Digital Marketing

Where is the ‘Marketing’ in the ‘Digital’?

Evan Denis

Once upon a time, long ago, Mulla Nasruddin went to a dockyard.

Seeing some men working with tar and fire, he asked one of them what it was for.

“We make tar,” he said, “and cover the cracks on the underside of the boat. That makes it go fast.”

Nasruddin headed straight for home and lit a bonfire. 

Then he tied up his donkey, melted some tar in a pan, and heated it till it was red hot. 

As soon as he brought the smoking red hot tar near his donkey, the frightened animal broke loose and ran like the wind, baying for his life.

“It works all right!” said Mulla to himself as he watched his poor donkey flee across the village.

The above is a classic tale of what happens when we apply wrong solutions to the right problems.

Call me old school, but I do not understand this craze which has taken over even the most sensible marketers today.

When social media got incepted and became a magnet for people, it became evident to us marketers that a lot of agencies catering to B2C clientele will join the bandwagon.

Even in a B2C (businesses selling to consumer) market scenario, there are some obvious differences.

It is an entirely different ballgame when you are selling consumables like apparel, shoes, makeup to consumers, compared to when you are selling industrial products, power tools or power quality products or when you are selling automotive aftermarket parts to consumers.

The approach to selling consumables or white goods online is predominantly via social media presence, online advertising, SEO, SMO, and through google-AdWords, etc.

However, when you are selling industrial products, or you are in B2B (businesses selling to businesses) space, there has to be a judicious mix of online and offline media which helps get your message across.

A strategically curated lead funnel of the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content served on digital platforms is your best bet to edge prospects to close deals here.

Of course, from a branding perspective, I am quite impressed by the GE handle on Instagram where they are winning over any other brand, by miles. Their efforts here should bear fruit more in the internal communication arena, for prospecting qualified employees and keeping them motivated, then for prospecting clients.

Talking about wrong solutions to the right problems, we see digital agencies crawling out of the woodwork nowadays. It seems to have been impressed upon every one that there is an urgent need to always be on top of Google rankings.

But why? If I am a B2B concern, why should I spend money getting SEO/ Google AdWords done especially when I have a niche customer base, and I can focus more on direct marketing to my captive consumer base?

And what do these digital agencies do to fulfill the ‘Sisyphean’ promise of being on top and coming first in this race?

They fill the online space with a constant stream of ‘average Google-sufficient content’ at the lowest possible price. Their digital packaging of silver, gold, and platinum offerings are not gems but baubles at best.

What is more disheartening is how the marketing heads of some accomplished companies are allowing their equity to be diluted via the copy-paste average ‘SEO articles’ being paraded around.

Heading most, not all, of these agencies, are computer science graduates who are no doubt  technically equipped with internet conquering tactics but with close to zero knowledge of ‘brand, marketing, and quality content.’

No wonder, the online presence of most of their clients have become a caricature.

It leaves me hugely bemused that ‘marketing,’ which preached to the choir, is being commoditized itself!!

So let’s see whether the advice we give to our clients in a commoditized market will work for us as well.

How do we differentiate?

#1 > We do not offer any standardized gold/ silver packages for our digital marketing services.

#2 > Our services are completely customized to the need of each client, their offerings, USPs, positioning and target audience.

#3 > If you don’t have a clear positioning yet, we strategize your marketing communication initiatives and positioning tailored to your TG

#4 > We ensure that the ‘quality,’ and not the ‘quantity’ of our content enhances your positioning

#5 > We make sure that in the ‘lead generation’ and ‘direct marketing’ campaigns in the B2B arena, we send out your articles, case studies and white papers amongst other relevant content­­­ instead of mere trivia!

#6 > We build you up as ‘thought leaders’ through qualitative content

#7 > Our strength lies in being ‘strategic’ rather than ‘tactical,’ and we put the ‘marketing’ back into ‘digital.’

#8 > We strategically curate the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content to edge prospects to close deals.

#9 > We ensure that digital is a platform, and a tool for our ‘marketing speak’ rather than vice versa.

#10 > Our objective is to make your brand well known and for that, we use every marketing tool necessary to reach your target audience.

#11 > We will not paint stripes on a donkey to pass it for a zebra, but we will ensure that we build it up so much that it wins almost every race it enters!

Anju Thkral Makin heads a Gurugram-based niche consultancy firm, Alchemy Corporate Communications, specializing in marketing strategy and brand communication. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

#marketing #contentmarketing #digitalmarketing #marketingstrategy


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