Off to a great start :: Digital marketing frameworks, Content Strategy & More!

if the first day at the DMA 2012 show is any indication, we are in for a fabulous and stimulating show!

Today we discussed how digital marketing has become a matter of great storytelling.   In the not so distant past, digital marketing was an exercise in broadcasting.  Then, it became a matter of personalization.  Today, it’s a complex web of targeted, social two-way experiences.  The complexity stems not just from the fragmentation of channel and device, but also from the fact that branded media is not always owned by the marketer.  Look around:  Facebook is encouraging us all to dump our websites and move to their platform.  Some companies have dumped their customer service software in favor of Twitter.  Google certainly now hosts more content about most brands than the brands’ own websites do.

Shaun Brody, online marketing director for the German software maker and global marketer SAP, talked today at the International Federation of DMAs (IFDMA) meeting here about the intersection of direct marketing and sales in his organization.   There is no “future win” on your digital marketing investment, he said.  In the past, we would make changes to our marketing – with confidence that in six months it would move the needle on brand perception and interaction.  However, today, the impact is immediate. Every data-driven marketing activity is tracked on its impact for sales leads today – not in future.  Focusing the organization on what works best is key to success.  That takes not just technology, but “people and process,” he says.  Who doesn’t have big goals to hit and limited resources?!  Shaun reports that search and email still account for some 70% of total leads for his organization, with other social and digital activities making up the rest.  This allows for some testing of new technologies, media and channels, but prevents SAP from distraction by whatever new “bright and shiny” object is currently in view.

Building a customer experience requires not just knowledge of channel choice by your audiences, but also great storytelling throughout the exploration stages of each customer.  Social and search can guide content strategy, but marketers must also think about format, tone, customization and automation.  “While most marketers think their challenge is to create MORE content, really what they need is to utilize the content they have more efficiently and effectively,” said Joe Pulizzi (@juntaJoe), founder of the Content Marketing Institute.  In his presentation this afternoon, he proposes that connecting the dots with a customer focused content approach will enable marketers to execute more efficiently on a relationship marketing program.

This is the way we work today, right?  “Target – Nurture – Serve.”  It’s great to be at a show with so many smart marketers who are facing the same issues.

– Stephanie Miller, VP, Member Relations, DMA (@stephanieSAM)

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