What is the true role of marketing in today’s digital world?
In a digital world, it’s no longer possible to create a brand with logos, tag lines, and ads. Everything you DO (what you say about yourself… not so much…) now builds your brand and establishes positioning in your market.
How to be a brand steward
The role of traditional marketing now has a new twist. Businesses no longer control their brand. Why? With digital media and the breakdown of effectiveness of mass media, dictating and controlling the message is tougher to do. Now, the marketing message must be built from the bottom up.
Customers are now the voice of your brand. With social media and access to online reviews and the ability to easily share experiences with others about your products and services, what your customers say drives your brand. The only control you have about what your customers say about you and your products and services is how you influence the perception of the experience of doing business with your business.
You influence the customer’s brand experience. Everything you DO influences this experience. How do you engage customers on social media? How fast and effective is your customer service? Digital health marketers must take on a more subtle role. Working with internal groups (such as customer service) to humanize the brand and influencing (rather than dictating with flashing ad campaigns) how your customers actually experience your brand and doing business with your company.
Adopt an agile mindset and approach to marketing
How do you go about influencing your customer’s brand experience? It all starts with understanding what your customer really wants, and how he or she views the value of what you deliver.
For the first time, marketing has the ability to get a view of customers in real time. Using customer, market, and social data together, marketing can get the big picture view (Big Data of what customers do and want, available on a scale unheard of a few years ago) as well as individual customer feedback. This real time information gives businesses the ability to observe and react in the moment just like humans do. For example, your website serves up information in response to a person’s actions on your site. Or, customer service offers an instant download app to fix a software bug.
A lean, agile approach incorporates build-test-learn feedback loops. You build a software solution based on what the customer wants. You test it to see how they use it. You learn if what you built matches what the customer wants, or if it needs changes. Or, you build-test-learn a customer service process. Everything that you do in your business that touches the customer becomes part of your product and ultimately shapes the brand experience. This lean, agile approach provides you with the process to apply both the art and the science of marketing.
Today’s successful digital health marketer realizes that the customer experience shapes the brand. As a result, marketing strategy is now more important and complex than before. The real challenge is responding quicker… and better… than your competition.
If you need help on building your digital health brand using an agile customer-driven approach, let’s talk.