In today’s business environment, no company can exist, much less succeed, without digital marketing. A company needs visibility in the marketplace, standing out against a lot of competitors. To be visible to your target market, you must market your brand digitally. Follow them where they are, and that is on the internet. They now spend more time online compared to any other media.
New research shows that not only must you become recognizable in the market, but you must also project social and environmental concerns and responsibilities. You must also communicate this to them through digital marketing. Consumers now expect companies to have good values that align with their own. This is how they choose what to purchase and what brand to reward with their loyalty.
The Far-reaching Scope of Digital Marketing
There is nothing superior to digital marketing today. There are only further improvements, developments, and advancements on its basic foundations. The world is now almost fully digital. Statista reports that people in the U.S. spent an average of 470 minutes daily on digital media and only 347 minutes in traditional media in 2020. In 2021, the forecast is that they will spend an increased average of 477 minutes daily on digital media and a decreased average of 330 minutes on traditional media.
By 2022, the difference further widens as the prediction is that they will increase their average daily time on digital media to 482 minutes. In contrast, they will further decrease their average daily time on traditional media to 318 minutes.
According to another Statista study, there were 298.8 million active American internet users in January 2021. Among them, 269.5 million accessed the internet through mobile gadgets, and 240 million were active social media users.
The State of the Connected Customer fourth edition by Salesforce published the results of a survey conducted across 27 countries worldwide from July 16 to August 18, 2020. It shows that 88 percent of consumers believe that digital initiatives among companies must accelerate due to the pandemic. The digital activity of consumers also accelerated, with 68 percent engaging with brands more often online than offline. Individual consumers state that they will be doing more online shopping even after the pandemic.
When browsing products, seeking advice and making purchases, consumers use an average of nine channels, even more among millennials. The top three most preferred channels are e-mail, mobile phones, and in-person engagement. These were followed by internet chats, mobile apps, messenger apps, texting or short media services (SMS), internet portals, video chats, and social media.
This is why the new trend in digital marketing is omnichannel engagement. Digital marketers must engage with their target market on all channels that they are on. There is no need to spend valuable resources on channels the target market does not prefer, though. This makes marketing campaigns more focused.
The message must remain consistent across channels, changing only to fit the requirements of each channel. For instance, various social media platforms have their respective styles. It is, therefore, essential for a company to hire professional social media management services who have the expertise to navigate through these platforms.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is very useful in digital marketing. It is used to gather data about the target market and apply it to personalize engagement with each individual. Among consumers of all generations, 60 percent expressed openness to the use of AI for the improvement of their digital experiences.
However, 65 percent were concerned about possible unethical uses of AI, and 54 percent were concerned about bias in AI. Through digital marketing campaigns, companies can display transparency in their AI usage and reassure consumers that they ensure data safety and privacy.
Going Beyond Profit
The report also shows that more than half of 56 percent of consumers now hold companies to a higher standard and evaluate their role in society. Most of 89 percent call on companies to clearly state their values, while 90 percent demand that companies concretely demonstrate such values.
Consumers’ behavior is now based on their values and their perception of a brand’s values. With their purchasing power, 55 percent believe that they can influence companies to change. For instance, 61 percent stopped buying from a company with values that are not aligned with theirs, and 59 percent purchased a different brand instead.
The causes important to consumers are the companies’ environmental practices, reduced carbon emissions, advocacy for human and civil rights, companies’ treatment of their employees during the pandemic, having a diverse workforce, companies’ actions on economic injustice, companies’ actions on racial injustice, companies’ treatment of customers during the crisis, companies’ community involvements, and companies’ ethical use of technology.
Use Digital Marketing to Align with Consumers
Digital marketers must always highlight the company’s core values in the realm of social and environmental issues. The company must take concrete steps, like making financial contributions to nonprofit organizations and participating in community events. Marketers must share these with consumers digitally, using videos.
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