Richard Silbermann, Managing Director of Brand Remedy, a Design Week Top 100 branding consultancy

Digital marketing has, in a remarkably short space of time, become one of the most important aspects of any business. Get it right and you can make your business a success, almost overnight. Get it wrong and no one will know you ever existed.

This much is well known. What is less well know is what it takes to get it right today. Digital marketing changes continually. What worked last year will be less effective today.

For example, a recent study conducted by Carat shows that 55% of people have stopped surfing the web for content and products; they now rely on a few trusted sites. How does this affect your digital marketing? Or what about the fact that, according to Barclays, by 2024 mobile will play a part in 42% of all retail purchases? Or the April 2015 algorithm update from Google?

Here are what we believe are the key challenges and opportunities facing business today – and some practical advice on how to deal with them.

CHALLENGES

1) Choose the digital channels that work best for your business – don’t spend time on Facebook when your clients are on LinkedIn

2) Set a meaningful digital strategy. Think about what you’re planning to do and why, check you have enough resources and think about how you can measure success.

3) Stay brand-centric. Digital marketing doesn’t change fundamental ‘brand rules’ about consistency of message, clear values and behaviour.

4) First impressions count. Communicate poorly and clients will get the wrong impression. Make sure your website validates the quality of what you do.

5) It’s not just about the website. Think about the whole customer journey. Your website might look great and it’s got the right information…a prospect phones you, but they get put on hold…

OPPORTUNITIES

1) Do it right. Doing digital right creates an impression of a strong, coherent brand and well-managed business. Whatever your offer, it reassures and encourages prospects and clients.

2) Validation. Your website should validate and reassure – a professional looking website should reinforce your reputation and reassure your referrals.

3) Think about the user journey. Simple, intuitive navigation is a digital manifestation of how a business behaves and treats its customers.

4) Adapt and be prepared to change. Digital is evolving rapidly. New ways of communication become mainstream, old ones lose popularity. Make sure you have someone giving you relevant and timely advice on digital developments.

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