How to Think Like a Digital Marketer

Marketing on the Internet is a funny thing. Nearly everyone these days uses the Internet in a completely frictionless way.

Scoping out the weather for the day, the Internet. Picking a restaurant for a date, the Internet. Watching your favorite sitcom or movie, probably the Internet. Checking in on friends, Facebook (oh yeah, that’s the Internet too). Throughout this process people are interacting with online marketing and probably even being encouraged to be a part of that marketing process.

digital marketingPeople are constantly and mindlessly engaging brands and sharing marketing messages as they simply go about their daily routine. Not one of them decided to take any of these actions to drive your website traffic or increase your conversions. No, people take action when you are the simplest and most rewarding means to what they want.

Don’t forget this: Make your marketing the simplest and most rewarding means to what people want.

It’s not the most intuitive framework for understanding digital marketing, but it is the most effective. Think less in terms of traffic and clicks. Instead shift your focus to responsiveness and satisfaction.

People

I always start with the people.

Who are these folks and why would they need what I offer? Personas work very well in this regard. Literally write out a variety of scenarios. Give them names so they feel real. Even better, if you can, give them real names of your customers.

Quick example:

Eric is a current client looking for new ideas or techniques for achieving certain goals. He comes to Kaleidico.com to find inspiration or discover new idea (ideally he is subscribed to our newsletter). Once he finds something he likes, he needs a brief presentation or PDF to download such that he can “sell” it to his boss.

This is a real one that we use for the Kaleidico website. It becomes much simpler to create a digital marketing plan when you put a face to the market.

Behaviors

Generally,  behaviors flow from the people. Think about what they are the most likely to do in order to get what they want. Maybe even ask a few folks.

  • Hey honey, if you wanted to plan a family vacation this summer, what would you do first? Can you show me?
  • Bob, if you were looking to get new insurance on that beautiful boat of yours, what would you do?
  • Sarah, why did you share that [insert brand here] on your Facebook wall? Do you ever buy things you see on other friends Walls or Pinterest?

The simple nature of social networks makes it very easy to people watch and gather tons of behavioral data for your next digital marketing campaign.

Sociology

Second-only to focusing on people, not traffic sociology is the silent killer of good digital marketing campaigns.

More traditional forms of marketing–TV, radio, and print advertising; even direct mail and email marketing–are simplistic in that they require the marketer only to evoke a response from one person, in isolation. In contrast, the digital marketer has the added dimension of social proofing and other nuances of sociology–how people behave in community.

Most would agree, people often act and respond very differently in private versus when they are acting in the presence of their community.

This can work for or against the digital marketer. If you can encourage their community to buzz up your offer, then you lower their risk to enjoy it and up your actions/sales. If the community rejects or misses the value of the offer, then you have a very public failure and no one wants to buy something no one else thinks is cool. Unfortunately, that is often because it was lost in the noise or poorly marketed.

What do you think? What’s important to thinking like a marketer?