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The Digital Ecosystem – Awareness, acquisition and retention activities

Digital Marketing  is all about the consumer experience  with , accompanied by, and  within a brand virtually.  From the physical dimension of a brand to its mental associations, its brand equity, or  brand essence , down to very granular services or information surrounding its place in a consumer’s life,  all can and should be experienced digitally. 

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One way of  considering the full digital marketing mix is to look at as a  digital ecosystem. As in any successful ecosystem, all the elements and their inter- relationships support and keep the ecosystem alive, adapting and thriving. And across the digital marketing mix there is a problem if these all remain in silos.  The traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention  should be applied across all types of  digital interactive services or content in that ecosystem as active environmental roles that support the ecosystem. More importantly,  they must all be considered as  digital consumer touch points, each with an active role  to play. In a cohesive or holistic sense these traditional marketing pillars should applied against very activity in standalone website or across a full digital  ecosystem ( sites,  services, distributed content,  social networks, digital media/advertising, email marketing and CRM ) and should always be considered. Conversely , these digital touch points should be supported by other non digital channels ( POS, above and below the line media , on pack) ; a virtual environment needs to exist with a physical counterpart. 

While some of the activities, content, or interactive services you have on a site may seem obvious its always good to justify there existence against what your aims or goal are in the marketing mix. No one element is exclusive , all are interdependent just as they would be in the normal sales funnel,  and what’s interesting about this is that you can seek to balance activities against the goals and make decisions of what interactive pieces you might consider for the traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention. 

What’s interesting today in the more social interactive world is that  in the consumers journey along the traditional sale funnel seems to be either accelerated or  they can identified anywhere in the funnel a lot quicker. The activities surrounding your he traditional marketing pillars  of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention seem blurred. Lets take,  for example, Bacardi . In its recent digital campaign  to further its  association with a night clubbing and dance club lifestyle worldwide, it chooses to be a trusted facilitator in an aspect of that  lifestyle, by providing the service of a digital  music sharing platfrom . It uses social media by offering aspiration based rewards of free  limited edition, 1st to hear, music tracks to those consumers (its digital advocates)  that act as a word of mouth spokes-peoples for the brand’s service by being the source of introduction of the Barcardi music sharing platform to their friends and rewards them accordingly.  One could  say that its the digital equivalent  to brands  giving  away a utility  that is associated with or inherent in products consumption. Like a coffee  brand giving a branded cup or spoon or something inherently needed with the process drinking coffee. But in the case of Bacardi its wrapped up in a social relationship reward program that only digital can provide at relatively low cost and be  highly. What is does is either accelerate the potential for identifying advocates  or it even makes a brand advocate out of a consumer who may not necessarily consume the brand or be an MVC. This is not bad thing, who wants to stop a consumer talking about your brand in a positive way whether or not they consumer your brand?

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Email performance

Posted by John Horniblow on Feb 2, 2009 in Email Marketing

 As a tactic inside  the digital marketing mix,  Email’s low cost and effective reach  still makes it core component in B2C communications. Given its low cost,  email service providers are expecting an increase reliance on this highly measurable and engaging method of consumer interaction. Today Email remains a staple of nearly every digital marketing campaign,   while its low cost puts it behind other tactics in terms of spending, its effectiveness should never be under estimated. 

Epsilon , a leader in enterprise email services,  has just released a study on E-mail marketing metrics that indicates  that deliverability rates were almost exactly the same in Q3 2008 as they were in Q3 2006. Open rates and click-through rates dipped during the same period, but only slightly. 

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 This still indicates its viability as a dependable media channel. The optomisim surrounding the industry indicates projections that email , as a media channel continues to enjoy steady and unfaltering growth despite concerns about the declining effectiveness of advertising and the challenging economy  Online benchmark and research group eMarketer, estimates spending on e-mail will rise to $488 million in 2009, up from $472 million in 2008. While a small growth in overall terms , it is none the less a growth in a time  when other types of media spend are in decline. email spend

 Email’s low cost and high ROI shouldn’t make a marketer lazy or complacent, consumer segmentation and personalization add  significantly higher increases to the effectiveness of this media and directly impact response rates.

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The Email Marketing Media Channel – The Tool of “Digital Dialogue”

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 15, 2009 in Email Marketing, Online Media

 

Email media channel

 

In the world of “Digital Dialogue” Email  is possibly one of the most accessible forms of media and communication for consumers and as such should be considered as a pivotal media channel.  In todays marketing world where the  pundits description of  a consumers exposure to media is “fragmented “,  it is best to consider Email  as a marketing imperative not  a “nice to have” or  a one off throw away campaign .  Email impacts  brand relationships and loyalty and should be considered as a integral personalized communication channel in any marketing mix.  

 Its use  or misuse can also effect a brand’s image or the trust a consumer can have in a brand. In a time where we consider the consumer in control of their media consumption, via a myriad of choices, Email,  in the consumers mind  has become the most convenient and controllable channel available. In the digital world where consumers are taking charge, Email is a tangible, flexible media they can control. Take it. Leave it. Delete it. Opt in, Opt out. Respond to it. Pass it on:  Think about it ,  who do you know that hasn’t received an email that contains a witty piece of humour, movie, picture, or  link passed on from a trusted colleague or friend who knows them well?    

 

And when it comes to looking at consumers and consumer trends surrounding Email marketing the question of whether you want a Digital Dialogue channel with your consumer base  it becomes a no brainer. 

  • Consumer have the power to choice with  an Email  e.g. do I  want to receive , open,  save , delete or act on an email
  • 90% of consumers will use email to engage in and determine the value of a relationship with a company -JupiterResearch
  • Consumers ranked email ahead of traditional media like newspapers, magazines and radio as a good way to learn about new products - American Marketing Association, Mplanet
  • 68% of consumers said they were prompted to browse a Web site after receiving an email from a retailer  -RightNow Technologies & Harris Interactive 
  •  25% of US internet users share content via Email (word-of-mouth) on a daily basis; 63% share on a weekly basis - eMarketer, Email and Word-of-Mouth

 

Here are some other facts  to mull upon:

  • 50 million people per day  check email 5 times per day
  • Email drives 80% on retail sales
  • Email is an everyday activity for most us
  • 94 % of companies use email
  • Marketers worldwide are sending 5.2 million  promotional Emails per month
  • On average email users receive 41 messages per day – 34% receive 31 or more messages per day
  • 45% of Email users say they are interested in receiving email about products and services
  • 53% say they unsubscribe when the Emails are irrelevant

Source: Jupiter Research LLC 05.2007

  •  Email is a Highly Effective Branding Tool
  • As advertisers ask for accountability, more agencies are launching email disciplines
  • In 2007 email marketing generated $21.9 Billion in sales**
  • Email will be a $4 Billion industry by 2011*
  • Email is the 3rd Major Media Channel!

Source:  Forrester Research 2008

 

 

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Author

Posted by John Horniblow on Dec 31, 2008 in

John Horniblow  - Digital Marketing expert and Digital Innovator

John is a passionate and highly respected digital communications and marketing professional who has worked with some of the world’s leading and most respected companies and brands including Toyota , Nestle,  Nike,  Apple,  Microsoft,  News Corporation and Activision.

Early in his career John trained as a cinematographer and has shot, directed and produced award winning short, television documentary and industrial/training films working with broadcasters such as BBC, SBS, and ABC . His work has been screened at International film festivals and on network television.

In Digital development John first worked as a producer on the launch of the MSN network in Australia (Microsoft -PBL venture; NineMSN)  working on the transformation of traditional news , current affairs , and editorial properties into the online world . He  spent time working at News Corporation in the founding days of News Interactive.   John then joined Spike Networks to become  the Director of Interactive Services  in the interactive agency that  was formerly Asia/Pacific’s largest and most successful .  He ran the companies most prominent accounts for Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Commonwealth Bank, and Southcorp Wines  and and produced and managed the strategy and development of  a number of Fortune 100 company websites across a number of industries. His work has garnered awards at: London International Advertising Awards 1999 for TV and cinema commercials, radio and print advertising, and interactive media, The International Designers Network (IDN) Design Award 1999 in the Web/Entertainment category, and the 1999 Best Advertising/Marketing Site category in the Australian Interactive Multimedia Association Awards.

In 1999 he was also part of the team that took Spike to an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange and opened overseas offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He moved to Los Angeles , USA to be the Director of Production and Content Development for SpikeRadio, the worlds first 24/7 online radio station network in the early days of audio and video streaming , pioneering production processes in remote media broadcasting across the internet and converging interactive editorial with rich media streams. He forged partnerships with Apples’ QuickTime TV network( the pre cursor to Itunes )  as a top tier content producer and broadcaster, Microsoft’s Windows Media as a broadband developer . In his tenure at SpikeRadio he produced Nike’s Olympic 2000 online media project, Radio Free Sydney, (Winner – Communication Arts’ Interactive Design Annual 2000 – Best in Interactive Design.) including producing series of short video web-episodes “Desperate seeking Brandy” and featuring US woman’s soccer star Brandi Chastain  shot against the backdrop of Sydney’s Olympic Games . This alongside the bold and evolutionary BWM films is  recognized as one of the web’s first branded entertainment series online.

In 2001 during the Dotcom downturn he started BLADEdigital, a strategic interactive and online production consultancy advising to Nissan Global Interactive Marketing, Nike Digital, Qantas’ North American  CRM program, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, The Phoenix Art Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

He then moved onto leading Activision’s  interactive marketing efforts across all consumer facing digital channels . He led some of the earliest forays into social media marketing on mySpace and Facebook , developed a number of company firsts in driving web 2.0 fan based communities as a cornerstone to deep CRM and online marketing activities , developed a behaviour  and sterotype mapping CRM platform to clearly define precision driven consumer segmentation and  re designed/repositioned the Activision’s corporate and brand websites around broadband video and deep engagement activities.

Specialties:

Convergence Culture, Digital communications and marketing strategy and development, Emerging platforms and rich media, Interactive marketing strategies, Online CRM and loyalty based programs, Technology and Design consulting, Digital Branded Content and Entertainment – editorial, film and video production.

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