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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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Digital Marketing ?

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 6, 2009 in General

The many faces of  Digital Marketing

Is it a website,  a media campaign, a banner ad or pay per click?, rich media ?  Is it  an email campaign,  mobile campaign or maybe a microsite, SMS or Intelligent Voice Messaging (IVM)? consumer generated content ? 

What  about blogs, Twitter, Social Media Networks , Bebo,  Hi-5,   Linked-in, e-acadamy and Facebook, or Web2.0 dynamic, distributive content-driven websites. Does it include optimized keyword searches (SEO), SEM SSM, Digital PR or buzz? Is it e commerce , widgets, or mobile location-based marketing?

Digital marketing is all of the above – born out of the information age  at the end of the 20th century  it’s simply marketing in the digital age.  Consumers’ lives have becoming increasingly connected. Convergence and “always on” connectivity is becoming  increasingly mainstream, and new important channels of communication and opportunities are opening to marketers.

Social Media Marketing is emerging as one of the most important, if not the most important, source of information for the consumer but also for the marketer in listening too, responding and measuring consumer sentiments. 

Marketers have now gained the ability to enhance, empower, interact, converse and otherwise live within ever deeper segments of consumers’ lives, well beyond the reach of traditional media.  In the 21st century, the database is the marketplace and the way in which a consumer interacts or engages with a brand and vice versa may well be a new form of marketing . And one thing is clear – data is and  will be at the centre of it all. 

Digital marketing is  not digital for the sake of digital but an application of established marketing practices  re-thought or re engineered in the digital world. It is  all about permissioned based , persuasive and at times pervasive consumer engagement.

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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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