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Long gone are the days where a retailer, small business or corporate giant can ignore the innovative marketing solutions technology and the internet offer. It is now standard practice to not only have an informative website but also to have a responsive design that is compatible with both tablets and smartphones. However, even when coupled with social, mobile, analytics, cloud capabilities and digital marketing platforms, a good website may still not yield effective results.
Why you may ask? Because without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, all the data in the world will not help you meet your goals.
Only those companies that focus on a digital marketing strategy that utilizes the most relevant technologies available to meet a specific goal will ultimately gain an advantage.
To provide a clearer understanding of what this means, let’s take a look at some large companies making the most of all that digital marketing offers.
Nordstrom, for example, adopted a strategic focus that directs their technology spending toward increased customer and employee engagement which ultimately increased their revenue. Because Nordstrom.com and the Nordstrom mobile app are fully integrated with their nationwide inventory management system, customers can find what they want in one place (either online or in-store) and have it delivered directly to their home or the nearest brick-and-mortar location. Nordstrom’s engagement with popular social apps, like Pinterest, extends what a Nordstrom employee knows about their customers’ preferences. Items popular on Pinterest are tagged with a red tag bearing the Pinterest logo and prominently displayed in the store, linking their online and offline worlds. Their employees are now armed with information not only about what a customer has bought in the past, but what they like, and even what they shopped for but could not find. Mobile checkout makes it easier than ever for any employee to see a customer through the payment process and thank them, rather than sending them to a cash register, streamlining the entire purchasing process.
Airbnb also executed an effective digital marketing strategy with a focused goal of driving customer acquisition. Utilizing Craigslist’s existing short-term housing site, Airbnb was ableto generate qualified leads by making the two platforms compatible. In essence, if a user posted on Airbnb, they now have the option to automatically generate a post on Craigslist as well. This is not only cost-effective, but increases their exposure and market, doubling leads to the post and to the Airbnb site. This relatively simple and inexpensive solution made this very new market of temporary home shares more accessible and less intimidating for new customers because of its connection to a well-known website.
Coffee giant Starbucks, a trailblazer in the adoption of free Wi-Fi in all of their stores, is at another digital forefront: food and beverage delivery. Their new program, slated to launch in mid-2015, will be available in select markets to loyalty-program members as part of the new app. Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz said that the mobile payment and order capability was a “totally unique technology” because it “seamlessly integrates mobile ordering in our proprietary loyalty program with point-of-sale and store operations, enabling us to enhance our customer experience, exceed our customers’ expectation of convenience and extend customer loyalty.” The Starbucks mobile app has not only changed the way customers order a “tall” instead of a “small” but now how they pay for it all. The company said earlier this year that 15% of sales in its U.S. stores are done through its app. Not only will customers soon be able to have their food and beverages delivered to them with the Starbucks app, but they can pay for it, reload their Starbucks cards and redeem rewards too.
As you can see, there are plenty of innovative ways to utilize available technology, but what truly determines one’s success is the focus and purpose of your digital marketing strategy. While we can’t all be Starbucks, you can still develop a strategy for succeeding in the modern economy with a purpose that leverages your unique capabilities and responds to market opportunities. If anything caught your eye, or you’d like help with your digital marketing strategy, as ever, please get in touch.
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