Tips for Marketing Managers going digital

By Hans Oskar

Tips for Marketing Managers going digital

Swedish marketing managers don’t think digital media helps them to sell, according to Resumé, a Swedish business magazine about the communications industry. This heading attracted my interest since I have been working as a marketing manager for many years. Let me share a few of my insights with you.

Tips for going digital:

Be clear on what you mean - digital or online?

What are you talking about? In my world online means connected to the internet. Digital is bits and bytes-formats for distribution of information. It might seem simple but I keep hearing marketing peers using the words almost interchangeably. For example; using this definition digital media is not only online (internet) channels but could also be digital signs, games, videos, or… cars, as well. Consequently, a banner ad on internet is online advertising. You can save money and time by avoiding misunderstandings here. Check that your colleagues, managers, and suppliers, share the same understanding, and mean the same thing as you.

Measure the right things!

Do not expect your bottom-line to pick up if you do not measure what actually contributes to it. Views, impressions, clicks, or visitors, do not contribute directly to your sales. You need to measure every step from a first contact with a potential customer all the way through to the deal is done (and ideally also follow up satisfaction afterwards). The beauty with digitalisation is that we, as marketers, finally have the means of getting the data. The data should be used for correcting the actions as we go along. Remember, with digital formats it is easy to quickly change and improve a message that do not deliver results.

Tell them what they want to hear – not what you want to say.

It is all about the content. Of course, you know this. Take a look at the inbound method if you need ideas on how to work with content. Have you checked if your message is relevant to the individuals that you want to have as customers? Do you solve their problems? Do you improve their lives? If so, in what way? You can be sure that at least I will not like to be bothered by you unless you make my day a better one…


Onboarding – getting all of you on to the bandwagon.

Digital and/or online affects your entire organisation. Do not underestimate the need for internal communication and coordination of resources internally. In the old days an advertising campaign or print brochure was handled by the marketing department ‘in the corner over there’. With digital and online you can measure each step of the customer interaction, but remember that the steps need to be connected. This is a must if you want to see what your marketing activities really do for your bottom-line. Otherwise it will only, and always, just be regarded as a cost which can be cut very easily. Think in terms of cross-functional teams… Read more about how to build an inbound team. 

Be fast and agile

One of the main benefits with digital/online is that it allows you to test and try different versions of basically everything. So, why spend hours and hours on finding the holy grail? No, use your budget wisely which means do not spend it on one ‘big idea’ only. Stay with a theme but prepare for different executions, different content, different media, different everything. And, keep the measurements coming in. Remember to set the goals over time and act fast once you see the results.

How many of these boxes can you tick off? My experience is still that many companies can tick off one or two but I have not seen many that honestly can claim to have it all in place. Pat yourself on the shoulder if you are one. If you are like most companies, know that you have an exciting journey ahead… And the sooner you get started, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.

I want to talk to an expert!

Hans Oskar
Analyst at Zooma, 2016-2017.
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