Like the terms “Big Data” or “Omni-Channel” and “Multi-Channel Marketing”, “Digital Marketing” is another term that the top of mind these days. And while many of us have some notion of what it means, there are still quite a few questions about how to actually do it. So we are going to peel back the layers and share some of the top tips on how to become a digital marketing superstar.


What is Digital Marketing?

In the broadest sense, digital marketing is about using various digital channels to promote products and services to consumers. For example, this may be through the internet, social media, mobile phones, display ads, email, videos, etc.

Why is Digital Marketing Important?

By 2019, marketing leaders will spend more than $103 billion on search marketing, display advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing-exceeding their spend on cable and broadcast television advertising combined (Forrester Research).

Digital media is a part of our everyday lives. We socialize, research, and have access to entertainment on a variety of digital channels. Consumers are also using digital channels to make more purchase decisions than ever before.

Creating loyal brand advocates means you must know your customers across the channels they use as well as communicate with them according to their digital preferences. So how do you get started?

Get to Know Your Customers

Your customers are interacting with you across both traditional and digital channels, such as email, customer service departments, social media, in-store visits, and on-line shopping. These multiple sources of customer data must be pulled together into one consolidated warehouse or database. With a better understanding of your customers’ preferences, lifestyles, and other key characteristics, both on-line and off-line, you can deliver highly relevant and personalized offers.

So for example, Mary, a valued customer, has placed multiple orders on-line over the course of several months. She also redeems print coupons at physical locations when they are mailed to her but has unsubscribed from several promotional email lists due to irrelevant content. Each of these interactions with Mary contains important details about her preferences.

However, if this information is stored in separate systems, such as POS, e-commerce, and email, you will have no way to understand what is driving Mary’s behavior across channels.

By establishing a single view of Mary, she can be emailed tailored offers to which she will be more apt to respond. Also, personalized recommendations can be presented to her when she shops on-line.

Analyze Your Customer Data

With an integrated customer database in place, any number of analytics can be applied to determine your customers’ lifestyles and interests, how they shop, and how to best reach them. More traditional ways of analyzing customers by demographics and psychographics are important, but digital behaviors must also be analyzed for a better understanding of motivation and intention.

  • Demographics: factual characteristics, such as age, gender, occupation, and income. For example, are the majority of your customers female or male? Where do they live? Are they single or married?
  • Psychographics: values, attitudes, lifestyles. Psychographic information answers questions such as what motivates your customers to buy your products and services? What are their key values? What are their hobbies and habits?
  • Behavioral: characteristics such as frequency of purchase and channel usage. For example, did they respond to an email, direct mail piece, or browse on-line before visiting your store?
  • Digital Behavior: any type of on-line behavior that can be tracked. These include email opens, when emails were opened, links clicked, cart abandonment, and social behaviors.

With a 360-degree customer view in place, the right offer can be sent at the right time and through the right channel.

Use Your Data to Target Consumers

Check out these statistics from MyBuy’s 2015 Personalization Consumer Survey on how an integrated 360-degree customer view drives more digital purchases. Consumers purchase more from brands who:

With a solid foundation of data in place, you can successfully integrate a mix of digital marketing into your overall strategy. Here is a look at the top digital marketing programs driving results for companies:

Digital marketing is only one component of your overall strategy to target your customers, boost brand recognition, and enhance loyalty. While some consumers prefer to receive a direct mail piece, quite a few others use a mix of both traditional and digital channels before ultimately deciding to purchase. You must be where your customers are – whether they are on-line or shopping in your store.

For more tips on using big data to target in-market consumers with digital marketing, download our free guide.