You can’t put the Digital Genie back in a Bottle

According to Ofcom the UK has become addicted to smartphones, with consumers confessing to using their smartphones everywhere, from the bedroom, at the dinner table and even in the bathroom.

It’s no secret that traditional media, although far from dead, is suffering huge readership losses – with some regional titles seeing a drop in circulation by as much as sixty percent over recent years.

So, as the guardian on your brand, what are you going to do about it? You could of course keep channelling your money into more and more traditional marketing and advertising campaigns, after all, traditional medium, if used correctly is still an important part of the overall communications mix. But what about those consumers who are addicted to smart phones – how are you going to get them to buy into your brand?

The key to longevity within the consumer market is branding. Branding is what separates serious retailers from market traders. If you get your brand right you win, but if you get it wrong, well, four words: ‘Who Are You Ltd’ – never heard of it? Exactly!

Today’s consumers understand the marketing game, after all, we are all consumers and have all helped create a new way of selling. But it’s not just down to cost anymore – you could sell the cheapest carpet in the UK, but if no one has heard of you or worse, your brand value is zero, then no one will buy from you. Consumers don’t want cheap, they want value – and ‘value’ in today’s market translates into positive brand perception – what your customers think of you.

Creating a brand identity is one thing, but sustaining positive brand messages to maintain market share is another. You need a proactive brand strategy, which incorporates communication channels that not only reach your customers, but which also allows you to engage with them.

Today, you are more likely to witness consumers receiving branded messages via digital channels than you are through more traditional channels. It’s why super brands now spend more on digital than any other medium. Supermarket giant Morrisons, for example, is investing heavily in social media activity to not only reach its core consumer but to engage with them – to help them control the sales process through targeted branded messages.

Working with digital channels gives you access to a range of communication tools, such as blogger outreach programmes, social network campaigns and even online advertising activity across a multi-layer platform.

These channels could include installation guides through video feeds on the pages of online publications – giving you and your audience a greater buying experience, than a simple one-dimensional four-colour advert would achieve.

You could work with pre-vetted, pre-approved bloggers or vloggers to produce a series of product testing – in a sense getting the end-user to sell the product to other end-users!

You could even create or modify your current social media channels to build and support an f-commerce platform, which is co-supported by other digital media channels – you could even incorporate their social medial platforms!

The fact is, digital is a mash-up of channels that not only allows your brand to engage with your consumers, but more importantly, allows you customers to interact with your brand – effectively becoming your brand ambassadors, helping you sell your brand to other customers!

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