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Digital Marketing Digital Marketing: The science behind the art?

With the current hype of big data in marketing land, many people feel that digital marketing is turning into a data-driven ultimate CRM tool. Google earned 33.3 billion USD last year of which 97% came from online targeted ads. When Facebook recently reported the 51% year-on-year increase in mobile users, its shares soared by more than 40%. The ones that control the access to personal profiles are making money today, that’s a certainty. But the question remains: is owning the databases and knowing aggregated or individual profiles enough to create a return on investment?

Succesful online brand activation can only be achieved if you have the right insights on current consumers’ online and offline brand related action (a.k.a. COBRAs). To build successful brand activations, I believe that you should get insights in two aspects:

  • Identification: In the CRUSH model I have developed for my book, I have proven that brand identification is a crucial condition for building engagement. Brands can only be successful if there is a large overlap between the brand and consumer identity. In other words we need to understand what makes people tick – not only in the digital space but also in the real world. Who are the people that are currently engaging with your content? What is their lifestyle? How do they differ from consumers that do not engage with the brand? Why did consumers interact with your content or with brand related content in general? These can be extrinsic motivators (like being paid or winning something), but they can also be intrinsic triggers (access to exclusive information, content and entertainment).
  • Content: In addition, we also need to understand how we can translate self-identification into the online world. Which types of content is our target group using, spreading or creating? How should the content be executed? Which creative style of content is contagious? Which format and execution works best for the true brand fans in order to touch their hearts and minds and trigger their actions?

50-shades-of-digital-marketingKnowing these aspects, it’s clear to me that there are still some art-related marketing aspectes beyond the science of digital marketing: creativity, guts and learning from your mistakes and from your successes.

Want to read more on Digital Marketing? Then download the free ’50 Shades of Digital Marketing’ ebook. The book is a production of the Digital Marketing Show. The Digital Marketing Show takes place in London’s Excel Exhibition and Conference Centre in November every year. Aimed at ‘mainstream’ marketers rather than digital businesses or agencies the event is content rich with over 150 presentations from experts and digital practitioners, among others Joeri Van den Bergh.

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